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UNDERJORDISK TUSMØRKE

Tusmørke

Prog Folk


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Tusmørke Underjordisk Tusmørke album cover
3.78 | 47 ratings | 6 reviews | 38% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fimbul (6:26)
2. Watching the Moon Sail Out of the East (7:53)
3. The Quintessence of Elements (6:00)
4. A Young Man & His Woman (4:56)
5. A Nightmare's Just a Dream (7:37)
6. Høstjevndøgn (7:53)

Total Time: 40:45

Bonus tracks on 2012 CD release:
7. Salomonsens hage (5:03)
8. Singers & Swallows (4:20)
9. Ode on Dawn (as Les Fleurs du Mal) (17:28)

Line-up / Musicians

- Benedikt Momrak "Benediktator" / vocals, Rickenbacker 4001 bass, guitar, percussion +
- Jon Østvedal "Deadly Nightshade" / Rhodes MkII, Elkapiano 88, spinet, Mellotron
- Kristoffer Momrak "Krizla" / vocals, flute, percussion
- Martin Nordrum Kneppen "Hlewagastir" / drums, percussion

With:
- Lars Fredrik Frøislie / Chamberlin (1,4), Mellotron (1,2,5-8), Solina String Ensemble (1), Arp Axxe (1,5), Hohner clavinet (1,6), spinet (2,6), Korg CX3 (2-5), Optigan (2,5), glockenspiel (5), Hammond (6), MiniMoog (3,4,6-8), musical box & whistling (4), cymbal & guitar (6), Tremoloa & Marxophone (7,8)
- Andreas Strømman Wettergren Prestmo / harmony vocals (1,2,4), vocals & bass (9), arranger & co-producer
- Henrik Harmer / drums (9)
- Trond Egil Aasen / keyboards (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Camilla Kloster

LP Termo Records ‎- TERMOLP011 (2012, Norway)

CD Termo Records ‎- TERMOCD011 (2012, Norway) With 3 bonus tracks

FLAC download - bandcamp.com

Thanks to [email protected] for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TUSMØRKE Underjordisk Tusmørke ratings distribution


3.78
(47 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
38%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
36%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

TUSMØRKE Underjordisk Tusmørke reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Underjordisk Tusmørke' - Tusmørke (8/10)

Perhaps as far as the 'traditional' sound of progressive rock goes, I might argue that the mantle was passed from Britain to Scandinavia somewhere in the 90's. Certainly, there are more American progressive bands nowadays, but Sweden and particularly Norway have earned the title for the sheer concentration of high quality 'vintage' prog rock that has come out of the Viking lands over the past couple of decades. Tusmørke (Norwegian for Twilight) is a relatively new name on the scene, although the musicians are already well established in the modern progressive canon. With musicians from Momrakattakk, Wobbler, and Arabrot, fans of Norway's prog scene will no doubt hear some familiar sounds on "Underjordisk Tusmørke". Many bands have attempted to go for the nary-obtainable classic sound and atmosphere of the legendary seventies albums and fail, but Tusmørke bring the richly organic sound of the past era to 2012. Combine that with clever compositions and slick musicianship, and you have one of the strongest vintage prog rock albums of the year.

Vintage, vintage, vintage. From the first time hearing "Fimbul"- the album's opener- it was the only word that came to find. It wasn't merely as a result of the folkish, psychedelic musical style either; Tusmørke take the seventies spirit to heart with the production as well. The recording sounds freshly ripped off of a long-forgotten vinyl in an obscure record store, providing a sense of sonic clarity while still managing to stay true to the analog sound. "Underjordisk Tusmørke" effectively combines many sounds of the Jethro Tull-led folkish progressive movement with spacey overtones and light jazz flourishes. Particularly with regards to the mid-range vocal work and heavy flute presence, Tusmørke fit somewhere in between Jethro Tull and Focus. Throughout the album, there is the sense that Tusmørke prefer to emulate, rather than adopt a sound of their own. Of course, originality was certainly not the first thing on the band's mind. More adventurous listeners may be put off by Tusmørke's intrinsically retrogressive approach to prog, but their execution makes it more than worth the experience.

