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NATTFIOLEN

Jordsjø

Symphonic Prog


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Jordsjø Nattfiolen album cover
4.12 | 273 ratings | 11 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ouverture (1:20)
2. Stifinner (7:54)
3. Solens Sirkulære Sang (7:41)
4. Septemberbål (1:50)
5. Mine Templer II (6:31)
6. Til Våren (9:05)
7. Ulvenatt (5:48)

Total Time 40:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Håkon Oftung / vocals, guitar, flute, Hammond M100, Mellotron, Clavinet D6, ARP Pro Soloist
- Kristian Frøland / drums, triangle, percussion

With:
- Vilde Mertensen Storesund / backing vocals
- Ståle Langhelle / ARP Pro Soloist synth (2)
- Geir Opdal / Buchla Music Easel synth (7)
- Christian Meaas Svendsen / double bass (5)
- Håkon Knutzen / percussion, mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Sindre Foss Skancke

CD Karisma ‎- KAR176 (2019, Norway)
LP Pancromatic ‎- PLP 2036 (2019, Norway) Limited edition

Digital album (May 24, 2019)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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JORDSJØ Nattfiolen ratings distribution


4.12
(273 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
30%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (20%)
20%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

JORDSJØ Nattfiolen reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Progfan97402
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The only disappointing thing I can say about this album is the title track being left off, thankfully you can download it over at Bandcamp, but that piece is so amazing it shouldn't have been left off the album, it would have fit fine on the CD, but since the vinyl LP was also in mind, Håkon Oftung had to make the decision to leave it off and not have to disappoint buyers in either the CD or LP camp.

I am so pleased that I didn't have to wait so long for a Jordsjø release, not like Wobbler where you had to wait six years between releases (Rites at Down, From Silence to Somewhere). Which I love about Jordsjø since discovering them in September 2017 is that organic approach to prog, with a frequent pastoral approach that I really dig, often rooted in Nordic folk, giving it that Scandinavian feel that I so enjoy from prog from that area of the world. I also love how they completely avoid that sterile digital approach that plagues way too much prog these days (neo prog obviously being the most guilty). As usual Oftung gets help from Kristian Frøland on drums and various guests as needed. "Ouveture" is a simple piano and flute intro, but "Stifinner" is the first real song on the album. Starts off with this loud Mellotron passage, but then calms down with acoustic guitar, with vocals in Norwegian (in fact all the vocals are in Norwegian). I really like that organ and flute passage later on. "Solens Sirkulære Sang" is a lengthier piece demonstrating the band's more ambitious side, but Håkon Oftung also knows his limits, as Jordsjø as never been about playing a million notes per second (too much prog since the 1990s has been like that, and even before then ELP was frequently accused of that as well), like Camel, Jordsjø is more focused on the emotional part, unlike Camel, they give it that Nordic touch. "Septemberbål" is an unaccompanied acoustic guitar piece, much like a Nordic version of "Mood For a Day", but unlike that famous piece, it's more influenced by Nordic folk than classical guitar like what you get from Steve Howe. "Mine Templer II", a sequel of "Mine Templer I" (from 2016's Jordsjø II, later appearing on the self-entitled double album compilation). Instead of rehashing the original, it's completely brand new song and it's truly a stunning piece. I only imagine the lyrics having a same them that connects the two (but lost on me not knowing Norwegian) Really dig that flute intro, sounds so '70s you think it was recorded in the '70 (funny how that flute intro reminded me of that incidental music I heard on the original 1970s Land of the Lost TV series as I frequently heard similar sounding flute, although in the case of Håkon Oftung, it's likely just a coincidence as he was clearly not alive in the '70s, and lives in Norway). Then the song starts with a wonderful pastoral approach, nice vocals in Norwegian, and that nice use of piano to go with it, but I love how things change, with an intense organ passage, then the vocal theme reappears, this time, without vocals, but jazzy guitar parts instead, then a wonderful theme to close this piece. "Til Våren" is a really ingenious piece. There's the vocal section, and then when the flute section kicks in, it took me several listens to discover the flute theme is the same as the vocal section. Jordsjø sure has a way with creating a theme, and changing it drastically until it dawns on you it's a different take on that theme. Regardless this is truly one of the album's highlights. "Ulvenatt" is an atmospheric number that's very much in Pink Floyd territory, also Camel and even Sebastian Hardie. Håkon Oftung even does that David Gilmour style of guitar playing (also a bit in the style of Andy Latimer and Mario Millo). It ends with Geir Opdal giving some brief sound effects off his Buchla Music Easel.

