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Psychedelic/Space Rock • Finland

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Superfjord biography
SUPERFJORD is a progressive psych band from Finland featuring core members Jussi Ristikaarto (vocals, guitars) and Ilari Kivelä (drums, synthesizers), always enhanced with other like-minded collaborators. The songs are diversified, spiked with influences from several genres and artists. 2018 saw the crew consisting of six members in total. This line up has recorded the acclaimed sophomore album 'All Will Be Golden', released on Svart Records.

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SUPERFJORD discography

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
It Is Dark, But I Have This Jewel
3.91 | 4 ratings
All Will Be Golden

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

3.33 | 2 ratings
For the Moment, Vol. 1

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 For the Moment, Vol. 1 by SUPERFJORD album cover Live, 2020
3.33 | 2 ratings

For the Moment, Vol. 1
Superfjord Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by nick_h_nz
Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars [Originally published at The Progressive Aspect]

I was introduced to Superfjord with their second album, All Will Be Golden, back in 2018, and have been hankering for more from the band ever since. As per their Bandcamp, the band's latest release, For The Moment, Vol. 1, "is the first release in a digital series of live recordings that aims to capture Superfjord at their purest and most improvisatory." And what a tasty way to whet my appetite for further volumes in this series!

For The Moment, Vol. 1 contains three improvisational "moments" along with a lengthy jam of Rainbow from All Will Be Golden, and, although that album had structure, listening to it always feels as if it is a natural combination of composition and improvisation. The music of Superfjord is fluid and organic, and For The Moment merely takes that template and runs with it. If you put Santana, Camel and Pink Floyd in a blender, added a pinch of Tool, then sprinkled some sexy brass over the top, the resulting sound might come close to that of Superfjord on All Will Be Golden. It's groovy, it's funky, it's heavy ? it's a trip. So how do they sound, when improvising on stage?

Superfjord, in this live incarnation, comprises six obviously talented musicians, who clearly know each other inside out, and lock into a groove with ease, churning out hypnotic riffs and rhythms bursting with cosmic bliss. But while there is an undeniably jam nature to the band, they never find themselves stuck in a repetitive groove, the way some psychedelic bands do. They paint from a wide palette, and create some quite incredible soundscapes. The line-up is mostly the same as that from All Will Be Golden, with four of the core musicians and one of the guest musicians from that album also on this live album. Three of Superfjord provide percussion on both All Will Be Golden and For the Moment, which indicates the importance of beat and rhythm in their music.

Perhaps strangely, then, the first Moment of For the Moment has very sparse percussion to begin with, with the stars of the show being some wonderful interplay between guitar and keyboard, backed solidly by some very tasty bass. The drums certainly pick up, though, and while they're back in the mix, there's no doubting their groove. The use of space in this piece is great. Superfjord show that they are just as aware when not to play a note, as when to ? which I often wish more bands would consider. It also means that when the guitar goes into overdrive about halfway through, it has far greater effect and impact. As the guitar quietens down, the bass and drum are briefly in the spotlight, before the sax comes to the fore. There's something about sax that seems to elevate any piece it features in, for me. It gives this moment a perfect ending (though I'm not entirely sure if it was the ending on stage, as the music fades out while giving the impression it may have carried on for some time yet).

The second Moment begins with some almost Doors-like psychedelic sounds, before the sax blasts out of the way any such comparisons. In terms of tempo, this quickly becomes almost the complete opposite of the opening Moment, and I'm glad it eases the listener in as it would perhaps be almost too much to take if it kicked straight in after the laid-back bliss of Moment 1. But it's not all high-tempo. I'm actually reminded a little of The Velvet Underground's Heroin, in the way the music picks up, then comes down again. After the hit, the tranquil passage that follows is stunningly beautiful, and again all about space. There's an almost minimalist feel to it, with as much not being played, as is. This is definitely my favourite Moment of the album. It must have been incredible to watch it being played.

Towards the end of Moment 2, you can hear Rainbow beginning. When I first listened to the album, I had to check to see if it had already changed track. The segue is seamless, and explains why Rainbow is included on this album. (I had wondered, when I first saw the track listing, given that the album was of improvisational moments, yet included an album track ? even if it was obviously significantly lengthened.) If I needed any more reason to love Moment 2, I guess this is it. The origins of Rainbow within the dying minutes of Moment 2 are subtle, yet brilliant. As for Rainbow, this jammed out version blows the album version out of the water. Essentially, this Rainbow is another Moment, which merely takes the original Rainbow as a platform from which to take a leap into further improvised jamming.

