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GÅTE

Heavy Prog • Norway


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Gåte biography
Hailing from Trondheim, Norway, GÅTE ("riddle" in Norwegian) blended traditional folk melodies from their native country with powerful, fuzzed-up hard rock and electronica. The band was formed in 1999 by two siblings with a strong musical training, singer Gunnhild SUNDLI and her brother Sveinung. Gunnhild's distinctive vocals, together with Sveinung's playing of the traditional Hardanger fiddle, successfully bridged the gap between Norwegian folk music and harder-edged rock sounds. Many of their songs were based on lyrics by contemporary poet Astrid KROG HALSE and folk musician Knut BUEN, while others were modern interpretations of traditional melodies.

After their first, independent EP in 2000, GÅTE were signed by Warner Music Norway, and in early 2002 released the commercially as well as critically successful "Gåte EP". By that time the two SUNDLI siblings had recruited the band's other members: Magnus Robot BØRMARK (guitars, synths), Martin Viktor LANGLIE (drums, percussion) and Gjermund LANDRØ (bass, vocals). Their debut album, "Jygri", also released in 2002, reached platinum status in Norway, as well as winning Spellemanprisen, the local equivalent of a Grammy Award. Its follow-up, "Iselilja", came out in the autumn of 2004.

After the release of "Iselilja", LANGLIE quit the band, and was replaced by Kenneth KAPSTAD. There were plans of launching the band in Europe, and they even played a few concerts in Germany in the summer of 2005, but by autumn the same year Gunnhild SUNDLI felt exhausted and needed a break, and the band went on an indefinite hiatus.

In 2006 a live album, simply titled "Liva", and featuring some of the band's most representative songs, was released on CD and DVD.

On October 24, 2009, the band made a comeback at the cultural festival UKA in Trondheim. What was supposed to be a one-off, led to a small summer tour (5 concerts) in 2010, culminating with a performance on the roof of the Oslo Opera House on August 20, which marked the end of the band.

That end would prove to be only preliminary though, as the SUNDLI siblings suprisingly resurrected the band, with new members, and released a short EP, "Attersyn", in 2017, with more new music and touring to come in 2018.

Discography:
Gammel (2000 - self-produced EP)
Gåte EP (2002 - EP)
Jygri (2002 - studio album)
Statt opp (Maggeduliadei) (2003 - EP)
Iselilja (2004 - studio album)
Liva (2006 - live album/DVD)
Attersyn (2017 - E...
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GÅTE discography


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

3.50 | 7 ratings
Jygri
2002
4.00 | 7 ratings
Iselilja
2004
3.05 | 2 ratings
Svevn
2018

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

3.95 | 2 ratings
Liva
2006

GÅTE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Liva
2006

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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Gammel
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bendik Og Årolilja
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Til Deg
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Gåte EP
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kara Tu Omna
2002
3.95 | 2 ratings
Statt Opp (Maggeduliadei)
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sjå Attende
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sjåaren
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
Attersyn
2017

GÅTE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Svevn by GÅTE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Svevn
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Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars In 2017, the band were back, much to the delight of their fans, and were soon back in the studio. After the release of an EP, they returned in 2018 with their first new studio album in fourteen years. Gunnhild Sundli, Sveinung Sundli and Magnus Børmark were still there, and they have now been joined by Jon Even Schärer and Mats Paulsen on drums and bass. In some ways this is a new band, and in others they are exactly the same. It's like Purple being the same guys who wrote and performed 'Who Do We Think We Are' and 'Perfect Strangers' but the experiences in between had changed them, so the sound was never the same again as it couldn't be. For Gåte, they had become more polished and less angst-driven, and it is as if all the sharp edges have been rubbed down carefully and made safe. There is less naivety, angst and pure anger and instead there is a great deal of polish and care. They are no longer living on the edge but are sat back safely away from it lounging in comfy chairs.

There are times when the old Gåte are back, allowing Gunnhild to hold court against all comers, but overall this is an enjoyable album as opposed to one which is essential. It will be interesting to see what happens next, as it is quite possible that the cloak of respectability will be shed when they are in the live environment, and the next album could be rougher and more raucous. I hope so, but this is still a solid release although not nearly as essential as the others.

