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Steve Hegede
5 stars I would like to thank Magne Røskaft of Some Progressive Rock from Norway for introducing me to HOST. HOST released two albums in the mid-70s before calling it quits. Their sound combined seventies hard-rock/metal with prog, and Norwegian folk. Both albums are excellent, but "På Sterke Vinger" is my favorite so far. The main reason for that is that many sections remind me of early IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST (Sad Wings of Destiny-era). But "På Sterke Vinger" was released in 1974! Those sections feature MAIDEN-like twin-guitar duels, galloping rhythms, and Harris-like bass playing. The music here is a bit more complex, and less heavy, than MAIDEN, but the similarities are surprising. HOST also enjoyed to mix Norwegian vocals, melodies, and rhythms into their hard-prog sound which sounds very unique. Overall, this is an excellent album that will please early-metal collectors as well as most prog fans.
Report this review (#29021)
Posted Monday, March 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A key band in the development of prog rock in Norway, Host can be a northern version of Uriah Heep's heavy progressive sound. The compositions easily catch the aggressive, rhythmical "incisive" guitar sections of heavy metal, punctuated by typical "rapid" solos of the genre. The progressive section comes from interludes, alternative acoustic arrangements; folk instruments as flute...Vintage organ parts are added to enrich the musical vocabulary of the band. The very high pitch, screaming vocals of the singer is not without reminding me Bruce Dickinson's voice, rather insupportable. However the compositions provided by the ensemble are enough complex and varied to maintain the attention of the listener. Head bangers will love it! For others it's an interesting listening but absolutely not a prog masterpiece, sorry!
Report this review (#59738)
Posted Thursday, December 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Simply one of the best Norwegian albums ever! All of the songs have an extremely high standard, no dead-points. The musicianship on this album is very good, and so are the vocals too. You can in fact almost hear some Iron Maiden types of music on this album. although this album came out a couple of years before Maiden's debut. I love this album, and I would recommend it to anybody.
Report this review (#69954)
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Truly a fascinating release from yet another overlooked band out of the 70's. Høst played twin-guitarleads a couple of years ahead of Iron Maiden, so one could say they had their roots in full-fledged hard rock. Combine that with the operatic vocalwork from Geir Jahren and the folky melodies composed by S. Rønning and you got the groove that is "På Sterke Vinger". They also managed to sneak in a couple of timesignature changes here and there just to spice up the whole mix, and they pull it off with a lot of credibility. The musicianship is outstanding. Knut R. Lie and Bernt Bodahl really secured the heavy foundation. You will find that type of evidence on track 6, "Samhold", where they groove on a heavy riff played in 7/8 time. "Fattig, men Fri" (poor but free) displays a little bit what the band was about in lyrical terms. This is indeed a heavy bohemian rock anthem. The lyrical content is about a man telling the world that he would rather be a lonely drifter without having materialistic objects like money. This lyrical concept can be found throughout the whole album.

My personal highlight on this album has got to be Satans Skorpe. A neverending groove with a highpitched howl from Geir Jahren at the end of the track. Truly an excellent hard rock track.

This album won't get full score from me, mostly because of "I Ly Av Mørket" and "Dit Vi Må". They aren't exactly fillers, but they fail to outconquer the great melodies which can be found on the other tracks. An excellent addition to any prog music collection! I would recommend this album to prog rockers, people who listen to metal and to the hard rock fans.

Truly a lost gem!

If I were to recommend similiar music out of Norway, I would say Popol Vuh (they later changed their name to Popol Ace). Their leadvocalist was Jahn Teigen who wields the same type of vocalstyle as Geir Jahren did. The music of Popol Vuh/Ace is quite a different story as they nod their heads a little bit more to the krautrockscene in Germany.

Report this review (#100340)
Posted Saturday, November 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. I love this band ! I really didn't think of IRON MAIDEN as some others have mentioned, but yeah they have twin lead guitars and a bassist who you can't ignore if you know what I mean.The vocals are in Norwegian and are excellent. I'm actually glad he sings in his own language, it sounds amazing ! And the drummer is so impressive.The truth is that this band could play with anybody.They're all gun slingers. I have their second and final release which is also a killer album but I like this one a little more.

"Fattig Men Fri" opens with 30 seconds of fury before it settles down as reserved vocals come in. I thought I heard mellotron but it's "string ensemble". The one guitarist also plays moog, clavinet, organ, and grand piano. Nice guitar solo after 3 minutes as well. Awesome opener and probably my favourite. "For Sent A Angre" opens with guitars as bass and drums join in followed by vocals. I really like the drumming on this one. More excellent guitar after 1 1/2 minutes. "I Ly Av Morket" opens with piano as drums then reserved vocals arrive. Tasteful guitar after 3 minutes. This is fairly mellow overall and my least favourite.

"Satans Skorpe" starts off slowly but gets better as it goes. Some vocal harmonies in this one too. Great sound after 1 1/2 minutes as it gets heavier. Guitar solo a minute later and check out the chunky bass. The tempo picks up late as the guitar rips it up. "Dit Vi Ma" is just so impressive, just sitting back and listening to these guys play is a joy. Nice fat bass in this one and some blistering guitar. "Samhold" is more aggresiive with some killer bass. Vocals a minute in. Scorching guitar after 2 minutes. The vocals really shine on this one. "Pa Sterke Vinger" opens with guitar as passionate vocals with floating background organ comes in. Very melodic guitar leads on this one. The ground shaking bass before 5 minutes is joined by guitar and drums.They seem to just jam at this point. Nice.The guitar lights it up after 7 minutes. Vocals are back a minute after that.