Tusmørke's atmosphere is rooted deep within fantasy. Although nostalgia is the primary emotional drive here, there is a decidedly spooky quality about the music, as if Tusmørke sought to plunge their listener down the rabbit hole. The lyrics- mostly in English- reinforce this 'unknown fantasy realm' mood; "The Quintessence of Elements" focuses in on the subject of alchemy, whereas "A Nightmare's Just A Dream" can speak its piece with the song title alone. There is a satisfying depth to the compositions; Tusmørke tend to let the warmly arranged vocals and showy flutework dominate the music's forefront, but the real joy of Tusmørke lies in the background. The drummer (listed as HlewagastiR) lives up to the high expectations I had from his work in Wobbler, and delivers the highlight performance of the album, infusing jazzy rolls into a precise and technical style of rock percussion.

On top of the album-proper, there are three bonus tracks included. Although "Underjordisk" would have felt overdrawn had they been included in the album, they generally manage to hold up to the par of the studio material, with the would-be epic "Ode on Dawn" showing great promise. Sadly, these bonus tracks are never given the same attention and care in recording that the main album is, although the potential is certainly left open for these pieces to be on the band's tentative second record. These Norwegians have not explored any new territory here, instead developing upon what has been built up in the past. The golden quality of Tusmørke lies in the wonderful execution they have given their work. Vintage-inclined 'progressive' rock is nothing new, but it's rare that a band manages to refine their studio art to genuinely analog-glory. It's a great trip, and for lovers of this genre's roots, it would be a shame to pass this up.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ian Anderson playing with The Moody Blues. Richard Sinclair palying with Genesis. Arthur Brown playing with early King Crimson. Camel playing Canterbury. Imagine those combinations and you get a feel for the songs coming from this album. A Richard Sinclair-like vocalist singing over the presence of flutes, Hammond organ, and a kind of militaristic early-Genesis-/Michael Giles-like drumming--it all connotes "retro!" Though Tusmørke has done quite an admirable job blending the styles and sounds of earliest prog rock, they have, IMHO, fallen a bit short in terms of "meat" or, rather, substance. There's just not enough interesting, engaging, mind-blowing new music here to keep the listener coming back.

What follows are my impressions of where these songs sound like they originate as well as my usual ratings.

1. "FImbul" (6:29) JETHRO TULL (6/10)

2. "Watching the Moon Sail out of the " (5:59) CARAVAN + GENESIS (7/10)

3. "The Quintessence of Elements" (7:53) early KING CRIMSON + ARTHUR BROWN (7/10)

4. "A Young Man and His Woman" (5:00) ARTHUR BROWN + J TULL (7/10)

5. "A Nightmare's Just a Dream" (7:39) J TULL + MOODY BLUES (7/10)

6. "Hostjevndogn" (7:50) (sung in Swedish) BLACK SABBATH (7/10)

7. "Salomonsens Hage" (5:03) (sung in Swedish) in the second half we get some Hackett-like volume controlled electric guitar. (7/10)

8. "Singers & Swallows" (4:16) CAMEL + CARAVAN with a J TULL ending. (8/10)

9. "Ode on Dawn" (17:28) Is almost embarrassing. Did the group compose and record this one on their first day together? Back in sixth grade? (5/10)

Excellent recreation of many key sounds from the dawn of prog rock--and all composed and performed at a very high level of competency. What seems to be lacking, however, is within each song there is not enough variation and development, the songs seem to plod along far too long without really exciting or hooking the listener in. There is excellent clarity of all instruments, great players all, but the soloing (or lack of) coupled with interminable repetition tend make the songs grow old quickly. The music throughout lacks those emotional, adrenaline-pumping soli, dynamic key and tempo changes that make us want to come back. However, this is a band I will watch: They could mature to the next level in which they could produce something enduring and original. Talented ears, talented instrumentalists, ambitious composers. Keep on progging!

