Gísli Gunnarsson feat. Alcest - Wings of Glass - Song Review - Cinematic Post-Metal from Iceland

Gísli Gunnarsson feat. Alcest - Wings of Glass - Song Review - Cinematic Post-Metal from Iceland
Gísli Gunnarsson feat. Alcest - Wings of Glass - Song Review - Cinematic Post-Metal from Iceland

Another misty, cold, and foggy Friday, low in contrast and saturation, in the Finnish prison of a vagabond, my reality. As I write these words, an Icelandic song is playing in my earpods: Wings of Glass by composer, performer, and cinematic music artist Gísli Gunnarsson, featuring the post-metal pioneers Alcest. I welcome you to read my honest opinion of this impressive work.

Gísli Gunnarsson - Wings of Glass ft. Alcest. Artwork: Hrafnkell Elvarsson - / hrafnkellelvarsson . Mastering: Taylor Deupree - https://www.12kmastering.com/

Wings of Glass immediately captivated my interest on my first listen about two weeks ago, arguably one of the moodiest pieces of music I've discovered lately that resonated deeply with my current mood. The song qualifies itself among the finest with its musical language and production standards, pulling the listener into its alternate surreal universe.

Musically, the song mainly incorporates cinematic and metal influences that evoked memories of Opeth, Leprous, and Katatonia, heavily consisting of dark Scandinavian vibes in its climate. The opening part explores cinematic territories that stood out to me with its simplicity, highlighting the general dark climate; powerful, ambient, and spacy instrumentation of muted piano, pads, additional stringed instruments, and reverby clean guitars accompanies the ethereal female back vocals and the hallucinating low-toned male vocals of Gísli Gunnarsson, reminiscent of the earlier works of Hans Zimmer with its instrumentation and general climate. I couldn’t help but daydream while listening to it, which also brought back memories from the scenes of The Last Samurai and The Gladiator soundtracks, which deeply affected me and still resonate after all these years. In this example, I felt like they not only share a similar language with Gísli Gunnarsson but the timeless qualities as well.

The second part of the song, as I assume, was handled by Alcest, resolving it to post-metal territories after building up the necessary amount of excitement and energy that was urging to break out. As a music enthusiast myself, I have always been a die-hard fan of such musical interpretations of emotional outbreaks with the help of metal sounds, which particularly evoked memories of the finest examples from Opeth, who happen to be also Scandinavian.

Production-wise, Wings of Glass unarguably consists of high-end production and international sounding quality regardless of its Icelandic language, with the help of a real craftsman who handled the technical side of the work. In my honest view, it couldn’t have sounded any better than this, mirroring the standards of industry-leading names in both the metal and cinematic music genres. I also would like to emphasize that I am highly satisfied with their decision to use analog sounds for guitars and drums in the final “heavy” part of the song.

Gísli Gunnarsson artist photo. Credit: Unknown.

On the other side of the coin, there’s nothing I have to address as weaknesses or confusing points from my perspective. As mentioned earlier, the work has the right balance in every metric, which left me no choice but to agree with the envisioning and understanding of aesthetics of those behind the work.

Gísli Gunnarsson artist photo. Credit: Unknown.

In conclusion, while Wings of Glass is considerably a long song at seven and a half minutes, it left me with the feeling of wanting more. Captivating ethereal soundscapes reminiscent of Hans Zimmer incorporate with progressive and post-metal elements by the hands of Alcest, stand out for their world-class production and established standards. Strongly recommended, an instant addition to our “Monsters of Metal Underground” playlist on Spotify. Thank you for reading.

Gísli Gunnarsson feat. Alcest - Wings of Glass single front cover artwork. Released March 6, 2024. Guest vocals: Neige. Drums: Winterhalter. Cover art: Hrafnkell Elvarsson - www.instagram.com/hrafnkellelvarsson/ . Mastering: Taylor Deupree - www.12kmastering.com

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Gísli Gunnarsson
Gísli Gunnarsson. 652 likes · 67 talking about this. Musician and multi-instrumentalist from Iceland. Mixing modern classical and orchestral sounds with
Wings of Glass ft. Alcest, by Gísli Gunnarsson
track by Gísli Gunnarsson