My kind of music ! A must for fans of Heavy Prog.

Report this review (#204309)
Posted Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars This group sings in norway his native language which gives it a plus. "Me Fattig fri" The first song is very sweet, very beautiful guitar melody, heavy rock is present, with a touch of progressive rock interesting. "For a Angre feels" very very short under way. "I ly av marquet" a slow dance with a style identical to the first ever title. The guitarist made his talk his pure enough, also close to Guitar Hero, without forgetting the keys of keyboards very light and a beautiful song. "Satans Skorve", the guitar is clearly highlighted with a beautiful delivery, the song is still under control, still slightly progressive form of heavy boogie, synthesizer sounds very light but the point .. "vi told me" the guitarist Svein Ronning always placed in a leader with the song also exists and also very good quality. "Samhold" repeats the same cliche at this time the album may be suffering from a lack of variation, a lack of progressivity as well. "Pe Sterke Vinger" the title gives its name to the album is more refined, more airy.
Report this review (#238866)
Posted Saturday, September 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Høst came from the small town of Knapstad in Norway, originally formed in 1971 by guitarist/songwriter Svein Rønning, bassist Johnny Myhre and drummer Stig Berg.Myhre left the group at its early days and three new members joined, Bernt Bodahl (bass), Ronny Gyllensten (guitars) and Geir Jahren (vocals).In 1973 the band started gaining fame through local live gigs, but again two line-up changes occured, Berg and Gyllensten left and were replaced by Knut R. Lie and Odd Inge Olsen respectively, tha last one replaced by Lasse Nilsen just before the group entered the studio for the first time.At the fall of 74' the group recorded its debut ''Pa sterke vinger'' at Arctic Studios in Trondheim, released on the On label.

With two guitarist in the line-up the sound of Høst was built around the twin guitar leads of Rønning and Nilsen, while their style drew influences from British Hard Prog and Progressive Rock with a bit of a Scandinavian character on the poetic Norwegian vocals.To my ears the group sounds a lot like BLACK SABBATH jamming with KAIPA and THIN LIZZY.The tracks are not very complex, featuring extended guitar leads with some nice solos, measured organ and piano parts, while the good vocals of Jahren are also a basic component of the group's sound.The structures are rather simplistic with standard choruses, yet the overall approach is quite irritating with changing guitar themes and some good alternating tempos.The long eponymous closer is another story.Clocking at 10 minutes this composition is based on the shifting changes between melodic guitar parts ala KERRS PINK, poetic vocals in the vein of KAIPA and more doomy explorations in the vein of BLACK SABBATH.There are also some nice bass lines to be found around the middle, the presence of keyboards remains rather discreet, while the epic multi-vocal choirs at the end are pretty exciting.

The album has been reissue on CD by Pan Records, so anyone can listen to this work, which sounds sometimes close to the Proto-Metal sound of SCORPIONS.Nice and recommended effort.

Report this review (#930126)
Posted Friday, March 15, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Höst only made two albums and after that I have heard their first one I could already say that was a shame. They came from Indre Östfold fylke in Norway and this is their debut album: "På sterke vinger" which came the year of 1974 two years after their second and last record. The cover of the album are totally lovely. It shows the five band- mebers standing in front of a surrealistic autumn background. Here we have the hounour to meet Geir Morgan Jahren(vocals), Lasse Nilsen(guitar), Bernt Bodahl(bass), Knut R Lie(drums, vocals) and Svein Rönning(guitar, clavinet, organ, string ensemble, mini-moog, flute and vocals). The album is short so you can listen to the lovelyness many times in a row.

Well, this is awesome music in every way and it's a cult record among fans of the seventies rock in Scandinavia. It contains some really spectacular songs of the class of masterpieces. "Fattig men fri" is an agitating anthem which starts everything. Directly I was caught by the great vocals of Jahren and the skillful musicians that did so many innovative stuff(10/10). The title track is also as lovely as it should be: "På sterke vinger" is a hard rock song, but it is progressive in every aspect and the viruosity shines through it all(10/10). It's the very best song on the album and also the best Norwegian song I have heard. It is wonderful that the band sings in Norwegian, one of the best languages actually. Even English singing Norwegian bands have a lot to be proud of I know. "Satans skorpe" and "Dit vi må"(both 9/10) are also almost perfected abnd the other three songs are more than good as well.

"Höst" (autumn/fall) plays progressive hard rock which appeal to me more than for example Rush does and the have earned their reputation of one of Norway's best bands. The music is lead by the clear guitars and the strong hard rock vocals, but this is not agressive and too heavy music. It is fine and withdrawn at the same time. Then I wonder why I hold back my five stars. My song to song rating ends at 4.43 and I believe I will higher my rating. Right now though I don't feel the album is so coherent and constant awesome that five is fair but this is, dear progers as close as five stars a four star rating will come. A realy good album! Best song: "På sterke vinger"

Report this review (#1299990)
Posted Sunday, November 2, 2014 | Review Permalink

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