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JORDSJØ

Symphonic Prog • Norway


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Jordsjø picture
Jordsjø biography
Founded in Oslo, Norway in 2014

JORDSJØ is one of those bands that help me to keep my faith in Symphonic survival intact, because when I believe that there's nothing able to resurrect my capacity of surprise, this relatively new bands from countries like Norway take me by assault with original material that combines several genres creating a new breed of Symphonic.

Photo by Kai Mauseth

The band was formed around 2014 by Håkon Oftung (Vocals, flute, guitars & keys) and Kristian Frøland (Drums & Percussion) and their debut "Jordsjø" saw the light on September 6, 2016, and even though blended Symphonic with some sort of Prog Folk, immediately caught my attention.

In their next album "Jordsjø II", they retake the original path, but with less folk passages but a more aggressive edge that captured me as a fan.

Their third release (Well, a joint album with the Norwegian Synth Project BREIDABLIK) "Songs From The Northern Wasteland" didn't impressed me as much, being that it was oriented towards Electronic Prog, a genre that I don.t listen very often, but it was obvious that the magic touch was there and we only had to wait and see how they would evolve.

But the moment of truth came in January 2017 when they release the fantastic "Jord", a clearly Scandinavian album, with reminiscences of ÄNGLAGÅRD, one of my top then desert island bands, but in this case apart of the pristine symphonic, they blend different sounds and styles that make the genre richer.

As usual, only time will tell and the band will decide what path to take, but I?m sure they will keep providing us interesting music that will save Symphonic Prog from oblivion.

Iván Melgar-Morey ::::: Peru

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JORDSJØ discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JORDSJØ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.20 | 47 ratings
Jordsjø
2015
3.88 | 29 ratings
Jordsjø II
2015
3.16 | 19 ratings
Jordsjø / Breidablik: Songs From The Northern Wasteland
2016
4.06 | 184 ratings
Jord
2017
4.07 | 174 ratings
Nattfiolen
2019

JORDSJØ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

JORDSJØ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

JORDSJØ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.80 | 21 ratings
Jordsjø
2017

JORDSJØ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

JORDSJØ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nattfiolen by JORDSJØ album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.07 | 174 ratings

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Nattfiolen
Jordsjø Symphonic Prog

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.

 Nattfiolen by JORDSJØ album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.07 | 174 ratings

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Nattfiolen
Jordsjø Symphonic Prog

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.

 Nattfiolen by JORDSJØ album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.07 | 174 ratings

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Nattfiolen
Jordsjø Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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.

 Nattfiolen by JORDSJØ album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.07 | 174 ratings

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Nattfiolen
Jordsjø Symphonic Prog

Review by omphaloskepsis

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 guitar chords set the mood for a day. Watercolor madness and magic mushrooms command wild strawberries. Old men (Viking woodcuts) white beards making merry. Medieval manor- milk maidens quaff mead in straw lofts spread out upon bear hides, sharing butter, cheese, candles, dried fish, salted meats. Trolltunga erection of rock in mud, a fireplace melody chars the grey matter, atop ivory dull-white whale vertebra...tingling, perfuming breathtaking, sonic organic masterpiece!
 Nattfiolen by JORDSJØ album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.07 | 174 ratings

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Nattfiolen
Jordsjø Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars "Tons of Trons!"

In the early Nineties a new wave of Skandinavian prog started to blossom, speerheaded by Anekdoten, Anglagard and Landberk, with in its slipstream bands from Sinkadus to White Willow. I had to think about that while listening to this new album from Norwegian formation Jordsjo, entitled Nattviolen. It is my first musical experience with Jordsjo but from the very first moment I felt familiar with the music, because it is typical Nineties Skandinavian prog rock, and I am a huge fan of early Anekdoten, Landberk and Anglagard.

The 3 longer tracks (between 6 and 10 minutes) alternate between dreamy with twanging acoustic guitars and flute to slow rhythms and bombastic eurptions, topped with wonderful vintage keyboards, like the Hammond, but especially the unsurpassed Mellotron (brass, violin and choir section). This is a bonus on this album, like the very pleasant native vocals. The 4 short tracks are instrumentals, from the very short Ouverture (tender flute and piano) to Septemberb'l (beautiful acoustic guitar play, evoking Dutch Flairck).