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars From Norway comes Tusmørke meaning Twilight in english is a new band in prog circles, but the musicians involved here are already quite known in this field. The band initialy was called Les Fleurs de Mal and was one of the bands from the '90's with potential conducted by Momrak brothers. The voice of Les Fleurs de Mal - Andreas Prestmo will become the future voice of Wobbler , while Momrak brothers will change the name in Tusmorøke. The first album was released in fall on 2012 and was named Underjordisk Tusmørke meaning Subterranean Twilight. The music offered is progressive folk with some psychedelic passages, very retro in sound, very similar with Jethro Tull (Stand Up or Benefit era) or with Incredible String Band but with that typical nordic feel with a more darker atmosphere. Some great parts here like on first 2 pieces, Fimbul and Watching the moon sail out of the east, great voice aswell and very nice flute parts. Another highlight is The quintesence of elements againa very well performed prog folk tune where the voice and the flute are very well melted with some keyboards, very nice. A nice album with pleasent moments for sure, the psychedelic moments are well integrated in the prog folk passages giving in the end a sound similar with bands from circa 1972, only the production betrays the year of release. 3 stars rounded to 3.5. The CD version has 6 pieces, plus 2 bonuses and one tune from Les Fleurs de Mal period.

Review by Progfan97402
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars A great new discovery for me. Tusmørke was apparently formed in the 1990s, at one point they were going by the name of Les Fleurs de Mal in which future Wobbler vocalist Andreas Prestmo was a member of.

Underjordisk Tusmørke is their first full release, released on Termo who released the last two Wobbler CDs. Warning: this stuff might not appeal to the symphonic prog crowd, aside from the bonus cut, "Ode on Dawn", an old Les Fleurs de Mal recording that is full-on symphonic prog. The rest is basically retro psychedelic folk prog, it's rather song-based. There is a strong Nordic feel in the music, and in fact often reminds me of a Nordic Jethro Tull, especially the flute playing. I also get reminded a bit of the British group Purson, a retro psychedelic act lead by Rosalie Cunningham, except there's no female vocals, it's all male vocals, sung in English with an accent, although there are two songs in their native Norwegian. I've heard references to Camel and Caravan, but I really don't notice that. I do notice the occasional Canterbury-type fuzz organ. The music also gets me thinking of Wobbler's last release Rites at Dawn, but not symphonic. It helps that none other than Lars Fredrik Frøislie of Wobbler and White Willow makes an appearance here providing Moog, Hammond organ, Mellotron, and Chamberlin M1 (he bought the Chamberlin from an American seller on eBay, and as far as anyone knows, I'm sure Lars included, the only Chamberlin in Norway). This would have been the perfect release for Rise Above Records, although that label had specialized in heavy metal for years, the last several years they've been including several retro-psych and prog acts on their roster including Astra, Purson, and Diagonal. But thanks to the Wobbler connection, it's little surprise it was released on Termo. This is full of great songs like "Fimbul", "A Young Man and His Woman", "The Quintessence of Elements" and "Høstjevndøgn". There are also three bonus cuts, one of them the wonderful "Salomonsens Hage" and "Ode on Dawn". "Ode on Dawn", at 17 minutes, dates back when they called Les Fleurs de Mal. They go full-on prog, and without a doubt they owned a Mellotron which they put to good use here. As mentioned before, current Wobbler vocalist Andreas Prestmo was in this early incarnation, and it certainly sounds like him! The music is something like Yes, King Crimson, and perhaps Sinkadus. The sound quality isn't the greatest though, it has a more demo cassette quality to it. But it would have been nice if they recorded albums then, if anything else they recorded was on the level of "Ode on Dawn", they'd be hailed as another great retro Scandinavian prog of the 1990s (maybe not up there with Änglagård, after all, what is, but still great).

Update: since doing this update, I discovered a few things about Tusmørke that I didn't know about when they first blew me away in 2013. Drummer HlewagastiR is actually none other than Martin Nordrum Kneppen of Wobbler, basically the band consists of two Wobbler members, so this is basically a Wobbler-related band. The core of the band consists of the Momrak brothers Krizla (Kristoffer) and Benedikt (Benediktator). Getting blown away by this band, I am happy to see as of the end of 2017 they still around cranking out great albums, and unlike Wobbler, they don't have to make us wait years for a new release, so I'm under the impression Tusmørke being a place for Lars and Martin to go to when it seems to take years for Wobbler to come up with a new composition, never mind a new album (as of this typing, the wait is over, now they came up with From Silence to Somewhere at the time Tusmørke came up with the children's album Bydyra, and Tusmørke came up with another album earlier in the same year with Hinsides which is more lightweight in places and pretty doomy in other parts, and nothing like Bydyra, of course). Also when I hear Underjordisk Tusmørke, I expect the band to break into an excerpt of Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King". Didn't happen here, but they did, on flute, on "Ekebergkongen" on their 2016 release Ført Bak Lyset.

