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Annot Rhül

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Annot Rhül Leviathan album cover
3.97 | 116 ratings | 4 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Leviathan Suite (13:54) :
- i) The Traveller, part I
- ii) The Sailors, part I
- iii) In Limbo at 5000 Fathoms
- iv) Maybe they Sailed out Too Far?
- v) Between Scylla and Charybdis
- vi) The Sailors, part II
- vii) Interstellar Foe
2. The Colour out of Space (7:03)
3. Surya (4:46)
4. Distant Star(3:27)
5. The Mountains of Madness (7:17)
6. R'Lyeh (12:04) :
- i) The Elder Ones
- ii) 47°9 S 126°43 W
- iii) Every Man For Himself
- iv) In the Wake of Cthulhu
- v) The Traveller, part II

Total time 48:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Sigurd Lühr Tonna / guitar, keyboards, e-bow (2), sitar (1,4), organ (2,4), Fx (5)

- Ingrid Velle / vocals (1,3,6)
- Kjartan Nystad / vocals (1)
- Jĝrgen Kosmos / vocals (3,5)
- Asgeir Engan / vocals (5)
- Burt Rocket / guitar (1,3-6), synth (1-6), vocals (5)
- Erlend Naalsund / guitar (2,4-6), e-bow (1,2,5), bass (2)
- Sven-Arne Skarvik / lapsteel guitar (2-5), vocals (1,6)
- Lars Hyldmo / organ (1,2) synth (2)
- Organ Morgan (Lars Stĝre Gullichsen) / organ & synth (5,6), Mellotron & Strings (6)
- Jakob Tonna-Stadsnes / synth (6)
- Lars Fredrik Frĝslie / Mellotron & brass (6)
- Halvor William Sanden / drums
- Torfinn Belbo / percussion (2)
- Allessandro Elide / percussion (3,4,6)

Releases information

Artwork: Halvor William Sanden

CD Black Widow Records ‎- BWRCD 170-2 (2014, Europe)

LP Black Widow Records ‎- BWR 170 (2015, Europe)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ANNOT RHÜL Leviathan ratings distribution

(116 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

ANNOT RHÜL Leviathan reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by LearsFool
5 stars When the tracklist immediately reads like a walking tour of Lovecraft, "The Odyssey", and Jules Verne, you know you're in for something awesome. Annot Rhul centres a rather eclectic album on various nautical themes, crossed deeply with those of madness. This is an album where you sail out too far, encounter sea monsters, dark auroras, and maddening islands, and then go through a horrifically constructed city of the damned to have some tea with The Elder Ones and The Other Gods. As for the all important sound, the whole gamut from soft and Floydian to dark, heavy, and reminiscent of Motorpsycho is crisscrossed wonderfully. Rhul does an excellent job of conveying spookiness, unease, and terror with a lot of the music here. You might forget that this is in fact a space rock album, at least at its core. Altogether, this is a masterful journey through all four corners of space and all seven seas. Recommended, especially in pairing with "The Death Defying Unicorn".
Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Leviathan is the third work from Norwegian musician Sigurd Lühr Tonna, whose pseudonym in this realm is Annot Rhül. He is a modern composer that enters in the progressive rock realm, with the help of several musicians who joined his project and collaborated in this album, which by the way, was released last year by Black Widow Records, so it is a guarantee of great music. The album consists of six compositions and a total time of 48 minutes; it has two epics (tracks 1 & 6), two average songs (tracks 2 & 5) and two short pieces (tracks 3 & 4), I believe the order was on purpose, which is nice.