My highlights.

Solens Sirkul're Sang (7.39) : First a mellow atmosphere featuring dreamy flute, electric guitar and Hammond (Landberk comes to my mind). The native vocals really sound very pleasant. Now the mood shifts between dreamy and more dynamic and lush, with a spacey synthesizer solo, and the distinctive Mellotron and Hammond sound. Halfway a break with flute and propulsive guitar riffs. Then again between dreamy and more more bombastic, embellished with flute, Hammond and Mellotron, strongly evoking Anglagard. Finally a compelling build-up to a sumptuous grand finale featuring a majestic Mellotron choir sound, blended with Hammond and repetetive electric guitar leads, wow!

Mine Templer II (6.29) : It starts with a slow rhythm that contains delicate work on the Hammond and piano, along warm vocals. Gradually it becomes more dynamic, the flute joins, then Hammond and Mellotron, again with strong hints from Anglagard. Halfway dreamy with fragile electric guitar, Hammond and piano. Then an accellaration with sparkling piano and flute, topped with dynamic drums. In the final part a subtle jazzy electric guitar solo, with piano, and an exciting Hammond sound (tremolo and churchy), blended with again subtle work on the electric guitar.

Ulvenatt (5.45) : The final, instrumental composition is a wonderful goodbey from the band, pretty different from the other 6 tracks. In the first part a slow rhythm with sensitive electric guitar, soaring Hammond and delicate Mellotron drops. In the second part a strong build to a very compelling atmosphere with an intense electric guitar solo (in the vein of mellow Focus and Camel), including subtle bending and howling runs, blended with lush Hammond organ, goose bumps!

Jordsjo makes wonderful and melodic prog folk featuring that compelling Skandinavian touch, often embellished with the majestic Mellotron. Highly recommended!

This review was recently publihed on the Dutch progrock website Background Magazine, in a slightly different version.

 Nattfiolen by JORDSJØ album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.07 | 174 ratings

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Nattfiolen
Jordsjø Symphonic Prog

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.

 Nattfiolen by JORDSJØ album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.07 | 174 ratings

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Nattfiolen
Jordsjø Symphonic Prog

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.

 Nattfiolen by JORDSJØ album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.07 | 174 ratings

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Nattfiolen
Jordsjø Symphonic Prog

Review by proghaven

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', not included in the album, published separately and currently available from Bandcamp with the following note from the artists: 'A demo outtake from the recording sessions for the album "Nattfiolen". Although this is the title track, it will not be included on the album for different reasons. Instead, it's released here as a christmas gift for our fans around the world. Happy holidays!' Thanks guys. The holidays were really fine, and everyone has a right to follow any reasons ad libitum. But just listen to the music in the following sequence: Ouverture, 'Nattfiolen Demo', Stifinner, Solens Sirkulaere Sang etc, according to the further track list. Done? OK what about your impressions? What do you hear? Right! - you hear an album which is much better than what was released. Without 'Nattfiolen Demo', the album Nattfiolen is just another excellent prog album. With 'Nattfiolen Demo', it would be a masterpiece of the same caliber as A Drop Of Light by All Traps On Earth. And 'Nattfiolen Demo' would be the cornerstone of the album, the most complex, intriguing, innovative, inventive and - on the other hand - heartfelt track. Maybe only Mine Templer II and Til Vaaren could compare to it. Yes if 'Nattfiolen Demo' is included, side one of the vinyl version would exceed 30 minutes, and this could cause a problem. Re-sequencing is not a solution because it would break the harmonious logic of the album. (Though Tormod of Pancromatic and his pressing plant staff know how to do so-called micro-recordings with no sound quality loss, just remember the vinyl versions of Kerrs Pink - Tidings, or Thule - Liquid, or White Willow - Terminal Twilight...) But if we forget about possible technical issues and discuss the music only, the rejection of 'Nattfiolen Demo' was an undoubted tactical mistake.
 Jord by JORDSJØ album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.06 | 184 ratings