 Liva by GÅTE album cover Live, 2006
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Liva
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Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars A live album was released after the band had split, recorded at the end of 2005. It starts with some wordless vocals, until Gunnhild starts "Knut Liten og Sylvelin". There are shouts of recognition, and the crowd all join in when the repeated riffs commence. Although there are some keyboards in the background, this still feels all very stark and one-dimensional, and the input of the electric violin just adds to the feeling of disharmony. There is a real edge, an air of excitement, as although Gunnhild is in total control everyone knows that it can't stay this way and that there needs to be a release. It isn't until nearly five minutes into the song that the band allows the music to crash and open up, with strident violin fighting with guitar. But on the backside of this there are times when it is basically just vocals and drums. This is a band who are happy with the ideas of dissonance and contrast and are prepared to deliver just that.

Each song is met with applause and shouts of recognition, and at times it feels more like a football crowd than an audience, all joining in and being part of the experience. Although I enjoyed the studio works, there is no doubt that it is in the live environment that all the band really come alive. There are sounds which are more space rock than anything else, still tied to folk, but with metal and alternative rock all combining to create a fractured platform allowing the singer to either shine in her own right or hide behind the notes if she wants to. On "Du som er ung" she challenges the crowd to join with her when she sings accompanied, and when the band are crunching along she hits the notes with ease, always in control, always full of power. The version of "Stengd dør" is incredible, showing wonderful breath control, and a voice that sounds like a professionally trained soprano as she hits the very high notes with ease.

The album is full of contrasts yet is totally enjoyable and is the one I have been playing most.

 Iselilja by GÅTE album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.00 | 7 ratings

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Iselilja
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Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Back with their second full-length album in 2004, the band were by now brimming with confidence on the back of hitting #1 in Norway with their debut, winning a Grammy, and playing many live shows, and straight from the off it shows. "Fredlysning" has double tracked violin to give it more depth, but in many ways that is just a taster as on the next track "Sjå attende" the guys really start to open up, which allows Gunnhild to either be at the front in total control, or at the rear with wordless workouts. She sounds as if she has been fronting the band all her life, and she challenges those around her to keep up. This is a song I have found myself returning to often, as it contains so many elements I enjoy, and show many of the more well-known folk metal acts that they have a lot to contend with. I did find myself surprised that this album has been around for some fifteen years, but this is the first time I have come across this, and if it wasn't for my good friend Olav, I still would know nothing about these guys.

"Knut Liten og Sylvelin" is one of the traditional folk numbers they perform, but I can guarantee there aren't many versions like this out there. Gunnhild starts on her own, and a repeated riffing guitar joins her, a violin is scraped in the background, and gradually the rest of the band come in. This isn't a new trick, Deep Purple probably copyrighted it nearly fifty years ago, but it is certainly effective. Gunnhild was really making a name for herself by now, and the attack on the likes of "Du som er ung" again belies her young years, and perhaps it was no surprise that this was the final studio album from the band as they broke up after its release. By this time, they had released three EP's, and two incredible studio albums but was that going to be it?

 Statt Opp (Maggeduliadei) by GÅTE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Statt Opp (Maggeduliadei)
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Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars This four-track EP followed in 2003, and although I may not normally write anything about singles and EP's, this contains a song which has to be heard to be believed. That is the second song of the set, an a capella version of "Til Deg", a song which originally appeared on the debut. This young lady is prepared to shred all protection, and provide wonderful vocals with nowhere to hide, and again her confidence belies her years. This in turn is followed by a live version of "Bendik og Årolilja", also originally on the debut, and she sounds just as home here fronting a rock band in front of a crowd as she does in the studio. The contrast between the two is quite incredible, except that at all times she is in total control, no matter what is going on around her. The band are heavier in a live environment, and even though they stay melodic there is a crunching bounce to their sound, so much so that one can imagine a mosh pit happily forming.
 Jygri by GÅTE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.50 | 7 ratings

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Jygri
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Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars G'te (English: riddle) is a band from Tr'ndelag, who were formed by Sveinung Sundli (violin, keyboards) in 2000, together with his sister Gunnhild Sundli (vocals), Gjermund Landr' (bass, backing vocals), Martin Langlie (drums) and Magnus Robot B'rmark (guitar, keyboards). In some ways these guys put Def Leppard to shame, as Gunnhild was just 15 at the time, and when they released this their debut album in 2002, she was the grand old age of 17. They take folk as their base, and some of their songs are actually reworkings of Norwegian folk numbers, but they feel far more strident and rough-edged than one would expect from that description. Gunnhild reminds me somewhat of Bj'rk, but with a band whose guitars are so sharp and staccato that one could easily get cut by the jagged riffs.