The album kicks off with "Leviathan Suite", whose 14 minutes are divided in 7 parts that are truly visual, I mean, while listening to it, it is easy to imagine things and see that sea monster and what it causes to the sailors, it is like being on a musical novel full of changes and emotions. The first minutes are totally spacey, so a nice journey is about to begin. Later vocals appear, keyboards, drums and strings produce a soft psychedelic sound; vocals are mainly made but then female appear putting a sweet sound, which is wonderfully accompanied by mellotron as background. This is a great progressive rock track, an example of a modern and well-crafted epic, a proof that prog rock is alive and kicking asses. After 7 minutes the music slows down, a new part begins, producing uncertainty and even tension. Later, keyboards take a main role, they remind me a bit of Arjen Lucassen's projects. The music's intensity is increasing little by little, and after ten minutes we are delighted with a powerful passage where keys and strings offer a darker atmosphere. At minute 12 the music makes another change, it becomes faster and more psychedelic; here the names of Eloy or Uriah Heep came to my mind. Excellent opener track!

"The Colour Out of Space" starts with a rock oriented guitar and bass, then drums join and together create a heavy rock / spacey atmosphere that combines elements from old school with some of the new school of space rock, I mean, besides the names of the bands I mentioned above, in moments I remembered Hidria Spacefolk or Wobbler. This is a purely instrumental track, like a transition from planet to planet. "Surya" is an awesome short track full of nuances and atmospheres. I love the first minute where harpsichord opens the gates to a somber, horror-film-like atmosphere. After a minute it changes, guitar takes now leadership but just for some seconds, because later both male and female vocals appear and together produce a spiritual and cosmic sound.

"Distant Star" starts with drums, seconds later bass joins and keyboards create new atmospheres, so the music flows and produces a nice spacey track which is good, but I think it is the weakest part of the album. Tonna's love for dark and suspense literature is evident here, most his love for H.P. Lovecraft, which is why the album continues with a wonderful track entitled "The Mountains of Madness". It has a bombastic start with keyboards, guitars and drums, but later it slows down a little bit when male vocals enter. I think this track sums up what we have been listening to, because of the dark and spacey atmosphere and of course the vocals. Again, the music has some 70s reminiscences but I could say it sounds really modern, which is something Annot Rhül has done very well.

The final track is the five-part "R'Lyeh", one of Lovecraft's lost cities. It is an amazing composition where a vast blend of sounds, textures and nuances are offered. It starts softly with a musical box; it is like a lullaby that will end soon, because when mellotron enters, a scary feeling begins. After a minute and a half drums and other instruments join so a new structure is being built, a new journey begins through this hidden city. Then a transition is made, a terror-like sound prevails, reminding me a bit of Goblin or Morte Macabre, and though it slows down again, those sensations are kept in our ears and souls, which means the music has given us a great dose of experiential moments. After 7 minutes, a chaotic moment begins, drum and guitars put a nervous and tense sound that with the seconds is becoming heavier, so it is like (once again) being in a terror novel and running and escaping for life. A great combination of symphonic and spacey prog can be perceived here.

What an excellent album from Annot Rhül, a great surprise and discover to my musical tastes. I have enjoyed it each and every single time I've listened to it, and I would like to recommend it to you, if you are into space rock with a symphonic sound inspired by literature.

Enjoy it!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. Man was this worth the wait. I had the previous release from 2007 which combined their debut album with an EP and thoroughly enjoyed it but man Sigurd Luhr Tonna the brains behind this project has topped it with "Leviathan". This Norwegian has many guests helping out like on the previous recording and they are all from Norway I believe. Some guests I recognized are WOBBLER's Lars Fredrick Froslie on mellotron, and two members of SEID in Jorgen Kosmos on vocals and Lars on piano, synths and mellotron.

"Leviathan Suite" is the almost 14 minute opener and it will go down as one of my favourite songs from 2014. A real cool sounding intro here as we get this deep and dark atmosphere with various sparse sounds coming and going. It's early FLOYD-like and we get some guitar 2 1/2 minutes in followed by drums and a full sound, vocals follow. A calm with the sound of waves 4 1/2 minutes in as reserved vocals join in reminding me of FRUITCAKE. Female vocals follow in this spacey section as they take turns with the male vocals until 7 minutes in when mellotron and a spacey sound take over. Just gorgeous 9 minutes in and to hear this vintage sound in 2015 is incredible. It's building after 10 minutes until they are rocking out before 11 minutes. Nice. Vocals and that earlier theme is back until we get an almost SABBATH-like rhythm with organ after 12 1/2 minutes. It's spacey late to end it.

