Known as a founding member and guitarist of Grammy nominated, Swedish metal masters DARK TRANQUILITY, Niklas Sundin is set to release his first solo album ever! After 15 albums and 30 years as a metal guitarist, MITOCHONDRIAL SUN is Sundin’s first public foray into different musical realms: Created with support from the Swedish Arts Council, the self-titled debut album is a diverse offering of atmospheric and darkly cinematic music where the songs differ wildly in expression and sonic aesthetics. The album will be seeing the light of day on February 14th 2020 on Italy’s renowned powerhouse label Argonauta Records. In addition to being a musician, Niklas is also a prolific graphic designer. This visual emphasis is transfered over to the Mitochondrial Sun project, where each song will be accompanied by an animated video further enhancing the experience and providing context. After the recent premiere of the cosmic track Nyaga ( watch the video HERE ), today Mitochondrial Sun is sharing with us another track from the upcoming record!
Says multi-talent Niklas Sundin: “Celestial Animal” is a more organic song than the tech-y first single “Nyaga”, starting off with grand piano, cello and vocal synthesizers before transforming into a more rhythmical piece that seeks to invoke a sense of “futuristic nostalgia” – a retro vision of the future if you will.
The music has a lot of processed field recordings and samples, and I wanted a similar “layered” approach for the video, which features lots of lo-fi footage with little ambition to appear slick or polished. The imagery is often distorted and repurposed, and the general idea is to use symbol laden visuals that trigger the imagination of the viewer rather than presenting a clear storyline.
I’m very grateful to the crew of contributing musicians: The drum programming was handled by Dark Tranquillity keyboard wizard Martin Brändström and the string arrangements and playing were done by Annika Blomfeldt. Anders Lagerfors added another layer of atmosphere with his careful mixing and mastering work.“
Just exclusively premiered with Decibel Magazine, you can now watch the brand new video for Celestial Animal HERE!
Mitochondrial Sun‘s self-titled album is largely instrumental and features everything from Dead can dance-like tribal atmospheres to futuristic sci-fi soundscapes. “The project has been a couple of years in the making and started out as a way of staying musically creative while on parental leave from Dark Tranquillity. I had recently acquired some new gear for my home studio, and had been thinking about creating “electronic” music for a while, so this was a good opportunity to actually make it happen.“ Sundin recently said.
The album tracklist reads as follows:
1. Ur Tehom
3. Braying Cells
4. Stars Beneath The Sea
6. Celestial Animal
8. The Void Begets
9. Entropy’s Gift
10. The Great Filter
The record is based around evolution and the passing of time. Juxtaposing electronic and decid-edly synthetic elements with organic sound textures and the presence of real cello and grand piano, Mitochondrial Sun is an exploration of contrasts. Lush and cinematic passages collide with harsh distortion and massive futuristic soundscapes. Some songs have a traditional feel, invoking ghosts and patterns from our distant past, some are urban and desolate and some glance outward towards a future among the stars.
Sundin continues:“Writing the album was a process of musical archeology; I dug up some of my favourite old riffs and melodies that never seemed to fit within the D.T. context and gave them new life with different instrumentation. As with most musicians that have been playing for a while, I had a “treasure chest” (well, old cassettes and CD-R’s) of ideas I’ve always felt a strong connection to but that wouldn’t necessarily work in any previous band or project. Of course there was a lot of material that hadn’t aged very well, but going through the old tapes was a nice starting point, and a lot of the old riffs gave birth to new ideas. Most of the songs on the album ended up being are a combination of both, with the oldest melody dating back to 1992 (the piano theme of the opening track “Ur Tehom”).
I aimed for every song on the album to have its own style, the idea was for the the production and general atmosphere to be the common denominator and the songs themselves wildly different – a bit like how movie soundtracks often are structured.“
Featuring ten songs with lots of stylistic differences, Mitochondrial Sun’s debut album is by no means an easy listen, or one designed for instant gratification – but the patient listener will be rewarded! Coming out February 14th via Argonauta Records on LP, CD and in digital formats, the album pre-sale is now available at THIS LOCATION!