Musicians are a strange breed. It seems half of them can’t help themselves when it comes to wanting to hog the spotlight, whereas the other half runs a mile from even the scent of a camera. In this respect Krister Linder has something equating to a pathological fear of exposure. “Songs from the Silent Years” marks a return to the spotlight after an apparent twelve-year sabbatical. So what happened?

In actual fact, Mr. Linder has been very busy in the time since his work with his band Grace. Rather than going to ground, he just made a fine line in moniker changing. He formed another band, Dive, which again disappeared after its third and best album release. Linder then returned in a variety of other guises, recording largely instrumental works. There were also guest appearances on a range of underground artists’ records, including Tupilaq, Illuminum and Yeti. Still, even despite all this, twelve years is a long time to work yourself back to the frontline – so simple curiosity surely outweighs expectation with this disc.

The majority of the tracks here are very atmospheric numbers. There is a downbeat, seemingly melancholy aspect to all of them, accentuated by those recognizably lush tonsils of his. The singing is fine throughout, a good job really as it seems that all the tracks are built around the vocal as its main integral part. Take away the vocal and there would be a few rather sparse tracks, if I am completely honest. “Turning Daises” is musically the most interesting for me here, through its experimentation with pitch shifting notes and car-siren style horn blasts, lending it a very apocalyptic kind of feel.

Naturally some of the other tracks are stronger than others; “Mixed Blood” is a success in its lyrics, and rather fetching dreamy synth stylings, likewise the following track “Before It’s All over”, which has a nice throbbing bass pulse on top of the other elements. Unfortunately, I think that the album falters through its lack of change in pace or style. Like eating the same meal days and days in a row, it doesn’t matter how good it is, eventually you will tire and want to try something else. Also, with some tracks nearly hitting the ten minute mark, it could be argued if some of these tracks couldn’t have been trimmed down a little.

A decent enough album, but it doesn’t get me reaching for the book of superlatives. Somehow I think though that those who like nice vocals delivered over downbeat rhythms and haunting melodies won’t be disappointed.