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Kvazar Kvazar album cover
3.74 | 37 ratings | 7 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ballet (9:19)
2. Mirror Mask (6:23)
3. Nameless-1 (1:35)
4. Lost Years (6:07)
5. Eighteen (5:47)
6. Mother of Existence (5:51)
7. Nameless-2 (1:08)
8. Whispering Forest (6:43)
9. Nameless-3 (0:47)
10. Dream (9:49)
11. untitled (3:05)

Total Time 56:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Andrè Jensen / vocals, piano, acoustic guitar
- Alexander Knøsmoen / electric & acoustic guitars
- Ronny Johansen / keyboards, backing vocals
- Endre Tønnesen / bass, vocals
- Kim A. Lieberknecht / drums, tabla, keyboards

- Camilla Erlandsen / cello

Releases information

CD Musea ‎- FGBG 4362.AR (2000, France)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KVAZAR Kvazar ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(59%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KVAZAR Kvazar reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars A big part of the most interesting progressive music today is performed by rather young musicians who can't possible remember that much of the heydays of progressive rock in the seventies. Of course the neo-progressive rock was quite successful in the eighties, but bands such as ANEKTODEN, LANDBERK, SINKADUS and ÄNGLAGARD are all very influenced by the progressive rock of the seventies, which in my opinion is the best era of progressive rock. The Norwegian band KVAZAR follows the same musical direction as the aforementioned bands, or KING CRIMSON and GENESIS if you prefer that comparison, spiced with the unmistakeable Scandinavian melancholic mood. Their self-titled debut album is a very mature album with lots of complex and intelligent compositions, enjoyable melodies and good musicianship. Camilla Erlandsen is doing a guest performance on cello. When it's used, the cello suits the music very fine, so I wonder how they're doing when they're performing the songs live. If you're into typical Scandinavian progressive rock I ensure you that KVAZAR will be a pleasant surprise.
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars If Sweden with its superb but retro-sounding symphonic groups (like Anekdoten, Anglagard) and Finland and its wild and crazy RIO/avant prog groups (like Alamailman Vasarat, Hoyry Kone, Uzva) are at the forefront of Nordic countries for progressive music, Norway has a few major pawns on the chess-boardgame also: White Willow, the superb Ravanna, Kvazar and very recently Wobbler. But Norway had gotten us used to black metal groups and some rather terrifying but very impressive progmetal groups such as Therion and Third And The Mortal, so Kvazar and WW are somewhat a bit of an unusual breed for the country, and it is weird that Kvazar had to find the French label Musea to get their album released (there are a few prog label in Scandinavia).

This quintet is more in the mould of the Swedish symphonic scene as far as sound is concerned, hovering between Anglagard, Landberk and Anekdoten. Their English-sung vocals sound like a cross of Wishbone Ash's Martin Turner and Anekdoten's Niklas Berg. The songwriting is simply right up to par with the afore-mentioned group and there is a very delicate balance between the guitars and the keyboards. None of the tracks aremore than 10 min long, but the album is also very constant with no tracks standing out. If they have that typical sad and melancholic Nordic sound, they do not have the aggressive attack of all those groups I mentioned so far: they are more like Sinkadus or, dare I say it, a bit more neo-prog. Their music always remains highly melodic but very haunting-atmosphered, never overly complex, but please do not mix them with Ageness, Galleon, Cross, Twin Age and Valinor's Tree!!!! Kvazar is two or three classes above those groups and their guest cellist is yet another proof of this. Their frontman Andre Jensen is also multi-instrumentalist as he plays acoustic guitar and plays piano.

One of those late arrival on a Nordic scene, which proves that something special is happening when you get close to the Artic Circle. In any case in their debut album, Kvazar is never groundbreaking and they always evoke something already heard elsewhere (déjà-entendu ;-), but they remain highly enjoyable, and I still listen to this album once in a while.

Review by Marcelo
4 stars Dark and very melodic band from Norway, in the same vein of the melancholic and fantastic Swedish ANGLAGARD or SINKADUS, altough not so good.

Of course, this is the KVAZAR's debut album, and there are many interesting elements conforming an enjoyable work: A sadness feeling is present -but doesn't dominate the melodic line-, nice voice (in English), excellent interplay between guitars and keyboards, beautiful melodies and atmospheric soundscapes.

