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(34:40; Apollon Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Sheik Pt. 1 9:35 2. Sheik Pt. 2 0:32 3. The Last Stand 6:24 4. The Sunwatcher 1:44 5. Golden Comet 7:28 6. Totak 8:27 7. Undertow 0:30 LINEUP: Ole Jorgen Bardal - saxophone Oyvind Nypan - guitars, electronics, soundscapes Per Harald Ottesen (RIP) - bass, guitars, electronics Jan Inge Nilsen - drums, percussion
Prolusion. Norwegian band The Tronosonic Experience have been around since at least 2017, and have four studio albums to their name so far. "The Shadow Vol I" is the third of these albums, and the first of two albums released in 2022 through Norwegian label Apollon Records.
Analysis. If it is the case or not I do not know, but the music on this production comes with multiple reference points to improvised music, to the point that this is how I would categorize this album overall. In a bit more detail I would specify that this is an instrumental variation of the form, and that the music overall fits nicely into a progressive rock tradition. Trademarks of all the proper songs here is a driving bassline that appears to be the main engine throughout, driving and pushing the songs forward and onward in a convincing and appealing manner. Closely tied in with a drummer that knows how to deliver his bits with grace and elegance throughout. Playing on top of this foundation we have guitars and a saxophone, with some electronics and effects added for good measure. The guitar delivers psychedelic and occasionally textured motifs, in the latter aspect adding a slight touch of post-rock to the proceedings, but will also switch to more of a supplemental role delivering riffs. In one instance the guitar will also provide more careful, plucked notes. The saxophone is given much more of a free reign here, switching between atmospheric laden and expressive modes of delivery in a smooth and efficient manner, at times taking the songs straight into a distinctly jazz-oriented orientation. The jazzrock aspect is a constant presence on this production, and comes across as a natural supplement to the core psychedelic and occasional cosmic nature of the music explored here. Whether the band is exploring tight and intense landscapes or soft and elegant atmospheres, the songs will usually feature both psychedelic and jazzrock elements and rarely if ever venture out to focus exclusively on one or the other. The only slight negative some might comment on is that the brief atmospheric interludes spread throughout the album doesn't really add all that much to the album experience. They are functional though, brief moments of different sounding moods to reset the brain for the next run from the band.
Conclusion. The Tronosonic Experience have created an album here that should be of interest to many fans of improvised music in general and improvised progressive rock in particular. The blend of psychedelic rock and jazzrock with the occasional addition of cosmic and post-rock elements is compelling and addictive for those with an existing interest in music of this kind, and will possibly be an album that will win this type of music a few new fans along the way too. If instrumental, improvised psychedelic music and jazzrock are types of music that are deemed interesting, this is an album that merits a closer inspection.
Progmessor: April 2022
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