Moment 3 follows on directly from Rainbow, making Moment 1 the only standalone piece on the album. It's another minimalist beginning, almost ambient were it not for the sax. But after the aural overload of Rainbow, it's a welcome change of pace. Soon even the sax quiets down, and the music becomes expansive and unworldly. Even though not a lot is happening, I absolutely love this passage. The beat starts to pick up, in tempo and volume, and it's a percussive delight to listen to. I find it impossible to not start tapping along to the rhythm. It's infectious and mesmerising. From this point, it's possibly the closest the album comes to hitting that too repetitive groove. It redeems itself somewhat in the last minute, but ultimately I find this a dissatisfying way to end the album.

It's only my opinion, of course, but I think if Moment 1 had been the closing piece, rather than opener, for this album, the whole would have been better served. But as Moment 1 is standalone, there's nothing stopping me from making it the closing number, so my only criticism of the album is rendered redundant! Basically, this is an outstanding album of improvisational jams, and if future volumes of this series are as good as this first release, then fans of Superfjord are in for some real treats!

 For the Moment, Vol. 1 by SUPERFJORD album cover Live, 2020
3.33 | 2 ratings

For the Moment, Vol. 1
Superfjord Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

3 stars 'For The Moment' is a prominent psychedelic/space excursion, delivered by this Finnish band. Recorded at the local G Livelab in Helsinki. It took place early 2020, so when the world was still fine. Eh, relatively of course, at least when it comes to the opportunity to play and attend live gigs. Well, those were the days. 'Vol. 1' consequently says, that this is not the end of the story, something will follow. Four songs are given, all of them with nearly the same length of around ten minutes. Suitable for a vinyl release, isn't it? So far anyway this is solely available as a digital download from their bandcamp page. 'For The Moment', the title is well chosen, as the music seemingly comes out of the nowhere. Three out of the four are totally improvised, capturing them at their purest and most jamming moments.

Solely Rainbow is adapted from the current 2018 studio album, showing some nice dual guitar interplay with a slight Allman Brothers Band touch. Magic keyboards, proper groove alternates with melancholic flow. Several jazzy moments, frequently due to Olavi Töyli's saxophone presence, who already had a guest appearance on 'All Will Be Golden'. Even some vocals are given, though very restrained in general. Predominantly they let the instruments speak. If you are keen on inspired live gigs with psychedelic/space character this is worth the check. 3.5 stars.

 All Will Be Golden by SUPERFJORD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.91 | 4 ratings

All Will Be Golden
Superfjord Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Superfjord is a psychedelic/progressive rock band from Helsinki, Finland. Sadly neither their debut from 2014 nor this second album that came out last autumn have yet received any reviews here. I didn't know the band either, until a couple of months ago someone recommended me this album. I'm really glad he did! Before going into music, a word of appreciation also for the cover design of Sami Mursula. The gatefold LP looks pretty cool on my turntable lid.

The six tracks (between 5 and 11 minutes) are composed by guitarist-vocalist Jussi Ristikaarto. Having six men in the line-up and three guys as vocal or sax guests, the band has achieved an organic and powerful sound that combines the virtuotic, retroish prog and the trippy, hypnotic elements of psychedelia. Even though there are some vocals with recognizable bits of lyrics -- mostly very repetitive and simple -- , the music is instrumentally oriented all the way. The vocals never become the spine of the pieces, instead they function nicely as an additional psychedelic flavour since they are deliberately rather monotonous and chant-reminding, in a good way. A couple of examples: the tightest piece 'Rainbow' commands to "bow down to the rainbow", and 'Parvati Valley' repeats lines in a foreign language (Indian?).

The opener 'Cut and Paste' starts with Pink Floyd/ The Alan Parsons Project -reminding spacey & bouncy guitar chords and an elegant high-tech soundscape. In the midway the band switches to a higher gear with almost a Santana-like groove and a shining guitar solo reminiscent of Mirage-era Camel. Everything, the percussion, the vocals, synths, the guesting tenor saxophone, serve to the whole which feels coherent, natural, organic and exciting. The longest track 'Master Architect' dives deeper into cosmic orbits around the strong riffs and doesn't pale in comparison to the genre-defining classics such as Hawkwind. There is the undeniable jam-like, riff-based approach concerning the building of the compositions, but this is not sweaty stoner rock with endless repetition of dead-heavy riffs. It's something much more intelligent. I'm not hesitating at all to label this band as progressive as well as psychedelic. The album as a whole keeps the listener interested, thanks to the wide pallette of nuances and the extremely succesful production & mixing. All friends of psychedelic space rock and an organic band sound with a little World music flavour, write the name SUPERFJORD in golden letters into your memory. This is a trip you don't want to miss.

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition.

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