“Aha” I thought, anybody suggesting “nil points” for this album would be way off the mark. Sorry about the ‘cheesy’ Norwegian references there, but that’s them out of the way now! Acelsia are indeed Norwegian; an extremely promising collaboration between Malene Markussen (vocals & piano) and Odd HenningSkyllingstad (guitars, bass, programming & percussion), assisted on the album by Bjorn Tore Erlandsen (drums) and Jorn-Arild Grefsrud (synth & upright bass). ‘Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow’ is Acelsia’s full length debut and follows on from a series of previously released EPs.

Variety, as a common saying goes ‘is the spice of life’. Irvine Welsh’s character ‘Juice Terry’ would say ‘spice ay life’ but his variety seems restricted to Mantovani, but then again I don’t really believe that he has a penchant for ‘easy listening’! I certainly wouldn’t expect to find this album filed away under ‘easy listening’, nevertheless I find it very easy and pleasing to listen to. There are times when I do appreciated ‘heads down, no nonsense’ rock, and other repetitive tracks, but I generally find myself gravitating toward music that offers a nuanced, layered and varied listening experience. This album falls firmly into that category.

Malene’s crisp and clear distinctive vocals provide a unifying thread throughout the musical itenerary that certainly takes me somewhere that I would very much like to follow! The audio landscape travelled includes serene and melodic, upbeat rock, all punctuated by powerful interludes. I am a sucker for tribal rhythms and am not disappointed in this respect. The lyrics are thoughtful and encourage re-listening. Malene notes that their intention was to present an album that is “uplifting and emotional” and I fully believe that they have succeeded and I for one will be keenly looking forward to a follow-up offering.

1/ Roads

2/ Stiches

3/ Up On The Roof

4/ The Most Important Fight

5/ The Mender

6/ Blue Knell

7/ Haven

8/ Hold My Breath

9/ Before I Fall

10/ Another Day

11/ Left Alone


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