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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Troldmand

Live at Loppen - 21.10.11

Review by Gary Hill

I like this disc a lot. Of course, I’m a big fan of space rock and these guys clearly fit there. While the most obvious reference is Hawkwind, there are jam band sounds here and even wanders near Rock In Opposition at times. At times it feels a little Clutch, too. It’s all quite potent and this is highly recommended for all fans of space rock.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Et samfund under jorden

The bass drives this beast as it powers up and space rock elements start to swirl around the arrangement. It’s kind of like Hawkwind meets a jam band. This gets into some seriously tasty space rock jamming and the Hawkwind elements jump to the fore. Still, there’s an echoey sort of presence here that manages to out-space even Dave Brock and company. The guitar that solos throughout is tasty and tasteful and there’s some nice envelope processing here. It turns towards some noisy RIO, but still with that space sound as it continues later in the piece.

Det borende X
The atmospheric space that starts this would definitely not be mistaken as Hawkwind like. As slide guitar comes in a bit later I’m reminded of early Pink Floyd more than anything else. It rises up gradually. Of course, with a lot of space rock, nothing changes fast, instead evolving kind of like clouds taking various forms as they glide across the sky. As it moves towards the five minute mark this gets harder rocking and that comparison to Pink Floyd is even more accurate. It gets heavier and more melodic as it continues and it starts to come closer to a Hawkwind kind of sound. There is some awesome bass work as this continues. The thing is, the whole beast rises up, kind of like a more spacey Clutch, as that bass rages forward. It really does get almost metallic. I guess Sleep would be a fair comparison, too.
Atomkrig
Crunchy, feedback laded guitar opens this up and it moves forward from there. Other elements bring the space to play and this is fast paced and seems like a more aggressive and crunchier take on early Hawkwind sounds. It really gets pretty intense, but seems to drive in that one direction a little too long. There’s a shift later, though, to a different progression that is more melodic and has more of that Clutch turned space sound. Again, this jam seems to outstay its welcome a bit. Although, since this is a live recording that might not have been the case if you were in attendance.
Rockford, Illinois
Since Rockford, Illinois is my hometown, the title of this one is intriguing to me. It’s got a punky kind of sound that’s very much early Hawkwind in nature. There’s a lot of energy and the space rock elements are well represented. This is the shortest cut on the disc and somehow makes me think of “Brainstorm” a bit. They turn it to a more metallic jam later for a change of pace.
 
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