AOTY 2020
Anna von Hausswolff - Dead Magic
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2018 Ratings: #398 / 830
User Score
Based on 553 ratings
2018 Ratings: #22
Liked by 18 people
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Dead Magic is a brilliant artistic statement, Anna von Hausswolff’s best self-definition to date.

Loud and Quiet

Anna Von Hausswolff has fashioned a truly immersive beast, where folklore runs free and where open fissures are as common as wild flowers growing. But you are invited in, and with such goodwill that to criticise the album is simply to criticise your place within it.


A presumed sensitivity to this tradition helps to explain in part why the darkness and the light of Dead Magic are both deeper and brighter than is typical in popular music formats. Another part of the explanation is that she exhibits technical skill in the composing, arranging, and performing of these songs with their array of emotional and textural contrasts, all of which increase with vitality on subsequent listens.

The Guardian

Dead Magic is Von Hausswolff’s darkest, most ambitious record to date.


As promising as Von Hausswolff's earlier records are, this one towers over them and above it in terms of musical imagination and emotional impact. It's not an easy or gentle listen, but it is unforgettable and constantly rewarding.

Under The Radar

Dead Magic is a five song, 47-minute record that her career has been building towards, amounting to her most majestic and complete work to date.

The Needle Drop

Dead Magic is Swedish singer-songwriter and organist Anna von Hausswolff's best work to date.

Metal Hammer

Dead Magic is a sinister, heavy and hypnotising journey through organ-driven psychedelic, postrock and dark ambient, traversed by sacral severity.

Drowned in Sound

This is a record by a special talent, but Dead Magic feels like a sound learned by rote. It’s an album certain of what it wants to be, but lacking in the naturalness needed to truly convince, let alone amaze.

The Skinny

Dead Magic ... is utterly derivative of the very few albums in this genre ever to succeed, and lacks all of their spark and life. Above all else it is unbearably, irredeemably boring.

when i was growing up, winter was always my favorite season. that was the time of the year i got presents - christmas in december and my birthday in january, apart enough to where i didnt get my presents lumped into one extreme gift holiday, but close enough to where i get a ton of shit all at the same time and that's the fuckin best. its cold so i dont have to worry about sweating my ass off in the summer, and there's snow!! one of the best feelings in the world is when you fall asleep to a ... read more
Haunting, mystical and deeply evocative in its whispers and wails of gothic origin. The teachings from M. Gira and co. are stark clear on Anna von Hausswolff's new album, and they bring along a new peak of oblivious artistry that makes all her previous works sound like bland, misguided walks in the park.
This album tests patience and rewards it through a dark, yet gorgeous soundscape or organs and drones. Sitting down, closing my eyes, and falling into the sonic abyss of this album made me relaxed and more focused. It’s not the trippiest trip I’ve ever been on through an album, and the ending moments were lacking of vocal deliveries that I thought would have elevated the album even higher. If you are willing to give this album your time, it will not upset you

Edit: original score 96
Not immediately powerful, but atmospherically lovely nontheless
This album is chillingly beautiful. On my first listen, I got incredibly sad while listening to this, I felt distant and lost, like I was walking through a snowy forest covered in a thick layer of mist, but oddly, upon second listen. I felt found, I felt like I was safe, I was warm again.

This album is an utterly wonderful listen from front to back, while it may not stay as unique from beginning to end that doesn't mean it's any less gorgeous. The opening track sets the scene for us, it's ... read more
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Track List

  1. The Truth, The Glow, The Fall
  2. The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra
  3. Ugly and Vengeful
  4. The Marble Eye
  5. Källans Återuppståndelse
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Added on: December 8, 2017