Favorite Icon, Full size
Album Review: Evermind
Cover image of the album Evermind by Amethystium
2004 / Neurodisc
53 minutes
Review by Michael Debbage
This represents the third release from the impressive Norwegian artist Oystein Ramfjord also known as Amethystium. Certainly 2002's striking Aphelion helped him evade the sophomore slump. Meanwhile, Ramfjord continues to explore the effective use of drum loops and tribal percussion embellishments with his eerie and atmospheric keyboard arrangements.

According to the press release from the label this is the third installment in the "dragonfly trilogy". With the exception of a dragonfly illustration on each album cover this reviewer is not sure to what extent this dragonfly theme plays out either lyrically or musically. However, the musical theme of ambient grooves with spiritual atmospheric layers intertwining with each other makes for another warm and interesting presentation which makes Ramfjord one of today's prominently accessible ambient artists.

In relation to its predecessors, Evermind while engaging is a little less energetic but does not detract from its charm. In fact, by being a little more reflective it allows the artist to extend his musical horizons giving the album a little more personal touch despite the continued extensive use of drum loops and keyboard superfluities. "Into The Twilight" plays this effect out magically with the luscious warm touch of the cello. Whether by keyboard sampling or the real thing the results are the same.

Ramfjord continues to explore more mellow meanderings and this is best illustrated by the awakening themes via the gorgeous "Break Of Dawn". There is no question that this is the album's finer moment. However, "Imaginatio" comes a close second where Oystein continues to make effective use of vocal chants. The vocal work, though never generic, is not overstated and always compliments the instrumental arrangements rather than being distracting.

What now remains is where Ramfjord goes from here. With an apparent trilogy completed one might expect a change in musical direction. Considering the talents of this artist the fragile theme explored on "Break of Dawn" could be a musical avenue to further explore. Ignoring the future expectations, Evermind continues Oystein's present perfect batting average of success stories.
October 5, 2004
This review has been tagged as:
Michael's Favorites: 2004
More reviews of Amethystium albums
Cover image of the album Aphelion by Amethystium
Review by Michael Debbage
Michael's Favorites: 2003
Cover image of the album Emblem by Amethystium
Review by Michael Debbage
Michael's Favorites: 2006