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Jord
Jordsjø Symphonic Prog

Review by Booba Kastorsky

3 stars Oh, it seems like I'm a wrong prog fan, because I'm the only one here that isn't impressed by this opus! :( Or maybe my expectations were too high after reading the string of rave reviews here? What I hear is a typical Scandinavian prog mixed with a bit of metal and healthy dose of local folk, and patented Scandinavian melancholy. The fact they sing in Norwegian doesn't bother me at all. What does bothers me, though, is music: mostly boring and lifeless. And vocal: emotionless and monotonous. I understand they are Northerners, cold-blooded Scandinavian guys that must survive dark cold wintrers, but so do Anglagard or Ankdoten that however have a lot of passion in their music! Not Joedsjo.... Their music is not bad (although vocal is quite weak...), it just it fails to impress me. I love many bands from Karisma Records staple, but this is an exception. I tried to like them, I listened to the entire opus three times, but still can't hear what's the buzz about. Three stars just because I want to be polite, but 2 stars really....
 Jordsjø II by JORDSJØ album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.88 | 29 ratings

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Jordsjø II
Jordsjø Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Album number two for Norwegian's own JORDSJO sees them offering up a bevy of retro Prog in the Scandanavain tradition. Unlike their latest this doesn't bring ANGLAGARD to mind much but man the mellotron is all over this along with flute and I love that he sings in Norwegian. This clocks in at around 37 minutes including the digital bonus track which fits in nicely with the rest of the album.

"Mine Templer" opens with spacey sounds that pulse before fuzzed out guitar takes over with a catchy melody. Soon a beat and mellotron join in. Beautiful! A change at 1 1/2 minutes as the flute, vocals and fuzzed out guitar take over. So uplifting. Acoustic guitar and a mellow sound with mellotron takes over around 3 minutes. A beat as well as the vocals have stepped aside. An earlier theme with vocals returns before 4 minutes and other themes come and go too. Great song!

"Den Klaustrofobiske Masken" sounds absolutely amazing early on with that electric piano, would love more of this. Atmosphere too as drums join in. Guitar before 1 1/2 minutes then back to the heavier sound. Contrasts continue then the vocals arrive before 2 1/2 minutes. The catchy chorus arrives first before 3 minutes. Acoustic guitar and flute take over after 3 1/2 minutes in this folky section. It's full with vocals again a minute later and the chorus follows. A bass line only after 5 minutes as mellotron, piano and random drums join in. So good! Flute too, it's building. The drumming just keeps getting better.

"Svarthelleren" opens with acoustic guitar as vocals, drums, bass and organ help out. Mellotron too and it's so gorgeous here. Another feel-good tune. The chorus is more passionate and I actually like the versus more. Acoustic guitar and water sounds just before 3 minutes, some flute too. It kicks back in at 4 1/2 minutes. Nice.

"Under Aurora B." is different from the rest really. The mellotron comes in waves to start the proceedings. Soon bass and a beat joins in. This almost comes across as Post-Rock, it's really interesting, quite melancholic too. Spoken words just before 4 minutes. The electronic beat after 4 1/2 minutes is unique as well. Acoustic guitar comes to the fore as mellotron continues from the start, bass and beats too. Sounds like vibes in this haunting conclusion.

"I Atuans Gravkammer" opens with flute as a beat joins in then a picked instrument of some sort. We get the main melody starting after a minute with flute out front along with bass and drums. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in, electric guitar too. It's cool how the flavour changes slightly as this plays out and how themes are repeated. I'm reminded of early WOBBLER before 3 minutes. I like the vocals and sound that follows too. Some passion here. A cam 5 minutes in with mellotron, flute and a serious rhythm. What a great sounding track, like a tribute to Norwegian Folk music in that retro Scandinavian sound.

A solid 4 stars but I want to give it more, I just love this retro style so much. You have to check this band out!

Thanks to ivan_melgar_m for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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