And just in case you don't know Jordsjø, their music is very highly recommended if you enjoy bands like Wobbler, Änglagård, White Willow, Sinkadus, Tusmørke, and Landberk.

As mentioned, the omission of the title track is the album's only disappointment, had this been made in, say 2005, it would have been likely included as it would have been likely only issued on CD because 2005 would have been before the vinyl resurgence. If it was included it certainly would have been a highlight, but as it stands, the album, even without the title track, still blows me away. It's certainly one of the finest releases of 2019 so far.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A band I've been following since their first Jord releases. I was highly critical of their initial releases due to their lack of maturity both as songwriters, instrumentalists, and cohesive band mates. This album displays how far they have come--as well as how hard they've worked. I'm so glad they took criticism well and continued to persevere cuz it's really paid off.

1. "Ouverture" (1:19) flute-driven acoustic instrumental (4/5)

2. "Stifinner" (7:52) opens with proggy bombast but the band is not rhythmically tight! Acoustic guitar sets tone for next section. Flutes, bass, drums, and organ join in before vocals and fuzzy electric guitars can enter. Lyrics, sung in Swedish, are adequate with a nice melody. There's a little 60s psychedelia in here, as well--in both sound and tension. The instrumental section in the third and fourth minutes has some amazing chord progressions with very nice soli over the top. Things slow down while a swirling organ arpeggio keeps things moving as flutes, fuzz guitar, bass, and percussive rhythm guitar add their flourishes and riffs. This morphs into a more whole-band section with some cohering power chords, but then acoustic guitars, bass and flute take over in a very beautiful, delicate section. The final minute has drums, spoken word, and a kind of GENESIS Trespass/Nursery Cryme ending. Nicely crafted; these guys have really matured. (13.5/15)

3. "Solens Sirkulære Sang" (7:39) opens feeling very much as if it could come from GENESIS' album Trespass but then moves into KING CRIMSON "Moonchild" territory. Despite the delicate instruments used by this band, they do a very convincing job of portending a deep and heavy mood. (12.75/15)

4. "Septemberbål" (1:49) a folk instrumental on some kind of lute-like instrument with some sounds and stylings that feel as though they came from the Late Mediæval or Renaissance worlds. (5/5)

5. "Mine Templer II" (6:29) flute over jazz guitar accompaniment is soon joined by piano, double bass, organ, and, later, drums. Suddenly at the 0:50 mark a fuzz guitar chord introduces an ominously heavier section--one that feels quite VDGG or DISCIPLINE-like. Piano trills, Stephen Stills-like guitar flourishes, and Hugh Banton-like organ play with multi-voice vocals. The fourth minute ends with a thicker whole-band theme before lapsing back into the ominous main theme. All instruments seem to take a turn offering their tasteful soli until it finally fades with Stills-guitar and Hammond. (14/15)

6. "Til Våren" (9:02) some CAMEL, YES, and GENESIS sounds and styles are melded into this one. When the music quiets down to allow for the singing to start it feels very much like WOBBLER. The music flows in the common A-B-A-C-A-B format with slight and over variations within each repetition of a section. The harmonized vocal sections happen to be my favorite parts of this one (which are, unfortunately, the "B" sections). (17/20)

7. "Ulvenatt" (5:45) feels like a smooth jazz remake of a pop ballad: it's pretty and melodic and bluesy but not the prog I gravitate to (more like CAMEL or some of FOCUS' old ballads). (8.25/10)

Total time 39:55

Nicely crafted music--intricately constructed songs all. These guys have really matured.

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of intricately composed and performed prog music.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Jordsjø are based around Håkon Oftung (vocals, guitar, flute, Hammond M100, Mellotron, Clavinet D6, ARP Pro) and Kristian Frøland (drums, triangle, percussion) with some additional guests, and this is their fifth album in just four years so they are incredibly prolific for this style of music. This is an album out of time, as the guys refuse to sit within one particular genre of progressive rock and instead move throughout the scene, bringing it together in something which feels quite lightweight at times and massively complex at others. Just by looking at how plays what on the album, I expect from will discount Frøland as "just" the drummer and that this is based all around Oftung, but while that is obviously true in some respects, here is a musician who I would expect to be as happy playing jazz as he is prog, as he is way more over the kit than many would expect.

But given that virtually everything else is performed by Oftung (although a special mention should be made of Christian Meaas Svendsen ? he may only play his double bass on the one song, "Mine Templer II", but it has quite an impact), it is his vision which carries it through. It is hard for the listener to pick his main instrument, as at times it appears to be piano, at others keyboards, while his guitar and bass playing is superb and his flute sublime. It is unusual to find a musician who appears so content on woodwind, stringed instruments and keyboards, and don't forget he also provides vocals. Vocals are in Norwegian, which I am really happy about as it adds an additional element to a non-native speaker such as myself.

