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Tusmørke - Osloborgerlig Tusmørke ~ Vardøger og Utburder Vol. 1 ~ CD (album) cover



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4 stars One can't expect ordinary things from a far-from-ordinary band as Norway's Tusmorke. The fact that is the second album they release in the same year and, mostly, that Osloborgerlig Tusmorke: Vardoger og Utburder Volume 1 is consisted of 'curios', demos, outtakes and songs that weren't qualified for previous ones, would be more than enough to not anticipate a remarkable outcome. Let's be honest, albums of previously 'unwanted' material usually address to diehard fans only. Surprisingly, Tusmorke took a very special care of this material in order to present a solid and coherent album and they succeeded this beyond any doubt.

The first way to achieve this was by creating a conceptual basis for all the songs. As a result, this is a loose but a real concept album, one that explores the history and myths of the beautiful city of Oslo. It's a simple but very clever way to thematically unify songs that could otherwise be unrelated. This idea is especially assisted by Tusmorke' s musical style which actually reminds or remains strongly bonded with the notion of an undefined past.

Respectively, their musical approach furthermore projects that eerie and elusive sense of times bygone. There are no new elements added to their established progressive folk style but this album's perspective seems to be focusing slightly more to the folky angle of their music. For example, only 3 tracks feature standard drums while the majority is based on percussion. There are very few distorted keyboards and as a result, minimum electric guitar imitation (which is something like a trademark for the band) and the whole vibes are more laid back, colourful, cheerful even in cases like ''Djeveren fra Oslo''. It seems that some of the darker sides of Tusmorke were left behind for this album but that feeling of magic and mystery remained intact.

The vibes from Tusmorke' s music is always eccentric albeit their songwriting feels normal and solid. Their eccentricity lies in the fact that, unlike many other 70s-inspired bands, Tusmorke don't sound like reproducing or copying sounds they love. There is truly something timeless that follows them instead, the collective energy of a band that convinces the listener they are trapped in a timespace of their own, like a mythical psych/prog/folk rock of an alternative reality. Tusmorke would be equally 'outsiders of great value' 40 years ago as they are in the present.

The quintessence of Osloborgerlig Tusmorke: Vardoger og Utburder Volume 1 hides in its wonderful arrangements. As already said, the compositions are melody-oriented and they hold no surprises, twists or turns. They invest on the sonic warmth instead, with excellent use of keyboards (with some of the best key instruments of all time as always) and especially wind instruments. And while the flute is a protagonist throughout the album, it's the marvelous voice of the clarinets that steals the show. The 11 minutes of the final track ''Gamle Aker Kirke'' prove my claim, in a composition that has to be considered the album's highlight.

A truly unexpected album, as the odds seemed to be against it, Osloborgerlig Tusmorke: Vardoger og Utburder Volume 1 showcases once more that Tusmorke is one of those bands which, while bringing nothing new to prog music, carry a very strong personality instead. The listener can be convinced and this is what actually matters. And as Oslo waits the travelers to solve its riddle, a riddle formed among drakkars, modern architecture, fancy clubs and gloomy gothic cathedrals, Tusmorke just add to the mystery. They add that distant echo that comes from somewhere deep in Oslo's woods, wherever these might be.

Report this review (#2078995)
Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2018 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Norwegian band TUSMORKE has been a going concern for more than 20 years, but haven't really established themselves as recording artists until the past five years or thereabouts. They have been a creative band for the past few years though, and following their 2012 debut album they now have seven full length studio albums to their name. "Osloborgerlig Tusmorke" is the most recent of these, and is the second studio album released by the band in 2018.

Tusmorke is a band that have many sides to them, and on this particular occasion they have assembled a collection of tunes that celebrate the spirit of vintage era progressive folk rock and vintage era symphonic progressive rock blended into and alternating with the earthen and pastoral landscapes explored. Timeless progressive rock with a vintage feel to it, and with a clear orientation to the folkier parts of the progressive rock universe. An album well worth a check if this is a description that strikes you as interesting.

Report this review (#2169749)
Posted Saturday, March 30, 2019 | Review Permalink

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