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METROGNOM

Eclectic Prog • Norway


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Metrognom biography
METROGNOM is a progressive ensemble from Norway, not the brightest, so far, to dazzle and intrigue, still interesting and powerful as long as progressive rock, in all its modern condition, is regarded as an endless treat of music, mixed styles or rock fever.

The band was formed in 2002 (in the Norwegian city Bødo), but only recently did they achieved to sum up a debut (and a line of first compositions), one not very similar with everything modern prog and "new rock" enlists, thus keenly special. The core line-up of METROGNOM was made of five artists: Ole Ivar Jörgensen as guitarist and Mellotronist, Kriss Stemland as keyboardist, pianist and organ player, Steffan Hundstad on bass, Stig Rune Holien as drummer and Arne Wikström as saxophonist. Hundstand left however, right after the recordings were finished, being replaced by Lars Einar Christensen. Keyboardist and electronic effects mixer Jakob Arntzen is regularly invited to play with the rock quintet, at live occasions. Also notable is that Jakob Arntzen and Ole Ivar Jorgensen formed a side project called Mouches Volantes, which bares the same swish as METROGNOM.

The band's list of influences and similarities in music, rock and prog can be a bit overwhelmingly denoted, practically used or negligently connected with what's the flame and the texture of the musical fiber (when, in fact, such mentions tend to disconnect it from METROGNOM's own value and stand-up precision. Nevertheless, it looks like a basic and biographical fact, plus, sometimes, it helps to see the modern (or retro) prog vitality that this ensemble uses or appends under its "new art". METROGNOM itself states influences from the mighty GENESIS, KING CRIMSON, GENTLE GIANT, CAMEL or from AKASHA and GOBLIN. Surprisingly, they also seem amazed enough by the difficult art of GROBSCHNITT, HOST, COSMIC JOKERS, NOVALIS or PULSAR, so to name them as well. This said, music sounds sometimes so differently, that critics and impressions rate "Twangyluck" as a modern rock fusion, via OZRIC TENTACLES, old sense space rock, a la PINK FLOYD or HAWKWIND, heavy alternative, as in something close to PORCUPINE TREE, concentrated pop rock, likewise WHITE WILLOW, or a sparkling symphonic hum, thinking quite many times of WOBBLER.

Deep or dizzy, METROGNOM plays in "Twangyluck" rock, jazz, jam, space and pop belted under the sign of a conceptual, purely instrumental and extremely concentrated composition. There are only four pieces, b...
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3.95 | 19 ratings
Twangyluck
2006

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 Twangyluck by METROGNOM album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.95 | 19 ratings

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Twangyluck
Metrognom Eclectic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Norwegian act Metrognom released in 2006 a special prog gem that is yet to be properly discovered by prog audiences worldwide. "Twangyluck" shows an instrumental ensemble capable of displaying tireless punch and consistent cohesion all thorugh its jams and expansions: these expansions harbour a resurce for development of the msuical ideas, which at times are taken to energetic levels, at times translated into atmospheric textures. The band's overall sound is based on a confluence of diverse influences such as Anekdoten/Landberk, "Mountin Grill"-era Hawkwind, 75-76 era van der Graaf Generator, the harsh enthusiasm of proto-prog, the jazzier side of old KC, and even the dreamy melancholy of post-orck at its fiercest level (a-la Explosions in the Sky). The group manages to keep things pretty intense without letting the melodic instruments (lead guitar, sax, synthesizer) indulge themselves in excessive complexities. The sax interventions are the most jazz-related items found in Metrognom's travels; these interventions add a special dynamics between the solid guitar riffs and the eerie synthesizer lines. The lack of pyrotechnics allows the rhythm duo to surface notably in the mix, and that's a very good thing, since their labour at sustaining the band's sound across the mood and rhythm shifts indicated in the compositions happens to be pertinetly featured for the listener's ears and mind. Not unlike many Scandinavian bands, Metrognom flaunts the presence of vintage keyboards such as the Mini-Moog, the Theremin, mellotron, and of course, the Hammond organ. The opener 'Max Planet (incl. The Sudden Turbulent Landing Procedure)' gets started with a semi-robotic speech, very Hawkind-esque, which announces the 6/8 main motif. This motif is a full frontal homage to Genesis' 'Watcher of the Skies', as if it had been performed by a combination of musicians from Landberk and Anekdoten with special guest Tim Blake. Its hook is appealing enough as to serve as the perfect introductory sampler of Metrognom's musical vision, but it is also the least impressive piece of the album. Regarding the handling and link between variations, any of the other three tracks is more accomplished. 'Ten Peppermint Butterflies in a Ray of Moonlight' kicks off wit ha succession of alleatory sounds of instruments getting attuned, when suddenly the full band explodes into the main motif, carried awya by the lead guitar in a solid fashion while the half-cosmic, hal-fcreepy keyboards exorcise ghosts from old albums by Eloy and Novalis. When we get to the slow section, we find an extended momentum of ceremonious moods filled with a moderate sense of mystery - teh acoustic guitar hums and mellotron layers provide a mesmeric background for the sax solos and synth adornments. With the return of the main motif, Metrognom recaptures its rougher side, even taking it to a perticularly enhanced dimension due to the addition of jazz-rock inspired cadences. The coda of acoustic guitar and distant synth creates a second unexpected climax after the rocking climax that preceeede it. Track no. 3 bears the funny, extravagat title 'Opening Ceremony to the Trolls Seventeenth Olympic Games'. Here the band again explores the musical trends exposed in track 1, albeit with a more intense dynamics and a higher accomplishment of complex arrangements and creative arrangements. There's also room for soem delightful acoustic passages, which build on the band`s introspective side. The irruption of a harsh motif feels very pertinent in a dramatic viewpoint, elaborating a sonic storm as a kind of bridge between the acoustic section and the following electric portion. The album's final 21 ½ minutes are occupied by 'Tellus Will Tell Us Its Will', whose intro reveals a marriage between delicate sprinkles and creepy breezes. The initial motif is languid, very much like a Sigur Ros-esque reconstruction of PF's 'Echoes'. When the frantic episodes arrive, we're treated with yet another dose of typical Metrognom psychedelia that we've grown used to. The alternation between fast and slow section is very well managed. The jazz factor is more pronounced than ever before, reminding us of Colosseum or Lady Lake. Well, all things considered, "Twangyluck" is a refreshing example of new music patently rooted in the old, a muscular combination of retro-prog and modern psychedelia. Metrognom just has to be paid attention to, since their music is excellent.

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