It isn't unusual for there to be sections where there is very little bottom end to the arrangements, no bass and very little foundation, which moves the music in a quite different direction. Even though none of the songs are particularly lengthy (just one more than nine minutes in length, and the album itself is less than forty), there is always room for the music to shift and change considerably throughout. Jordsjø are a new name for me, even though they have been around for a while, and here is yet another I will be adding to my watchlist as this is a very strong album indeed which is highly recommended to any old school progheads.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Norwegian band JORDSJO was established sometime around 2014, and following a couple of self-released albums the band was picked up by Norwegian label Karisma Records who released their official debut album "Jord" in 2017. Later on their label compiled the band's earlier material into the compilation album "Jordsjo", and now in 2019 Jordsjo the band have returned with their second album "Nattfiolen". Staying put with Karisma Records as their label of choice.

For those who know and love their vintage era symphonic progressive rock, Jordsjo is a band they need to note down on their list of bands to explore. With references like Bo Hansson, early Eloy, possibly Camel and probably quite a few more candidates, their Earthen, mystical symphonic progressive rock is a delightful trip into the lesser explored sounds of the early 1970's, and one I imagine will be found desirable by just about anyone that finds such a description to be interesting.

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Take the most mystical moments of Camel's 'Mirage' album, add some of that artistic/authentic PFM songwriting, a bit of Robert Fripp's clean jazz-guitar tone, some haunting flutes in the minor-6 vibe, and finally some moody nordic folk singing and you'll know what to expact from this release of the Norwegian group Jordsjo. To my knowlegde this is the most imaginative and honest sounding retro-prog effort ever made. It captures that moments of seventies prog where the atmospheric power and instrumental story telling was at its most potent. The amount of musical ideas offered on this fourty minute record is quite high, yet the band keeps their medium long compositions meaningful and descriptive of distinct atmospheres. The very skilled musicians of Jordsjo have an amazing interplay - the way vocals, flutes, jazz-guitar (love that tone!) and organ/mellotron change lead feels almost like a dance. Moreover, the band has an amazing timing for when to introduce an new theme. A final compliment for the mix on this record. 'Nattfiolen' has THAT sound. That warm, mysterious, lively and almost unhumanly perfect sound. The gatefold sleeve of the vinyl edition is beatifully designed and adds to the listening experience.

In my opinion this album should not only be consideres a top 3 record of 2019 (with 'Resistance' and 'Amazonia'), but also among the best retro-prog efforts of the 21th century. Much more lively and grasping than - for instance - Anglagard or Wobbler.

Review by VianaProghead
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Review Nº 542

Jordsjo is a progressive rock band from Norway based in Oslo that was founded in 2014. Jordsjo is a duo featuring Hakon Oftung on vocals, guitars, flute and keyboards, and Kristian Froland on drums and percussion, with some additional musicians. Jordsjo is quite an unusual band. It's one of those bands that fly the flag of the classic traditional prog, the prog that is commonly called symphonic. Their apparent prog influences include Genesis, King Crimson and Porcupine Tree. However, they have also expressed admiration for classic horror films, soundtracks and Scandinavian folk music. Their music is earthy, ethereal, and dramatic. Flutes, piano, Hammond organ, and analogue synths blend in with acoustic and electric guitars, bass and drums providing an immersive experience that will bring joy to fans of the 70's prog, but also to more modern bands like Anglagard and Wobbler who have embraced this classic soundscapes.

The debut album of Jordsjo saw the light of the day in 2015. It connected the symphonic prog to some sort of prog folk. On their next album, "Jordsjo II", they took the folk parts back a little and instead turned up the rock parts. After an experience with the Norwegian synth project Breidablik, "Songs From The Northern Wasteland" released in 2016 that was oriented towards electronic prog, they released their album "Jord" in 2017, a typically Scandinavian retro-prog album with reminiscences of Anglagard and Sinkadus. Their next release was this album "Nattfiolen" released in 2019.