Some of the prog purists might not take to this, given it's more melodic and straightforward approach, but then this is basically psychedelic prog folk (they later did more complex material, like the title track to Riset Bak Speiler and a good portion of Hinsides especially "Sankt Sebastiens Alter"). For me this is nothing short of amazing, something from 2012 that sounded like it came out in 1970 (aside from the occasional synths which are more mid '70s sounding). I can't believe stuff like this is still being made. Makes you glad there are artists out there who detest AutoTune. Also you can tell these guys are hardly keen on groups like Marillion or the Flower Kings. Highly recommended for those who want more great retro psychedelic folk prog!

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The roots of this odd Norwegian band can be traced back in 1994 in Skien, evolving from the Psych outfit Captain Cumulonimbus and his Wondrous Cloudship, where Benedikt Momrak and Krizla played together.Tusmorke started as a Medieval Folk acoustic trio, developing into Electric Tusmorke in 1996 with the addition of future Wobbler member Andreas Prestmo on bass and into Les Fleurs Du Mal in 1997.After a short history full of live shows and a demo they split up with Benedikt Momrak and Krizla returning to their studies.More than ten years later the duo met with drummer HlewagastiR and Wobbler's Lars Fredrik Froislie and decided to rebirth Tumorske.Initially with Svenno on percussion and Reggie on keyboards, both replaced later by keyboardist Deadly Nightshade, they recorded their debut ''Underjordisk tusmorke'' at LFF Studio in Honefos at the fall of 2011, guided by the experience and instrumental help of Froislie.The album was released in November 2012 on Termo Records both in CD and vinyl format.

Tusmorke started basically as a Retro/Prog Folk band with strong references to the sound of the energetic side of JETHRO TULL, where Medieval rock experimentations met with Heavy Rock pounding and dark, psychedelic tunes.Lots of driving flute parts, psych-spiced guitars and rhythmic vocals with an IAN ANDERSON vibe complete a vintage-styled approach, backed up by a consistent rhythm section.Music performed under groovy flute-led ideas and tight executions.But the Norwegians offer more than this.They incorporated the sound of Mellotron deep into their sound and they even added some synths, electric piano and harsichord in moments to deliver extremely rich and semi-personal Folk Rock, only comparable with WHITE WILLOW.The vocal arrangements are excellent and the instrumental moves are played with passion and dynamics, while the combination of folky soundscapes with the sharp edges of Heavy/Psychedelic Rock is quite interesting and even genuine, especially when the Mellotron washes come in evidence.

While the LP issue is great and definitely interesting for all vinyl collectors, the CD contains a bonus of three stunning tracks.The first two were issued in 2011 as a 7'' vinyl by Fresh Tea in only 200 copies, featuring incredible Scandinavian Heavy/Folk Rock with both English and Norwegian lyrics and an absolutely original mix of flute-powered Prog Rock with Mellotron, strings and synthesizers, creating a very dramatic enviroment.But the most surprising piece comes from the 17-min. ''Ode on dawn'', released as a demo back in 1997 by Les Fleurs Du Mal, a great Scandinavian Prog Rock epic with a dramatic tone, not dissimilar to ANEKDOTEN, MORTE MACABRE or LANDBERK, with less pronounced flute work and more evident symhponic tendencies due to the omnipresent Mellotron and the definite KING CRIMSON influence in the guitar workouts.Nice and lengthy piece with melodramatic vocals and extremely powerful bass work.

