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Ragnarok Nooks album cover
3.76 | 39 ratings | 5 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Five New years (4:48)
2. Waterfall - Capt. Fogg (6:16)
3. Fourteenth Knock (4:53)
4. Paths of Reminiscence (4:15)
5. The Volsung (5:58)
6. Semolina (3:57)
7. Nooks (7:13)

Total time: 37:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Ramon York / electric, double-neck, acoustic & Classical guitars synth, Fx, vocals
- Andre Jayet / Moog & ARP synths, Mellotron M400, Hammond C3, piano, Fx, drums (2,3,6), vocals
- Ross Muir / bass, Roland synthesiser, Fx, vocals
- Mark Jayet / drums, gong, maracas, tambourine, concert toms, bells, bass & Fx (3), acoustic guitar & vocals (6)

- Paul Boyes / piano (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Rick Maynard

LP Polydor ‎- 2390 109 (1976, New Zealand)

CD Belle Antique ‎- 9004 (Japan, 1990)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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RAGNAROK Nooks ratings distribution

(39 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RAGNAROK Nooks reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Heptade
4 stars This album is a real symphonic gem from the mid-70s. Ragnarok were New Zealand's premier prog group, and this record stands up with the best. It reminds me a lot of Sebastian Hardie in its lush textures and excellent guitar playing. The vocals are good, but unobtrusive and perhaps a little lacking in excitement, but I'll take on-key over exciting any day. The band had two keyboard players, who are allowed to stretch out on a number of beautiful, pastoral ballads. There's even a brief section of boogie-rock a la Status Quo, which, oddly, doesn't feel out of place. Overall, it's hard to pinpoint why this album is so appealing, but it is undoubtedly a very melodic, peaceful and engaging listening experience.
Review by kenethlevine
4 stars Ragnarok supposedly started out as a Pink Floyd tribute group, but by the time of this 1976 album they were very much their own band, incorporating progressive influences of the time into a big spacey symphonic style with a subtle whiff of the pagan about it.

The opening song, "Five New Years" , is one of the strongest, and sets the pattern with the mellotron and synthesizer attack and the ponderous lyrics. The melody here and elsewhere is strong, but the atmosphere is the band's real strength, and they really lay it on thick. Next is the stunning "Waterfall/Captain Fagg". The first part begins with the incredibly silly line about the waterfall being at one with the river, yet it sticks. Then more cosmic interventions and a worthy showing on vocals, guitars and bass. We think we know where it's heading, but suddenly the band veers 180 degrees into the boogie of "Capt Fagg". It's even more preposterous than the gestalt waterfall, but it works even better. The impact is all the greater because it is totally unlike anything else on the album.

From here, "Fourteenth Knock" is a workout for drums and bass until the moogs carry the day, again very melodically. To change the pace, "Paths of Reminiscence" is an acoustic affair and the first indication of any sort of a mystical folky affectation. "The Volsung" evokes druids and other mythic woodland life even more, and is another personal favourite, eerie and haunting.

If you like graceful space rock with plenty of analog keyboards, and can find this rare recording, do not hesitate to pick it up.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. This music is as lush as the New Zealand countryside where these guys are from. Two of the band members play synths, with another playing synth-guitar. Not only that,this is drenched with mellotron. By the way all four of these guys sing so we do get some layered vocals as well.

"Five New Years" is such a laid back,dreamy tune. Very melodic with calming vocals. Loads of synths with drums and bass in the background. Check out the mellotron 3 minutes in.The vocal arrangements that follow are very cool. "Waterfall-Capt.Fagg" is really two songs,although the "Capt.Fagg" section near the end is only a couple of minutes long. The song opens with synth-guitar as vocals and a storm of mellotron follow. I'm in love. Haha. This is so uplifting and beautiful. Amazing sound. We get some bottom end 1 1/2 minutes in before mellotron waves return. Multi-vocals with a more uptempo section including guitar. Mellotron is back and i'm just drifting in a sea of bliss right now. Incredible. Back to the vocals and that catchy drum led section.The song changes completely to "Capt.Fagg" 4 1/2 minutes in. This is silly with bizarre lyrics. It's fun though with some raw guitar. Back to the floating soundscape before 6 minutes with mellotron to end it. "Fourteenth Knock" is an instrumental that opens with sounds from outerspace. Or so it would seem. These sounds swirl as a drum and bass rhythm slowly builds out of this cosmic soundscape that continues. The synths become prominant 3 minutes in. The song ends with the sound of a plane diving at a high speed, then broken glass, then the toilet flushing. Haha.