All lyrics are in Norwegian, but that isn't an issue as it adds to the mystery, as the band switch from one style to another, with the metallic blasting "Springleik" giving way to "Stengd d'r" which features Gunnhild accompanied by a piano and loads of reverb. This album saw them win the Spellemann award for Best New Artist, and Gunnhild's amazing vocals (which even at this age showed incredible power and sustain, moving through jazz, classical and other styles) combined with infectious and melodic support saw them take the critics by storm. This doesn't sound like a young band with a debut, but rather an established act who had been around for years, as this is mature, polished and enjoyable from the very first. I still can't decide which is my favourite studio album from G'te, as they are all so strong. They were soon back in the studio, though.

 Jygri by GÅTE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.50 | 7 ratings

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Jygri
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Review by Passionist

3 stars Evidently the tamer album of the band, Jygri is a nice album for one, who enjoys folk as it is and some heavier tunes. I loved the album the first time I heard it. Most of I was impressed of Gunnhild's vocals. The music seems to just back up lots of it.

There are a lot of vocal passages without real words. The first song tells a nice tale as far as I can understan Norwegian. The language is not a problem though, since Gåte is such a melodic band. You needn't consentrate on the lyrics. A great aprt of the melodics come from the violin working together with the drums, which makes a dynamical combo, you really feel like dancing to this.

Note that most of the songs tend to sound a bit similar, especially when playing folk on a lead violin and a heavy guitar in the back. That doesn't mean the music's any worse than what it is. In fact it's great.

Someone I know was teaching a class of 14-year-olds, they were learning Swedish and were supposed to sepak of Norway (that's the way it goes in my country). Some of the kids pointed out, that it's similar to Nightwish, and at that point I'm glad I was not the teacher, I would have laughed them out the class. The musics hardly heavy rock but folk.

The problem with the bands heavy-folk sound is, that it can't be recycled until eternity. It seems that the great vocals are often keeping the music interesting, and after the first 3-4 songs the rest are not as good. This makes the listening experience a bit tame, but if you sit down and enjoy them, they can be really entertaining.

I have yet to find a band that's alike, and I doubt I ever will. The great shame is, that they've done only 2 studio albums so far. This album is great folk, in the word's very sense, but don't expect it to bee too heavy. As I said, itäs not nearly as good as the second album. The record contains quite a few instrumental passages, and though they sound really nice, they don't really add to the listening experience, and you'd rather hear the beautiful female voice again.

Because of the, as some would say, thin experience after the best, first couple of songs, I couldn't give this album more than 3 stars, but after all my admiration, I'm very sure they're worth it. I sensed a great band arising after this and the second album, so here's waiting for some new material.

 Jygri by GÅTE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.50 | 7 ratings

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Jygri
Gåte Heavy Prog

Review by sugarmice

3 stars Gåte (Norwegian for riddle) was a band from the middle Norway playing Norwegian folk music with influence of prog folkrock/progmetal, and a taste of electronica. You could also find realtionship to Bel Canto, Anneli Drecker and someone would say Bjørk.

You could also say that Gåte is a kind of renewal of traditional Norwegian music. Some of the lyrics come from traditional Norwegian folk songswritings. Stengd Dør (Closed Door) are based on the poems of the Norwegian poet Astrid Krogh Halse. Jygri is the first album released by the Gåte, and sold impressive 40000 copies in Norway. Jygrid is the name of huldra, a folkloric characters in a supernatural female creature. The song Jygri is an old Norwegian folk tune. The lyrics tells us aboat mother Jygri calling for her children by names. The music consists of guitaring, violins, synthesized keyboarding, drumming, and the distinctive voice of 17 years old Gunnhild Sundli. Sveinung Sundli is also knovn as the founder of Storåsfestivalen, one of the biggest Norwegian rock festivals. Gåte is also known as one of most energetic live bands in Norway.

Thanks to raff for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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