Norwegian trio, Kornmo, have their third album out on 6th January, all three previous releases are instrumental works, and the latest, called Vandring, which I think means Hiking, is a step up on the listenability scale.
The first two (Fimbulvinter and Svartisen) had much to recommend, but I rarely listened to them in one sitting, preferring to select the odd epic track. The latest, brought to us again by bass guitarist Nils Larsen, keyboard player Odd-Roar Bakken and drummer Anton Larsen (son of Nils) is much more coherent whilst maintaining the high-quality blend of progressive and symphonic rock. You also get a high-value running time in excess of an hour. (A hint if you want to seek more information: if you don’t put “band” after the name, you’ll end up with recommendations for a ‘whole grain biscuit, perfect with brown cheese’!)
The song titles are also a challenge but, with the help of the internet, I’ve translated the selected titles, especially as one of them sounds in (my) English like being assaulted by a naughty habit. I’ll let you work that one out!
The opening track, ‘Demring’ (Dawn) is a calming, orchestral/acoustic/electric band piece that has a gentle majesty about it. ‘Oppbrudd’ (Departure) is a full band epic with synth, organ and guitar combining into an almost Emerson-esque piece of quality with acoustic excursions to keep the variation throughout its seven minutes. The twelve-minute ‘Nunatak’ (a mountain peak protruding above an ice field) moves from prog to church through mediaeval and back again but is always underscored with rock.
‘Ild’ may start with a Purple Hammond, but it deviates into a jaunty and rather excellent ‘song’ with the electric guitar providing the lyrics. The closing track, ‘Føniks’ (Phoenix) probably sums them up best as the rock varies in style across the song: some great guitar, and a killer bass line.
If you like your rock progressive with the occasional slice of symphonic, then you owe it to yourself to check this band out.