BARRENS are an instrumental trio hailing from Sweden consisting of members and ex-members of Scraps Of Tape, Logh, Souls, Blessings, Cult Of Luna and more. On their debut album PENUMBRA they have developed their own idiosyncratic sound: driven by synths equally as by guitars, Penumbra is oscillating between the dark and the brighter side of post rock, but leaning more towards the dark. The album is conceptually circling around topics like change, metamorphosis and transformation, „especially movement into, through and out of shadows and back again”, guitarist Johan G Winther explains. „Being both lost in darkness, yet finding comfort there. Seeking it. Afloat in blinding light, suspended in darkness”, as it is etched into the vinyl.
BARRENS were already touring together before they were even a band. In 2018, Markku Hildén joined Scraps of Tape, Johan and Kenta’s other band, as a live drummer for two tours of Europe and a tour of China. „Finding an immediate chemistry between us both playing and hanging out, we quickly realised we had very similar ideas regarding music and creating art together. So the outlines for what BARRENS would become were sketched out back then in vans, trains, planes and over post-show beers at local bars”, comments bass player Kenta Jansson.
Once back home, the newly formed band started writing demos, drawing inspiration from new sources and venturing through both well known and unknown territories. In the summer of 2019, Penumbra was recorded in Uppsala and Gothenburg and produced by the band, and mixed and mastered by CULT OF LUNA’s Magnus Lindberg at Redmount Studios in Stockholm.
Penumbra is dense, sophisticated, deep, mature, overwhelming, minimalist and elaborate all at the same time. It does not sound like a debut album of a new band, but more like an intuitive but also carefully reflected creation of musicians fused together by a long and strong bond.