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Flora Eallin

Review by Gary Hill

This music is experimental. It's often jazzy, but there are rock elements. It is decidedly art music. Most of the tracks are instrumental, but the songs that do have vocals have non-English lyrics, I'm guessing Norwegian since they are from Norway. There is a great balance between more extreme and mainstream sound, and between sedate and louder stuff. There are a lot of magical moments on this album.

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Track by Track Review
Piano gets things going here. This cut grows very slowly and gradually with other layers of sound eventually rising upward in the mix. There is a mysterious, experimental quality to it.
More percussive, this has a real freeform almost Rock In Opposition vibe to it. It's intriguing and manages to really captivate despite (or perhaps because of it) its strangeness. It gets more cohesive and pure jazz driven further down the road. The percussion becomes less up-front, but no less important. This gets soaring and moving as it works outward further down the road. At over six-minutes of music, this is one of the longest pieces here.
There is a sparse, experimental nature to this track. Yet there are also elements that seem determined to bring more mainstream melody to the proceedings. It feels as if those two forces are in constant opposition to one another, maintaining an uneasy balance.
This cut is more song-like. It even includes multiple vocal lines. This has a real early King Crimson jazzy vibe in some ways. I can almost make out hints of Pink Floyd in the mix at times. This is so potent and effective. Part of that is the contrast that it represents.
Here we get another with vocals. Those vocals are gentle, but also powerful. This is a more mainstream number with a lot of proggy and also jazzy concepts at play. It's quite a melodic piece. The exploratory jamming that takes over mid-track gets tastefully crazed and really soaring. We're taken back to the song proper from there, but it's intensified.
Coming in mellower and more sparse, I really love some of the bass work on this. Then again, everything about the cut says "artsy, jazz cool." This doesn't grow very far, but it's effective as it is.
This comes in tentatively, but eventually rises up to a jam that has a lot of that King Crimson-like jazz groove at play. It has some pretty crazed shifts, changes and explorations as it works through. There is some smoking hot guitar work built into this beast, and the whole thing is just packed full of magic. The cut includes some processed vocals. I'm not crazy about that part of the tune. The smoking hot instrumental work and unusual twists and turns makes it work despite them, though.
Piano gets this freeform experimental piece underway. The number works through some freeform changes before it's over.
Gentle vocals start things here. Piano joins tentatively. The cut grows in intriguing ways from there.
Melodic and intriguing, this feels as if it has some world music built into it as it gets going. Jazzy things drift into there as it works forward. There is some killer spacey prog meets jazz jamming that ensues as it evolves. At over six-and-a-half minutes, this is the epic of the disc.
Vocals and piano paint the picture and are the central focus here. 
The closer is a powerhouse prog rocking jam that makes me think of both King Crimson's Red-era and the Lizard album. Yet there is a lot of world music built into this and much more. They take it along a couple twists and turns in some great jazzy ways. This is my favorite track here, making a great choice to close the album.

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