"Paths Of Reminiscence" is the only song without mellotron. It's a folk song with acoustic guitar and reserved multi-vocals. It ends with spacey sounds. The Volsung opens with the sound of a boat creaking,seagulls and waves. Acoustic guitar and vocals come in with synths. Drums and very deep vocal melodies follow. Vocals come back and everything sounds fuller. The vocals are so good. Mellotron before 5 minutes as the guitar tastefully plays. "Semolina" really sounds like a mellow 60's song with lots of mellotron in the background. "Nooks" is the longest song and the second instrumental featured on this album. Spacey synths with mellotron lead the way as light drums come in. The drums get louder 2 minutes in as the song just keeps getting better. The spacey waves end 2 1/2 minutes in. Some aggressive guitar with drums(which are all over the place) dominate 4 minutes in. It lightens 5 minutes in with lots of synths to the end.

After 2 spins I felt this was very overated and didn't really like it. Well after 7 listens I absolutely love it. Highly recommended by yours truly.

Review by Sagichim
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ragnarok is one of the few bands to come out of New Zealand in the 70's, they are a 4 piece band, where two of them plays the synths, so you can imagine their sound, said that this is not keys dominated sound like ELP, the band incorporates acoustic guitars and electric synth guitar too, so this is pretty diverse sounding. Although listed here as psychedelic this is quite symphonic at times, it's not space rock with slow rhythms but fairly rocky with upbeat rhythms pretty often. Their music often resembles Pink Floyd and some Hawkwind too, but they definitely have their own twist. The band's relying heavily on their synths and mellotron arsenal and provides some delicious textures and some beautiful psychedelic tones. Vocals are also good and have a rich sound since they all sing, and when they are not singing like Pink Floyd they are quite spacey. Bass and drums are great especially the drums having a good sound, the playing is tight and very focused. Sound quality is very good and i really like their style, but i can't help but think this could have been better, some songs are fine just the way they are, but some does not lift where they should, leaving a few tracks fairly mediocare.

'Five New years' is the opener, it's a melancholic song filled with analog synths and nice vocals, but it doesn't really holds anything more, except for that cool sounding. 'Waterfall - Capt. Fogg' is actually two different songs, it starts out quite nicely and then gets more serious and intense, i like that, all the band members contribute to the intricate rhythm, very good guitars, and excellent drums and bass, after they are done with that, nothing is stoping them to go to a completely different song within the same one, it changes to no less but a bluesy hoochie coochie song with fuzzy guitars and a fast rhythm, some would say this is out of place but i seem to like it. 'Fourteenth Knock' is an instrumental and maybe my favorite, it's spacey and have quite a fusiony feel, very cool bass line and spacey synths, very notable are the drums holding a good rhythm with the addition of percussions, superb stuff. 'Paths of Reminiscence' seems like it was inspired by the acoustic songs from Ummagumma, it doesn't really fit well with the rest of the album. 'The Volsung' is good getting intense towards the end incorporating a cool switching sounds solo on the synth guitar. 'Semolina' is a ballad lying on their good vocals but it actually fails to reach anywhere. 'Nooks' is another instrumental and maybe suppose to be the album's most ambitious track, as it goes by a few different moods, from spacey to more intense sounding to symphonic, the playing is great and there are some fine moments but again it doesn't rise to greater hights or nail you while you are waiting for it.

Nooks is a good album that suffers from a mediocare songwriting at times, the band have all the right ingredients to make it, and produce a better album, and i wish they have. Although there are plenty of synths, this should appeal to a wider audience since there's a lot more going on. Having said all that, this is still worth checking out. 3.4 to be exact.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Lea Maalfrid has gone, so there is no longer that upfront vocal attack - instead, with all band members singing, the vocal sound is generally layered, with heavy reverb, and very mellow (generally in a kind of Pink Floyd ballpark). There is still a wall of sound approach to Mellotron on nearly eve ... (read more)

Report this review (#2233606) | Posted by sl75 | Friday, June 28, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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