Iro Haarla composer-pianist-harpist and her Finnish-Norwegian ensemble consist of Mathias Eick – trumpet, Trygve Seim – tenor and soprano saxophones, Ulf Krokfors – double-bass and Jon Christensen – drums, six years after releasing ofÂ â€œNorthboundâ€ are back with this brand new album released under the same trademark of ECM. Classy and gloomy, this is a slowburn, kind of candle light in the dark, winter night. Quiet and improvising, this “free ballads” have a kind of family reunion feeling where everybody tell his own story of the past few years, sometimes simultaneously, “speaking” over each other. Sometimes vague, often soaked with the particular Northern melancholy or directly with the taste of sadness, “Vespers” sounds as the score of our desperate alienation. It’s beautiful, but kind of disarming. Still, there’s a few very intimate and discrete, nice moments. But the lack of any regular rhythms and clearly established themes makes this album gloomy and scattered, it’s difficult to settle any direction to this and in the end there’s no release. Just like in real life, happy-ends were canceled. Not recommended for suicidals. Seriously.