Maze & Lindholm’s 5-track epic A River Flowing Home to the Sea is an enlightening experience which takes the listener through an adventure with the concept of intimacy and forces them to question their relationship with the concept of silence.
Maze and Lindholm is a duo consisting of two fantastic producers from Brussels: Pierre de Muelenaere aka P.Maze – also involved in Orphan Swords – and Otto Lindholm. Following on from the success of their widely praised debut album, the sombre Where the Wolf Has Been Seen, the production duo has provided a more optimistic and hopeful tale with their latest album, which was released worldwide on June 19th. A River Flowing Home to the Sea tackles silence and the feeling it evokes in a much different manner. On the first release silence was portrayed as being a symbol of isolation and loneliness, whereas here we focus on the inner peace and tranquillity silence provides.
The new album’s greatest feature is without a doubt the story it provides, being the prominent feature of the production. However, the story being so prominent creates large issues with the album, such as singular tracks losing significance when removed from the album setting. This is without a doubt a concept album which works terrifically when in tandem with their previous album, but in its own right the production isn’t as impactful and cannot complete the story it’s trying to tell. To put it simply: this is the second part of the story and pointless without the start.
Ultimately, though, A River Flowing Home to the Sea is a splendid album with absolutely amazing production, made so great by the duo’s understanding of the instruments they use. Maze & Lindholm provide a compelling and complex narrative all through their selective use of instruments. In particular the use of piano on the third track ‘The Raw Silk’ is sensational and creates an unparalleled ambience, the pinnacle for this album’s production. This track has a stellar use of minimisation, and as the shortest track doesn’t outstay its welcome. Special mention must also be given to the opener ‘There’s A Room For You’ which is similarly fantastic as it sets the tone for the rest of the album with its subtle transitions and upbeat nature.
It will be interesting to see if Maze & Lindholm continue their obsession with silence or look to tackle another topic with their next release.
Words by Paul Dawson