Known as a founding member and guitarist of Grammy nominated, Swedish metal masters Dark Tranquillity, Niklas Sundin, has revealed the hotly anticipated details for his upcoming, first solo album ever! And Reveals The Album Details, Artwork + Pre-Sale!
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. Coming out on February 14th 2020 via Argonauta Records, today Sundin is sharing with us not only the stunning artwork, album tracklist and pre-sale start, but also a first single to the mesmerizing track and music video ‘Nyaga’! Though Sundin’s solo-project dives into electronic affairs, the song just got exclusively premiered by Invisible Oranges, who describe Mitochondrial Sun’s sound as “loud, rife with distorted square waves and signals which appear to emanate from alien satellites“; get your ears and eyes on it and check out the brand new video right here!:
“I’m very happy to premiere the first video/single from the upcoming Mitochondrial Sun album. 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 comments.
“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”).
The title “Nyaga” is a tribute to the late Swedish astronomer Peter Nilson and his 1996 book of the same name. Nilson was among my very favourite authors during the time that most of these musical ideas stem from, with a magnificent talent for fusing science and humanities to convey a sense of visionary wonder – much like a Swedish Carl Sagan, but primary focusing on storytelling rather than education. Nyaga has been likened to Harry Martinsson’s Aniara as well as Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, so it’s an essential read for any sci-fi aficionado. Since I already had decided that the Mitochondrial Sun album would have an overarching theme around evolution and the passing of time, I thought that the title would be a nice little nod to someone whose musings around these topics resonated with me as a youngster as well as being somewhat predictive of the current discourse regarding AI and the future of humanity. D.T. fans would find traces of these themes on some “The mind’s I” songs; both me and Mikael were big Peter Nilson fans back then.
I aimed for every song on the album to have its own style, so none of the other tracks sound much like “Nyaga”, which can be good or bad news depending on if you like it or not. 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. A lot of credit for actually making this work and giving the album a strong sonic signature goes to Anders Lagerfors at Nacksving studios and his penchant for old vintage equipment.
Well, that’s about it for this little premiere. Despite this probably being a bit of a vanity project in that it was made primary for my own enjoyment, I hope that there’s universal appeal and that people will enjoy the music. The album will be out in February next year. Thanks for listening“
Mitochondrial Sun Tracklisting:
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
Mitochondrial Sun’s self-titled album is largely instrumental and features everything from Dead can dance-like tribal atmospheres to futuristic sci-fi soundscapes. Among the guest musicians appearing are Dark Tranquillity’s Martin Brändström and renowned cello player Annika Blomfeldt. The album was mixed and mastered by Anders Lagerfors (who also contributed grand piano to some tracks) at Nacksving Studio in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The record is based around evolution and the passing of time. Juxtaposing electronic and decidedly 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. 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. More singles will be released before the full length album arrives in February 2020. 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!
The album pre-sale has just begun via the Argonauta Records store at here: https://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/en/