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OCTOPUS (NOR)

Symphonic Prog • Norway


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Octopus (Nor) biography
Little information is there about this Norwegian progressive rock outfit that came out of nowhere to release one sole album in the early 80s and then went back into the void of nothingness. OCTOPUS delivered a very melodic sort of symphonic prog that also provided some extra room for occasional jazzy and space-rock elements into the whole sonic framework. Keyboardist Tore AARNES was the leader of this short-lived band. This band has a truly Scandinavia feel to it which is related to BO HANSSON and TLAS, but it also stays loyal to the standards of Bardens-era CAMEL, RICK WAKEMAN, and also, to a certain degree, ELOY and NOVALIS.

Their sole album "Thaerie Wiighen" is based on the namesake dramatic poem written by Henrik IBSEN (a defining hero of Norwegian literature), and in fact, the lyrics are taken directly from the aforesaid opus. It has been and continues to be a true collector's item for years.

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OCTOPUS (NOR) discography


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3.31 | 12 ratings
Thaerie Wiighen
1981

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OCTOPUS (NOR) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Thaerie Wiighen by OCTOPUS (NOR) album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.31 | 12 ratings

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Thaerie Wiighen
Octopus (Nor) Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Octopus from Norway (don't be confused to countless bands with same name) was and is an obscure prog band gone unnoticed in prog circles. They released only one album in 1981 named Thaerie Wiighen (taken the name from a hero from literature of famous norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen). There is not much to find about this band or when they were disbanded. The music offered is pretty good all the way, symphonic prog with a nordic feel very similar in places with Bo Hansson releases , with some spacey moments here and there with an Eloy atmosphere, lots of instrumental sections aswell. Excellent are the keyboards passages very reminescent of Rick Wakeman or Genesis, some parts remind me of Kerrs Pink. All in all a very solid album gone under the radar, definetly worth checking, the album was released on CD as minilp few years back. 3.5 stars for sure. A nice one.

 Thaerie Wiighen by OCTOPUS (NOR) album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.31 | 12 ratings

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Thaerie Wiighen
Octopus (Nor) Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Well, it had to happen. Someone made an album out of one of the masterpieces in Norwegian litterature. Henrik Ibsen's poem Terje Vigen, that is. Octopus is here following a trend in Norway where masterpieces were upgraded to folk rock or even rock'n'roll. ProgArchives also have some other entries of this kind in it's database.

Very little is known about this band or even the musicians on this album. This album is from 1981, but feels like a mid 1970s Norwegian album. Maybe the melodies is from the mid 1970s too. That would explain a lot.

This concept album is pretty good though. I have some issues with the overly pronounced vocals which just does not feel natural to me in this day and age. It has to be said though that the lyrics was written at least 150 years ago. The rest of the musicians does a great job though. The music is a mix of heavy prog, prog folk, art rock and symphonic prog.

This being a concept album, the music is packaged around Henrik Ibsen's lyrics. The music follows the poem in all it's drama where it ebbs and flows. Full marks there. The quality of the music is good throughout. There are several great melody lines here too. This is in my view a good album and a good method to teach yourself this famous poem, one of the pillars in Norwegian litterature and philosophy. Most things Henrik Ibsen wrote is very relevant today and this poem is a prime example. So a re-release, if someone would be kind enough to re-release this album, should be included in the schools in Norway. This album beats the teaching of this poem hands down.

A very good album it is and perhaps one those who speaks Norwegian in ProgArchives should put on their must-have list.

3.5 stars

 Thaerie Wiighen by OCTOPUS (NOR) album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.31 | 12 ratings

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Thaerie Wiighen
Octopus (Nor) Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars So we have four bands on this site called OCTOPUS. I went to review this album here a few years ago when I realized they hadn't been added as yet. This is an obscure band from Norway who released this concept album in 1981. Vocals are in their own native language. This album is a little light for my tastes but it certainly has it's moments.

"Overture-Del 1" opens with the sound of water splashing against the boat before this light sound comes in with BEACH BOYS-like harmonies. It's bright. Guitar to the fore after 2 1/2 minutes before a calm arrives as we can hear sea-gulls and voices. Synths are prominant too. "Del 2" opens with laid back piano as reserved vocals join in. It picks up 2 minutes in then settles back as contrasts continue. "Del-3" is better even though it's still mellow with the focus on the vocals. That changes when the mournful guitar arrives before 3 minutes then it calms right down. Nice. It picks back up and becomes catchy.

"Del-4" opens with acoustic guitar and flute before the vocals join in. "Del-5" is eventually vocal led but then the sound becomes more urgent before 1 1/2 minutes. Guitar follows and the sound becomes dramatic after 4 minutes. "Del-6" features light keys and drums with harmonies early but guitar, synths and vocals take over before 1 1/2 minutes. "Del-7" is my favourite section. It's light with vocals outfront but then it picks up. "Del-8" has somewhat theatrical vocals and they reprise a melody from the opening track. Sea-gulls are back to end it.

I'm sure that this was an important album for Prog fans in Norway in the early eighties.

 Thaerie Wiighen by OCTOPUS (NOR) album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.31 | 12 ratings

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Thaerie Wiighen
Octopus (Nor) Symphonic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Under the vision and guidance of keyboardist-main composer Tore Aarnes, the Norwegian symphonic prog outfit Octopus released one only album, a concept-album based on Henrik Ibsen's major opus "Thaerie Wiighen" (or ""). Odd as it may seem, it was released in 1981 just when the guidelines of new-wave, post-punk and techno-pop were defining the rock mainstream and progressive rock was continuously remembered as a sordid aspect in the history of rock music. In fact, you could barely believe the credits when you can easily notice the early 70s sort of sound that goes all the way throughout the album. The Octopus offering basically bears a symphonic core, somehow related to "Attic Thoughts"-era Bo Hansson, as well as classic Novalis, 74-76 Eloy and "Rockpommel's Land"-era Grobschnitt; to a lighter degree, you can also trace shades of Bardens-era Camel, "Remember"-era Nektar and Wakeman. This band is also sensitive to the inclusion of poppish ornaments of the funky kind (some specific passages in 'Del 3', 'Del 7' and 'Del 8'). 'Ouverture / Del 1' kicks off the album with ceremonious wind noises, and then the main body settles in across a harmonious set of well-crafted motifs that deliver a calculated elegance as well as an appealing dynamics. You can tell that a distinct dynamics has been stated in this opener, and both 'Del 2' and 'Del 3' emerge to reinforce it. Since it is longer, the latter takes advantage to expand on a more elaborated colorfulness. 'Del 4' is based on acoustic guitar and flute, in this way providing a moment of bucolic serenity. This band is not really that heavy when compared to Grobschnitt or Nektar, for instance, but one can appreciate the inclusion of rockier moods in 'Del 5' (mostly based on the guitar phrases), but again, the ceremonious expression of symphonic prog remains the dominant resource.On the other hand, 'Del 6' is connected to the band's poppier side (especially 'Del 6') while 'Del 7' delivers an equilibrium between the poppy and the symphonic. The listener may consider the pairing of these two tracks as a passage of musical constraint before the closer 'Del 8' brings back the symphonic thing in full splendor. Its refurbishment of the opener's dominant moods makes it a convenient epilogue to a delightful progressive lost gem. The music of Octopus from Norway, while not as brilliant as Atlas or as challenging Islands, can be appreciated as a Scandinavian prog-rock treasure.
Thanks to IvŠn_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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