The vinyl issue of ''Underjordisk tusmorke'' is respectable and partially inventive Heavy/Folk Rock with tight songwriting, retro nuances and an impressive level of energy, coming along the lines of JETHRO TULL and WHITE WILLOW, the CD offering is simply more than this, a documentary of Tusmorke's history with a more varied sound on ''Ode on dawn'' and a pair of stunning extra pieces.No matter which one you select, this debut by the Norwegians hippies is strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This was the debut for this Norwegian band released in 2012. Quite a vocal dominated affair really but with some killer instrumental work throughout. If it wasn't so heavy on the vocals I would be considering a higher rating. Still I went from being kind of amused with what I heard after the first couple of listens to not being able to wait to play this album once again. Very melodic and catchy throughout. This band formed from the ashes of LES FLEURS DU MAL who never released an album but we do get a 17 1/2 minute bonus track by them that is the best song on this recording and it doesn't sound much like the same band as we get Andreas the current vocalist for WOBBLER singing and a much more Swedish sound in my opinion with the mellotron, guitar, upfront bass and melancholic sound. I agree with Andy from Planet Mellotron that this bonus track is almost worth the price of admission alone.

I don't usually even comment on bonus tracks unless they are exceptional and there's another one by TUSMORKE called "Singers & Swallows" that would be second favourite track on here, go figure. The main album features plenty of vintage keyboard work from WOBBLER's own Lars Fredrik Froislie as he brings in mellotron, spinet, chamberlin, clavinet, organ, synths, glockenspiel, musical box and the kitchen sink. He also produced and recorded it. Again the main album has lots of vocals, harmonies and catchy choruses which usually isn't my thing but I was won over fairly quickly. The album's title means "Subterranean Twilight" and this is a mellotron album for sure.

"Fimbul" is catchy with flute over top then the vocals join in. Shades of mellotron and chamberlin too along with synths. I like when it calms down after 2 minutes with mellotron, bass then flute. Reserved vocals join in along with keys. It all kicks back in around 3 1/2 minutes. Another calm with vocal melodies after 4 1/2 minutes which sounds really good.

"Watching The Moon Fall Out Of The East" has this excellent melancholic intro with flute, mellotron and more as these relaxed vocals join in. This is a top four track for me. Reminds me of SINKADUS and ANGLAGARD actually during the more laid back sections. Love when it picks up as well 4 minutes in especially that rickenbacker bass. We get flute, guitar, drums and more. It picks up even more late with vocals and vocal melodies. What a song!

"The Quintessence Of Elements" has melancholic flute to start as bass, drums and more take over with vocals. Catchy and melodic and we get organ on the chorus. A beautiful instrumental section starts after 2 minutes then it picks up before the vocals return. "Young Man & His Woman" is very uptempo and vocal led with plenty of flute and organ. I like when it settles down after a minute without vocals. It kicks back in and we get vocal melodies here and some passion in those vocals too. Themes are repeated.

"A Nightmare's Just A Dream" is laid back to start with flute, prominent bass and a beat as the vocals join in. It turns fuller a minute in, in fact it gets quite intense really. It settles again as contrasts continue. Check out the mellotron before 2 1/2 minutes and that incredible section starting before 6 minutes instrumentally. Love that bass!

"Hostjevndogn" features vocals in their native language and this is a top four song for me as well. It's more relaxed with drums and flute standing out to start then reserved vocals join in. Man that instrumental section sounds so good beginning 3 minutes in and ending around 4 1/2 minutes. This song reminds me of SINKADUS. "Singers & Swallows" one of the three bonus tracks is a top four. A chilled tune really with flute, a beat, upfront bass and more. Such a beautiful track. Some nice vocal melodies along with mellotron too.

"Ode On Dawn" is a classic and as I said in the intro I want more! Hopefully there is more archival material from this early incarnation of the band under the name LES FLEURS DU MAL. The percussion gallops along early on with the sound of wind as the flute arrives. The percussion ends but not the wind or flute. Vocals from Andreas before 1 1/2 minutes along with mellotron, bass, guitar and some brief spoken words. Flute, a beat and mellotron kick in too and what a great sound as it builds with that in your face bass. Vocals are back 5 minutes in as it settles with lots of mellotron and bass. A calm with wind before 7 1/2 minutes as the drums and bass build. Guitar joins in along with flute. So good! Vocals are back before 13 minutes but again like the first two times they don't last long as the guitar, bass and drums lead. So Swedish sounding with that mellotron. The percussion gallops away to end this stone cold classic.

So not counting the bonus tracks a solid 4 stars and an enjoyable release.

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