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Ragnarok - Nooks CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.72 | 31 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Ragnarok is one of the few bands to come out of New Zealand in the 70's, they are a 4 piece band, where two of them plays the synths, so you can imagine their sound, said that this is not keys dominated sound like ELP, the band incorporates acoustic guitars and electric synth guitar too, so this is pretty diverse sounding. Although listed here as psychedelic this is quite symphonic at times, it's not space rock with slow rhythms but fairly rocky with upbeat rhythms pretty often. Their music often resembles Pink Floyd and some Hawkwind too, but they definitely have their own twist. The band's relying heavily on their synths and mellotron arsenal and provides some delicious textures and some beautiful psychedelic tones. Vocals are also good and have a rich sound since they all sing, and when they are not singing like Pink Floyd they are quite spacey. Bass and drums are great especially the drums having a good sound, the playing is tight and very focused. Sound quality is very good and i really like their style, but i can't help but think this could have been better, some songs are fine just the way they are, but some does not lift where they should, leaving a few tracks fairly mediocare.

'Five New years' is the opener, it's a melancholic song filled with analog synths and nice vocals, but it doesn't really holds anything more, except for that cool sounding. 'Waterfall - Capt. Fogg' is actually two different songs, it starts out quite nicely and then gets more serious and intense, i like that, all the band members contribute to the intricate rhythm, very good guitars, and excellent drums and bass, after they are done with that, nothing is stoping them to go to a completely different song within the same one, it changes to no less but a bluesy hoochie coochie song with fuzzy guitars and a fast rhythm, some would say this is out of place but i seem to like it. 'Fourteenth Knock' is an instrumental and maybe my favorite, it's spacey and have quite a fusiony feel, very cool bass line and spacey synths, very notable are the drums holding a good rhythm with the addition of percussions, superb stuff. 'Paths of Reminiscence' seems like it was inspired by the acoustic songs from Ummagumma, it doesn't really fit well with the rest of the album. 'The Volsung' is good getting intense towards the end incorporating a cool switching sounds solo on the synth guitar. 'Semolina' is a ballad lying on their good vocals but it actually fails to reach anywhere. 'Nooks' is another instrumental and maybe suppose to be the album's most ambitious track, as it goes by a few different moods, from spacey to more intense sounding to symphonic, the playing is great and there are some fine moments but again it doesn't rise to greater hights or nail you while you are waiting for it.

Nooks is a good album that suffers from a mediocare songwriting at times, the band have all the right ingredients to make it, and produce a better album, and i wish they have. Although there are plenty of synths, this should appeal to a wider audience since there's a lot more going on. Having said all that, this is still worth checking out. 3.4 to be exact.

Sagichim | 3/5 |


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