You would have to rewind the clocks 50 years to find the last great psychedelic-pop-rock opus. Of course, I’m referring to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was released in June 1967. While that album introduced us to the alter egos of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, Hannes Ferm’s sophomore album under the moniker HOLY is a much more immediate and intimate experience. At the same time, All These Worlds Are Yours is an intergalactic escapade of sonic bursts and propulsive beats. The result is a concept album that we have not heard in decades.
One would be forgiven to think this production is about an extraterrestrial, although this wouldn’t be too far from the truth. All These Worlds Are Yours is largely autobiographical, yet Ferm often depicts himself and his experience as those belonging to an alien’s first visit to our planet. The static-filled news reels that opens “Night on Earth”, for instance, creates the illusion of the arrival. This episode, however, is the effect of a drug-induced stupor that leads to wild images and hallucinations, including Ferm encountering a future version of himself. It’s a wake-up call for Ferms, who on “and she breaks the day! A clarity” celebrates his awakening through the angelic chorus and the trippy piano-driven melody.
But like so many people, sobriety remains a struggle, and it’s depicted on the solemn “ððð”. The push-pull battle continues on the fabulously delirious “Premonition / ◯ / It Shines Through”, which is one of the many highlights of the 55-minute album. The song is like the first day of spring with its cool, vibrant, and fresh vibes and Ferm’s rejuvenated vocals. It, as such, makes for the perfect song on any spring or summer playlist. Conversely, “Dreaming still?” is the questioning of whether one’s existence is real or fictional, as if our protagonist is spiraling out of control once again. The gritty intro and the whirlwind middle section put us inside the chaos that reverberates inside Ferm’s mind. However, the calming ending with its glorious strings gives us a moment of relief.
And all is definitely o.k. as revealed on the album’s nearly 9-minute epic, “all these worlds are yours”. The song commences chaotically before easing into a beautiful and wistful psychedelic melody that lasts for six minutes. It’s a gorgeous and relaxing ride; however, it doesn’t last as the song becomes a tornado. Wave after wave of distortion and gnarly guitar riffs pound around us, as the “demons in our minds” regain control. Or at least try to.
Confusion continues to rain inside Ferm’s head as revealed on the superb “Heard Her”. The song is full of color and vibrancy due to the multiple layers and effects that have been infused. We are either attending the zaniest carnival or spiraling down the rabbit hole and making our way to Wonderland. Or possibly this is indeed all foreign, which is described on the melancholic orchestral gem ” ৌ alien Life??” and the kaleidoscope “Wish ㍛”. The latter is more of an out-of-body experience, as Ferm reveals how he wishes he could re-write the past.
The opus comes to an end with “In Lack of Light”, which is the most straightforward song on the album. Channeling a mix of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, Ferm substitutes his own body for that of an alien. His lyrics are frightening in their honesty, as he desires to be something else and in a place faraway from here. To escape the ills that have befallen him and our planet. And as he sets his sights on greener pastures, he has also given us our own momentary escape. He has given us an album that truly is from another world and time, and one that is well ahead of its time. It likely won’t be for another half-century before we witness something as bold, grand, and magnificent as All These Worlds Are Yours.
Featured/covered photo by Marcus Wilén.
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