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Ring Van Möbius biography
Formed in Karmøy, Norway, around 2014

RING VAN MÖBIUS are a retro-prog band from Karmøy, Norway. They describe themselves as ''Progressive rock straight from 1971, but made today''. They played live shows in 2017 and in 2018 they released their debut ''Past the Evening Sun'' through Apollon Records. The core of the band consists of Thor Erik HELGESEN (keys), Håvard RASMUSSEN (bass) and Dag Olav HUSÅS (drums). Their sound is often compared to that of early ELP.

Biography by aapatsos

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RING VAN MÖBIUS discography

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RING VAN MÖBIUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.74 | 53 ratings
Past The Evening Sun
3.70 | 64 ratings
The 3rd Majesty

RING VAN MÖBIUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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

3.93 | 6 ratings
When the Sea and the Universe Were at One (Or; The Introduction of the Octopus on Tellus)


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 The 3rd Majesty by RING VAN MÖBIUS album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.70 | 64 ratings

The 3rd Majesty
Ring Van Möbius Symphonic Prog

Review by mental_hygiene

2 stars The 3rd Majesty is just Emerson, Lake, and Palmer musical fanfiction. In a lot of ways, you have to respect the craft. The production is spot on, the drumming style is very familiar, and the organ and synth tones are one and the same. The riff writing is dead on, especially knowing that ELP was informed by the vast array of heavy psych/progressive blues rock bands that existed in the early prog scene. The vocal melodies are really meh, usually evoking something like tarkus. Speaking of, if you ever wanted to hear Tarkus again but with less pomp, try the title track.

Distant Sphere is the only song on this album that does anything remotely original or experimental. It has a lot of sections that are so angular that it feels like it verges on avant-prog. Maybe because ELP didn't use electric piano, they finally found an instrument they could have original sounding ideas on. To some extent, rather, because as the most "modern" sounding song, this goes no later than the late 70s. The opening is peak "classical music aesthetique", something I'm not a fan of.

I view this band on the same tier as Greta Van Fleet. I get that the retro prog niche is one that will fill this band's shows and streaming catalog with nostalgic old prog fans for however long we stick around with them. But I don't get it, the sacrifice of your own identity to push something out under the constraints of 1971 with half the imagination. There's long strands of blues riffs and vaguely jazzy chords being hammered out on the organ while the drums follow and change time signatures just enough to render this undanceable, but not enough to compete with the fact that a time signature is not a groove.

Ultimately, this album doesn't really do anything, and that was the nail in the coffin for me. What makes Emerson Lake and Palmer interesting is the songwriting and interplay between each of the members, as well as the distinct voice and delivery of Greg Lake. Ring Van Mobius copies the worst aspects of Emerson Lake and Palmer. Mind you, this isn't bad music. It's just trying to do something that's been long played out. If you're a symphonic prog completionist, or just a fan of well recorded hammond organ, this is for you.

 The 3rd Majesty by RING VAN MÖBIUS album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.70 | 64 ratings

The 3rd Majesty
Ring Van Möbius Symphonic Prog

Review by kurtrongey

4 stars Proggers are suckers for an expert and elaborate forgery. This guitarless, keyboard-led power trio from Norway have just the thing to slot between your Le Orme and Triumvirat albums. They did it - they got the drum micing and the tape saturation just right. I think if somebody had handed me a beat up record cover with ring wear I could have been completely convinced this was a period product of 1973. The lyrics are the weak link, unconvincingly cosmic in a way that sounds spoofish. Luckily, the musical backing isn't throwaway music. The writing is good, harmonically creative if not original. There's no Mellotron, but plenty of Hammond, Clavinet, Wurly piano and judiciously applied mono synths. Add a refreshingly flexible drummer who sounds like he hasn't heard any Rush and a bassist who makes a bold sound that isn't always growly picked Rick. This, the A-side epic, is a great ride. I especially think they captured some magic in the quiet parts.
 Past The Evening Sun by RING VAN MÖBIUS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.74 | 53 ratings

Past The Evening Sun
Ring Van Möbius Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars The retro prog scene has really picked up in recent years with some bands eerily emulating the past masters with uncanny impeccability with bands like Wobbler and All Traps On Earth mysteriously weaving the distant past into the present with great success. Add one more band obsessed with the early years of prog, RING VAN MÖBIUS from the extreme west coast of Norway in the municipality of Karmøy south of Bergen. What is it with Scandinavia's obsession with prog's golden years? The band claims to play progressive rock straight out of 1971 but made today and it appears that the classic Van Der Graaf Generator album "Pawn Hearts" is the primary targeted inspiration for their debut album PAST THE EVENING SUN.

