Monday, March 27, 2017

Tusmörke : "Hinsides"

What is happening here ? This is my first thought upon hearing the opening track from the Norwegian band's new album. There is a flute and they are singing in our native tongue here, but the wacky has been dialed way past 11. There are some electronic sounds in play from the keyboards that are way up in the mix making this sound like Kraftwerk with a side of folk. It is unique and not bad though, not dark enough for me and a little more on the upbeat side than what I would typically want to hear from them. The synth heavy version of the band does lead them into a proggier place. After reading their promo package the band has admitted this is going to be a less gloomy affair and feels like groove is in the heart of darkness.

"I Feel Like Midnight" reminds me of new wave Alice Cooper, so that's an easy sell and goes to prove just because you are pulling out all the key boards it doesn't have to be happy. "Rykende  Ruin" or "Steaming Ruin" is big grandiose prog, that doesn't pull me in until the big "In the Flesh" like ending. "Lyssky Drom" gets off to more of a flower child like start as it floats on a cloud  smoky folk. The bass line begins to guide the song into more brooding shadows. I am unsure of the kazoos that end the song, but oh well.

The album ends with the 24 minute epic "Sankt Sebastian's Alter" which celebrates the 666th anniversary of the Black Death hitting Norway. The drummer gets to flex his chops on this song.  Three minutes in and they are taking a break for a folk break down, so this is going to be a long and winding road. 24 minutes always seems excessive for me and I am generally opposed to any song being longer than the "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner". There are some darker undertones introduced to the song around the four minute mark . Things really darken in a more dramatic fashion at the seven minute mark. This does make me wonder where can they go from here and pulls me back in. There is more of a building simmer that feels like they could get heavy if they wanted. Instead they go in more of a psychedelic jammy direction. I suppose if I was tripping I would not mind being taken on this journey.  At 12: 44 it does happen and they do get into a heavier stomp. Live this would be a lot of fun and the overall song length is what keep this song from really winning me over 100%.

I'll round this up to a 9, as managed to pretty much win me over with the changes in direction. Some elements are more of my thing than others , but none of it steps on the toes of the other parts that are in motions which is impressive considering how much is in play here.


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