IMHO, the longest track "Dream" is standing out, but all pieces are really nice and very well done. A recommended album, specially for those who love the dark and nostalgic Scandinavian progressive.

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars If you like Skandinavian prog, here's a fine one. Kvazar is from Norway, the wonderful country with its impressive fjords that I visited during my honeymoon. The music contains the typical melancholic climate like Anekdoten, Anglagard and White Willow but not that dark and intense. Their inventive compositions are lavish sonic paintings, very tasteful colored by the multi-talented musicians, most of them play more than 1 instruments (ranging from piano and acoustic guitar to Moog and tablas). The music features lots of fine and compelling interplay with fluent shifting moods, slight accellarations and some very inspired soli. The use of the Moog evokes the first album from Epidaurus to me. What has happened to this young and promising progrock band, I'm still waiting for their next CD!
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars KVAZAR are a Norwegian band who have a WOBBLER / LANDBERK / ANEKDOTEN flavour. Vocals are in English and the music has a melancholic vibe to it. Are you sure these guys aren't from Sweden ? Haha.

"Ballet" is a stunning track with that trippy beat. I've really fallen for this track. It's a little heavier a minute in (reminds me of WOBBLER) and then settles with vocals before 2 minutes.The guitar 3 1/2 minutes in is excellent. Nice drum work after 6 minutes as the organ then guitar comes in.That incredible sounding opening soundscape returns 8 minutes in. Amazing ! "Mirror Mask" opens with synths.This is dreamy with keys and drums with vocal melodies. It kicks in with some power. Vocals a minute in as it settles. I like the subtle tempo shifts on this one as the heaviness is contrasted with the mellower sections. Fantastic song. The untitled third track is an instrumental. Strummed guitar, bass and drums lead the way. "Lost Years" opens with some atmosphere and guest cello. Almost whispered vocals come in. An interesting sound to this one as vocals come and go. A little heavier before 3 minutes then it settles down as cello returns and reserved vocals. Full sound is back 4 1/2 minutes in. "18" is more uptempo as drums, organ and guitar lead the way. Vocals come in quickly. It settles down then picks back up. These tempo changes continue. A nice heavy sound 2 minutes in then it relaxes again.These contrasts continue.

"Mother Of Existence" is a fairly restrained tune that breaks out once in a while. I like it. Song seven is a short untitled instrumental. It builds slowly with marching styled drums. "Whispering Forest" sounds really good early as vocals join in. Almost a dead calm after a minute with acoustic guitar. It builds as cello and drums come in. It settles again before we get a full sound 3 minutes in. Tempo and mood shifts continue with regularity. Song nine is another short instrumental. It builds as well slowly. "Dream" is the longest track at almost 10 minutes. Drums,gentle guitar and cello open things as reserved vocals come in. A full sound before 1 1/2 minutes. Organ and spoken words follow. Kind of psychedelic here.The song continues to change and themes are repeated.The last track is another untitled instrumental. This is the longest instrumental at 3 minutes.This one has a groovy sound to it. Nice guitar to as it builds. It settles back before kicking in again. An outstanding way to finish the album.

I'm a little surprised at the negative reviews for this one on other sites. Part of it might be the ANEKDOTEN-like vocals (which I love). Glad to see it rated highly on this site though. It's a really good album in my opinion.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Interesting debut by this norwegian band. It´s a mix of old school symphonic prog with some melancholic overtones so commonly found in those skandinavian outfits. This CD is more promising than fullfilling, though. The songs are nice, but not really outstanding nor very memorable. Please don´t get me wrong, you can see those guys are good, but maybe still a little green t at the songwriting department. Of course all the musicians are very good and the drummer is fantastic. The porduction does not help matters much, being somewhat flat, robbing the band some of its playing power. Nevertheless, it is still quite good and certainly I´m looking forward to hear its flollow up.

Rating: 3 stars. If you´re into those northern melancholic type of prog, it´s a worthy pick.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A very good album, nothing super complex, very moody/melodic symphonic prog, nice use of moog which I haven't heard in a while, a cross between old school and modern prog(anek,angla, landberk), but I like the vocals a little better here than those other scandanavian bands. Nice first album for ... (read more)

Report this review (#70405) | Posted by slowfire85 | Friday, February 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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