This band is basically a power trio that in staying true to the era, utilized only analog equipment that adds a sense of veracity to their claim. Thor Erik Helgesen may not don a magic hammer of the gods but he cranks out the Hammond L100, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet D6, Moog Satellite and Korg MS20. Thor is also the vocalist. Håvard Rasmussen plays bass and Dag Olav Husås is the percussionist. While not officially a band member Karl Christian Grønhaug appears on much of the album as an unofficial fourth member with healthy doses of saxophone squawks and jazzy touches. Yes, the Van Der Graaf Generator signs are strong and it doesn't get any more "Pawn Hearts" than an album claiming to be from 1971 that has three long tracks that clock in at around 22 minutes, 6 minutes and 12 minutes. Oh, and the total absence of the guitar can only bring forth more comparisons.

All this basic obsession with VDGG would seem that this album could be the perfect train wreck of wannabeism run amok, but despite the perfect tailoring to fit the 1971 timeline complete with an album run time of 39:28, a complete dedication to period piece analog equipment and recording techniques and a healthy dose of respect for those who existed in that year the band does muster up its own unique sound that sort of occupies the cracks between the bigwigs of the day. While VDGG worship provides the lion's share of ideas, so too do the following: King Crimson's "In The Court Of King Crimson", Emerson, Lake and Palmer's debut album's keyboard heft, Atomic Rooster's more experimental moments and healthy doses of early pastoral symphonic prog that only Genesis could conjure up on albums like "Nursery Crime." PAST THE EVENING SUN could very easily have just been called "The 1971 Album" and been done with it, but the band seems to prefer to remain slightly mysterious having released little info about themselves and allowing the listener to decipher where this band would fit into the scheme of things had it really emerged in that year.

While the song lengths are similar to "Pawn Hearts," the tracks are in reverse order with the longest, the title track which is made up of six mini-suites, appearing first and the second longest appearing last. Only the shortest connecting track remains in the middle. And while all these comparisons may evoke a sense of "how could they?," the truth is that in the end PAST THE EVENING SUN does not exactly sound like any of the bands of their inspiration despite the obviously elements of the era finding a modern day retro rendition with the exception of some notable moments such as around the five minute mark of "Chasing The Horizon" that clearly borrows that funky hyperactive keyboard segment from "Man-Erg." However, one thing that stands out after a single listen to PAST THE EVENING SUN is that this album lacks any rock sizzle and floats by in a dream state. It seems like it never really jumps into overdrive and remains a mid-tempo pastoral time capsule for its entire run.

So with all the most sublime influences delivered to the world in 1971 by the gods, this must be the best retro album of all prog existence, right? Well, unfortunately i cannot say that it is. While the band took the time to check off all the proper boxes to ensure a proper tribute to their golden year of choice, somehow they forgot to craft memorable songs with outstanding instrumental performances. First of all, while Thor Helgesen is clearly trying to evoke Peter Hammill as his time period vocalist of choice, he completely lacks Hammill's dynamic vocal style and overall charisma. With the lack of the dynamism of strong vocal led melodic deliveries, the instrumental interplay seems lackluster despite the wide range of atmospheric textures, time signature rich meanderings and period piece timbres that nail all the keyboard variations, Fender bass techniques and jazzy saxophone squawks. In the end the album comes off with all the Van Der Graaf Generator expectations but ultimately delivers Rare Bird results and by evoking all the top dogs of the day, ultimately let's me down as it fails to reach such lofty goals.

So in the end PAST THE EVENING SUN doesn't even come close to capturing the psychedelic progressive mind trip that "Pawn Hearts" was and remains to be as it approaches a half century in existence but this adventurous debut album isn't exactly horrible either. It does succeed in displaying the band's knack for reinterpreting the past in a modern day context and although i don't find this debut album quite works on all levels, it signifies that with a few more attempts at the drawing board and a bit more variety in their dynamics and compositional fortitude that the band could emerge a few years down the road as the next Wobbler or All Traps On Earth who for the most part made it sound easy to replicate the sounds of yore and translate them into the modern era. While not achieving the desired result, RING VAN MÖBIUS remains a band to keep your eyes gazed upon because there's certainly a masterpiece waiting to emerge from this ambitious troop of all things retro prog but only after going back to the drawing board and ironing out the kinks that are keeping this album from standing up on its own terms.

3.5 stars rounded down

Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition.

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