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Grand General - Grand General CD (album) cover


Grand General


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.87 | 34 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Norway seems to be the latest hot-spot these days when it comes to Progressive music and certainly the "Rune Grammofon label is helping in that regard. GRAND GENERAL was originally called the KENNETH KAPSTAD GROUP as they formed to play at a Jazz festival in Norway. They decided to change their name to GRAND GENERAL and this is their self-titled debut from 2013. Kenneth Kapstad by the way is the drummer for MOTORPSYCHO which is also on the "Rune Grammofon" label along with such bands as SHINING, ELEPHANT9, KROKOFANT, PANZERPAPPA and many more. GRAND GENERAL features members that have either "Metal" backgrounds or contemporary Jazz backgrounds. The music at times reminds me of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA especially with the violin being so prominant, and ELEPHANT9 came to mind at times.

"Antics" is the longest tune at 12 1/2 minutes and it opens with this raw sounding guitar as the violin joins in with cymbals then bass as it builds. Things pick up after 1 1/2 minutes as they continue to jam. A heavier vibe arrives just before 3 minutes then the organ joins in bringing to mind ELEPHANT9. Some excellent drum work here. The violin starts to lead then it's the guitars turn then the organ as they continue to jam heavily. What an intense and heavy opening number. "The Fall Of Troy" has a heavy and melodic intro then it settles into a really good groove with the violin playing over top. Again the drumming is outstanding. The guitar comes to the fore 2 1/2 minutes in then the violin is back leading a minute later. The guitar is lighting it up 5 1/2 minutes in. "Clandestine" has this sparse beginning that slowly builds. Love the restraint here that really recalls MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA as it seems like it's going to break-out but it never really does. A stunning piece.

"Tachyon" has a punchy rhythm to it then the violin joins in after 1 1/2 minutes playing over top. Keyboards replace the violin a minute later. Here comes the violin again after 3 1/2 minutes ripping it up. It calms down some around 5 minutes but still sounds amazing. "Ritual" is my favourite and it has this eerie atmosphere to start as random sounds come and go in an experimental manner. It starts to become melodic 2 1/2 minutes in as the drums and violin create a groove. The guitar joins in as well as we get a solid Jazz/Fusion flavour. "Red Eye" has a good groove to it with fuzzed out bass. It does settle back some before 3 minutes as the violin solos over top. Again the drumming is outstanding. The violinist is really putting on a show here then the guitar replaces the violin after 5 1/2 minutes. The violin is back after 9 minutes then a big finish.

Fans of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and ELEPHANT9 really should check this band out as they are incredible. A very solid 4 stars, maybe closer to 4.5 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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