Heptagram is the solo project of Bulgarian multi-instrumentalist Daniel Ivanov and today we're diving head first into his new album.
While I've had the honour and pleasure to dwell in the world of Heptagram's Glass Elevators for a few weeks and let me tell you, that's some seriously awesome place to inhabit.
That being said, this is going to be another no-edit review. While those mind-blowing tracks have been soaking in my brain for a while, I wanted to stay away from pre-writing this album review and do it on the actual release date, recreating the memories of the first time I heard the album.the album will be on Spotify tomorrow, pre-save here
As I mentioned in the post about "Angels", the first time I experienced Glass Elevators was on a flight, which definitely aligned with album's theme of transcendence and feeling of... above-ness (not sure if that's a real word, but I hope it makes sense). Once I hit the play button and the guitar chords of "Matric" kicked in, I couldn't help to think of 90's grunge music and the first time I heard Alice in Chains' music. I was already head-banging to "and so I pray for forgiveness", but little did I know that seconds later the whole pattern will completely change, drums will morph into a stream of powerful and absolutely exhausting (in a good way) force. What a way to start this sound journey!
This unstoppable force created a feeling of weird and draining anger. That math rock touch to the track was just the cherry on the top and if you guys like bands like Chon or The Fall of Troy, you'll feel in heaven.
Conceptually, the album feels like a three-headed dragon and I hope this makes sense by the time you've heard the whole release. "Mirror" and "Ego Death" - Glass Elevators' 2nd and 3rd track are definitely additions to this energetic & progressive "head". All 3 tracks are charged with insane amount of energy, off-beat patterns and Daniel's powerful voice.
"Angels", however, is definitely a move outwards to the unknown and mysterious. By the song started playing, we were above the clouds, which again added to the whole experience. It may sound cheesy, but honestly when I heard "look at this beautiful view" I just thought to myself - I need to appreciate the world out there way more often than I do. Earth is beautiful.
I absolutely love the incorporation of ethno elements in this part of album's progression. The next few tracks feel like the soundtrack to the first step of a journey towards the end of the world.
I still can't decide which is my favourite track and while I think I do appreciate listening the album as an entity, there's something about "Shape & Crowns". I can't pinpoint my finger to it, but it feels like a fairy tale and it brings a smile on my face every time I reach that part of the Glass Elevators journey.
Going back to the theme of traveling and exploring different cultures, the use of didjeridu in "Now Is Everywhen" is simply put brilliant. Every journey, however, has to come to an end and Daniel decided to send us to a place he knows very well. "Threefold (Angelite Interpretation)" is a celebration of the vast and breath-taking richness of the Balkan folklore culture blended with progressive rock elements. As someone who comes from those latitude and longitude coordinates, this gave me instant goosebumps.
5 years of writing and 1 year of recording. The wait for Glass Elevators was absolutely worth.