For Allting

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For Allting Review

by Tim Sendra

After staking out their own turf where sprightly indie pop, gloomy goth rock, and angular indie rock meet and are knocked into submission by the powerful uppercut delivered by vocalist Maja Milner, the Swedish group Makthaverskan try something new on 2021's album För Allting. Working with producer Hannes Ferm of the band HOLY, they switched out their desperate, barely-hanging-on sound that was all shouts, sharp elbows, and sweat in favor of a more measured approach. The guitars are dialed back and dipped in FX, there are the occasional synths and drum machines, and most importantly, Milner's vocals are brought back into the mix and colored by large amounts of reverb. It makes for a haunting sound, especially when Milner's voice trails off into soft shards or floats across the echoing melodies like a barely glimpsed vision. This stylistic shift pays off dramatically and gives the album some depth and staying power that their previous albums lacked. Not that what they were doing didn't work, because it did, and the band wisely held on tight to all their fierce passion, intense playing, and deeply felt emotion. Adding some reverb or a synth doesn't detract from any of that, and the songs here are just as painfully hooky as anything from the past. Tracks like the rampaging "This Time" or "All I've Ever Wanted to Say" have all the unpredictable fire one would expect from the band, "Lova" has all the glittering clamor, and "These Walls" is bathed in post-punk angst. What's different is that there are also plenty of tracks that have a more easygoing, sweetly melodic feel. Milner's dialed-down vocals fit the shimmering guitars of "Tomorrow" and the melancholy, rainy day mood of "Closer" perfectly. Not only does their new approach make room for pop-leaning tracks like these, it allows them to take a chance on songs that stretch the five-minute mark and have a more epic feel. The title track is an atmospheric, near-cinematic mood piece that gives Milner a chance to exercise her vocal chords as the guitars twinkle and intertwine, and "Maktologen" sounds like an amazing cross of Ride at their most space prog and Lush at their most direct, while injecting plenty of the band's own dark drama as well. Having these two songs back to back at the end of the album reinforces how much the band has grown and how little they have sacrificed in the process. Not only is För Allting their most immediate and accessible album, it is also their most emotionally satisfying. Considering how high previous efforts have ranked in that particular category, this is a real feat.

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