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Panzerpappa - Koralrevens Klagesang CD (album) cover





4.11 | 51 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars The latest (so far) Panzerpappa release is probably the only one you'll find easily, but rest assured, it's probably their most representative. Our Norwegians are well within the line of fellow Scandinavians Qoph, Ensemble Nimbus, the Samla saga, Uzva and Alammailman Vasarat when it comes to avant- prog , but their music can also be likened to the Québecois school of Miriodor, Rouge Ciel or Interference Sardines or the Belgian trad of Univers Zero, Cro Magnon, Hardscore, Aranis, Julverne and many more. But Panzerpappa is also a certain kind of Canterbury-esque musical spirit, from the early Henry Cow to The Muffins or Supersister or Area, although this second affinity is not quite as determining on their music as is the former. Armed with a bunch of guest musicians (among which Richard Sinclair), with a simple digipack and a naïve fishbowl drawing for artwork, this album gives a rather warm feel to the listener

The first part of the three-part title track starts on a dissonant "bottom of the sea" type of music, but it's just an intro to the second movement which has a much wilder soul, somewhere Crimson and some White Willow or Wobbler-type of Nordic prog (mellotron city), while retaining the typical avant-prog instrumentation. This track together with the following Kenotur and Apraxia are the first apex of the album, dealing some heavy melancholic tracks. Although there are rarely more than four (max five) musicians playing at the same time, you get the impression of much more than that, through the multitude of different instruments used throughout the course of the album and the wild jumpy and quirky songwriting always searching for meanders, detours and shortcuts, giving you ears that dizzyness that progheads yearn for.

After such an hectic and epic trio of tracks, the band then returns to their more traditional grounds (avant-prog) with the short Snill Sang Pa and Etyde with the accordion being a dominant instrument, the latter being the much more interesting of the two. Much in the same line is the Sinclair-sung Vintertake, the album's second apex, with its superb ambiance.

Returning to the more retro-prog sound , Frenetisk Frenologi, is really taking crimson-type of Anekdoten mellotron-laden track, running/mincing it through the Miriodor meat grinder and the resulting is some of the most delicious Panzerpappa avant-prog song, the perfect fusion of the two styles, the song's second part bringing some crunchy "arranged" (read synthesized) guitar riffs to give the "oomph" it needed the but it digresses into a wild and frenetic cavalcade. The third part of the title track is a bit the album outro of the first and second movement, a short sweet folkish, almost-medieval end.

If you're a typical neo-prog and retro-prog fan and have had problems getting in more difficult like RIO, or avant-prog I would propose you two albums that use that typical Scandinavian melancholic retro-prog of Anekdoten, Sinkadus, White Willow (etc.) and use those sonorities on much riskier grounds. Indeed Thinking Plague's In Extremis might get to finally "get" what RIO is about and this very album, Panzerpappa's Koralrevens, should finally allow you to "get" what avant-prog is all about. Be careful with this album, it could have some undesired suide effects and have young discovering Debile Menthol or News From Babvel and a few months later, you'll be selling those horrible TFK or PT albums that you shouldn't have bought in the first place.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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