"Nattfiolen" sounds more cohesive and focused compared to its predecessor "Jord" and where there are truly some captivating moments to be discovered. On the top of that, the warm and organic vibe that resonated throughout "Jord" is also very much present on "Nattfiolen", but the latter boasts more refined and memorable compositions. With "Nattfiolen" the Norwegians basically continue exactly there, in "Jord", with the difference they may have withdrawn a little further into the forest. It comes to my mind the amazing album of Jethro Tull "Songs From The Wood", but darker, more atmospheric and clearly very Scandinavian. The rockier passages of "Jord" have been reduced a bit, so that "Nattfiolen" can claim an even more organic character that its predecessor. For Jordsjo, nature exemplifies their stage set. On "Nattfiolen", the association between nature and music is first and foremost apocalyptic and mystical, which to some extent applies to its predecessor. On "Nattfiolen" there's a perfect balance between folk and symphonic music.

The opening "Ouverture" fulfill adequately its role. It's a very short track, an extremely delicate beginning that greets the listener with gentle flute sounds that are carried along on piano swabs. These temptingly invite us to follow them into the forest. "Stifinner" waits for the listener to a warmly welcome with a pompous introduction to go on a journey of discovery. The song then undertakes a real wandering through some different moods and covers not only classic, atmospheric folk but also sometimes mystical, sometimes ominous soundscapes. "Solens Sirkulaere Sang" is a dark ominous piece reminiscent of the early King Crimson's works in its moody almost medieval atmosphere with its fluid woodwinds and a bit jazzy style, a reminiscent at the time of "Larks' Tongues In Aspic", where the native vocals sound very pleasant. "Septemberbal" is a nice successful interlude based on the acoustic guitar with a brief but rewarding classical guitar solo. This kind of interlude is followed by "Mine Templer II" that begins with some mysterious chords where the rhythm section takes care of the progressive momentum with its great fretless bass line. It features a gradual, piano driven buildup to a fluid, emotional guitar solo. This is a straightforward and playful track at the same time. "Til Varen" is the magnum opus of the album. It's a nine minute mini-epic that starts with its strange atmospheric melody played on piano and flute. After an organ driven jam section, we can hear an acoustic verse. It then shifts into a warm, gradually building instrumental section. Gradually, it closes with a chaotic, flute led jam, an impressive final, indeed. "Ulvenatt" is a slower piece, almost a ballad, with eerie, hovering organs and smooth infectious guitar melodies. It's subdued and minimalist in the means, free and dignified, using the same thread for five minutes. This is a wonderful goodbye, pretty different from the other six tracks, in order to calm emotions and prepare us for the inevitable goodbye.

Conclusion: Scandinavian countries have climbed several positions on my list of the best prog releases, consistently. In all of them I noticed excellent compositions, neat instrumentation and analogue sound. Here's the formula for any work that wants to please me. And Jordsjo isn't an exception. Their album "Nattfiolen" caught the attention of the entire progressive community in the world. The climate immediately takes us to the icy landscapes of northern Europe and has a lot of local folk with its mysterious air. It has a wonderful blend of folk and symphonic rock, with an omnipresent Mellotron sound and obvious hints from Anglagard, worth to discover. However, the basis of folk is brought out in a dynamic arranging mechanism and rich variations. It's a work to be tasted and its beauty is fully appreciated, really.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars I've been a music lover since I remember and I can really appreciate various genres and sub genres, regardless their origin. But what really grabs me about music are songs, and when I specify songs I'm trying to separate music with lyrics from instrumental music' I like lyrics, I indulge from th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2634155) | Posted by ElChanclas | Sunday, November 14, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Those who adore Scandinavian symphonic folk prog, and who have always been put off by the dark and adventurous side of the music of Anglagard and the early Wobblers, will be delighted to discover this album. With "Nattfiolen" the Norwegian duo Jordsjø seems to have found their way and finally o ... (read more)

Report this review (#2440002) | Posted by Muskrat | Friday, August 21, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Color me impressed! Mellow mellotrons serenade golden filigreed flute's opposite alpine meadows. Exploding crescendos blossom heads of wolfsbane, woundwort, and purple vetch. Bluebells sway, nod approval at mountain meadow winds. Musical equivalent of a Swedish massage. Haunted Norwegian woody ... (read more)

Report this review (#2234150) | Posted by omphaloskepsis | Sunday, June 30, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Tons of Trons!" In the early Nineties a new wave of Skandinavian prog started to blossom, speerheaded by Anekdoten, Anglagard and Landberk, w ... (read more)

Report this review (#2233548) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Thursday, June 27, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Surely their best. So, one can ask me, why four stars only? Maybe the reviewer is a 'cloth-eared nincompoop' ((c) M. Oldfield, 1990)? Maybe, maybe. But the reason is different. Apart from the seven tracks stuffing the album, there's an additional 14-minute epic suite known as 'Nattfiolen Demo', ... (read more)

Report this review (#2216320) | Posted by proghaven | Tuesday, May 28, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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