'Season of Mists,' Skeleton Trees' debut effort, is a hauntingly beautiful venture into dreamland. Their goal with this concept album was to "compose a soundtrack for the mind and to forge a unique universe in which all dreams can resonate' and I think they achieved that in several ways. For one, the vast majority of the record is extremely low key (and low tempo) and filled with beautifully toned synths, ambience and just HAUNTINGLY beautiful vocals (courtesy of Alice Morrison's not only beautiful voice, but alluring French accent) and melodies interspersed with the occasional dialogue sample and contrasting, upbeat (and at times almost carnevallian) runs that more often than not, work. There are many influences notably at work here: the Beatles (think Harrison-esque harpsichord work and Lennon's 'Tomorrow Never Knows,' evident in the eerie 'Inside Her Cave'), a variety of late 70's to early 80's goth and post-punk bands, just a HINT of Nine Inch Nails (specifically the melody in the ending of 'Lady of the Snow') and even a moment of Jack Off Jill, sans the inherently vulgar subject matter (though I imagine this one is more coincidence than influence) and too many more to mention. The only pitfalls are the drums on occasion can verge on clumsy, and the bass seemed a bit lackadaisical, at times being noticeably off, and finding its way to notes that can be just cringe inspiring, which is much more obvious at points in or after 'Shadows' at which point the album seems to become just ever so slightly disjointed, but pulls itself back together by the end. But don't let the sound of those points fool you, it's a great cd, and I'm very much looking forward to their upcoming sophomore release tentatively titled 'Between the Floor and the Downstairs Ceiling'.