"The Colour Out Of Space" has this drum driven intro as we have some energy here. I like the background synths. It settles back some after 2 minutes as it becomes more spacey. More mellotron a minute later then it starts to build. Lots of synths and mellotron here. It picks up more after 5 minutes as the energy from earlier returns. "Surya" has a very spacey intro and it sounds so good. It's building. Vocals after 2 minutes both male and female as it calms right down. It turns instrumental again with some excellent drumming to the end. "Distant Star" has a drum intro as the bass, keys and synths join in. Sounds like a spoken word transmission from space but it's brief. A catchy mid- paced tune that turns spacey late to end it.

"The Mountains Of Madness" is heavier and darker than anything on here really to start but it settles some and the vocals join in. An instrumental break with mellotron and more after 2 1/2 minutes. Check out the mellotron after 4 1/2 minutes with those spacey winds. I don't think i've heard this combination before but I love it. Vocals are back 5 minutes in and some good guitar and organ follow before spacey winds end it. "R'Lyeh" opens with what sounds like female vocal melodies and a music box. Spacey synths join in before it kicks into gear after 1 1/2 minutes with drums and more. It's heavier a minute later and this lasts for about a minute then we get a calm with mellotron, keys and more. Vocal melodies 5 minutes in and this continues to almost 7 minutes when it turns intense with drums and guitar as the mellotron storms in. It's getting heavier then we get a calm with lots of atmosphere to end it.

What a great album this is, and the fact that we are getting such amazing Psychedelic music in 2014 makes me very happy.

Review by Matti
4 stars I believe this is one of the most exciting releases from the Italian Black Widow label, largely specialized in heavy rock/prog. ANNOT RHÜL is the backwards-pseudonym of the Norwegian multi-intrumental talent Sigurd Lühr Tonna, and Leviathan is his third full-length album.

One word best to describe this music is *intense*. If it was a movie, there would be tags such as adventure, fantasy, horror, scifi, nailbiter, etc. Literary sources of inspiration seem to be early speculative fiction writers, e.g. Jules Verne and H.P. lovecraft to whom some of the track subtitles refer. Vocal parts are scattered here and there in the album which is oriented to keyboard-heavy instrumental Psych/Space Rock. In my mind the best musical comparison would be ELOY at their best Space Rock era (albums such as Ocean), and at least ideologically perhaps Italy's GOBLIN who made music to horror flicks, but one could also think of a combination of vintage Heavy of say BLACK SABBATH and the Saucerful of Secrets -era PINK FLOYD, produced with perfectionism by ALAN PARSONS. Actually the last mentioned association came to me from a section that featured a kantele-like sound -> 'The Fall of the House of Usher' from APP's Poe-inspired debut. But anyway the production here is superb; Tonna and his wide cast of guest musicians and vocalists have created a full and - sorry to repeat myself - intense soundscape that avoids becoming shapeless mess. Of the instruments one must especially mention Mellotron [samples], Hammond and Mini-Moog, and Gretsch Lapsteel played by Svern-Arne Skarvik.

So, with all that praiseworthy characteristics of this album, the high rates are definitely justified. I was momentarily thinking of a five-star rating myself. But there's the negative side to it too. In the end, the music is a bit samey throughout the 48 minutes, both in composition and in execution. some less *intense* sections here and there, bringing in more delicate nuances, would have done magic to the whole. But these are purely matters of taste, the never-ending dilemma of artistic unity vs. versatility. If my attempt above to describe this music sounds very promising to you, you've got my full recommendation. 3½ stars rounded upwards.

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