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Lumsk biography
LUMSK are a progressive Norwegian band who combine traditional and contemporary folk themes and moods with metal and folk-rock arrangements, and with instrumentation that covers many spectrums in between.

Each of the band's three studio albums to-date has shown both growth and experimentation on the part of the musicians, ranging from a folk concept record ('Åsmund Frægdegjevar') to a darker, more metal-influenced work with 'Troll' and finally the meticulously-produced and brighter neo-progressive 'Det Vilde Kor'.

The band has undergone several lineup changes in recent years but retains a core membership of Espen Warankov Godø on keyboards, guitarist Eystein Garberg and bassist Espen Hammer along with several recent additions and numerous guest musicians on each studio album.

>> Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemfoNazareth) <<

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LUMSK discography

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

3.25 | 13 ratings
Åsmund Frægdegjevar
3.85 | 17 ratings
4.00 | 13 ratings
Det Vilde Kor
4.08 | 26 ratings
Fremmede Toner

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

LUMSK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

3.75 | 4 ratings
4.00 | 3 ratings
Det Døde Barn / Das Tote Kind

LUMSK Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fremmede Toner by LUMSK album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.08 | 26 ratings

Fremmede Toner
Lumsk Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars An old Norwegian metal band that uses folk traditions and some folk instruments. This is only their fourth album (since 2002) and first since 2007!

1. "Det Døde Barn" (4:50) I'm having trouble connecting with this song and, therefore, the band's music. Are they coming from a folk orientation or metal? It feels as if the lead singer and rest of the band have differing styles of choice--that each has to hold back a part of their own true inclinations in order to make the music work. (8.7510)

2. "En Harmoni" (5:11) Same trouble: can't connect/engage with this won. (8.5/10)

3. "Avskjed" (2:32) What is this supposed to be? (4/5)

4. "Under Linden" (4:29) the use of more acoustic instruments seems much more fitting to Mari's folkie voice. It helps even when the music ramps up to full on prog metal for the choruses and the instrumental passage third minute. I just wish the band's melodic sensibilities were more engaging and familiar. (8.66667/10)

5. "Fiolen" (2:20) piano band sounds like a Billy Joel jazz- or polka-lounge piece. The folk instrument palette is almost bluegrass. (4.25/5)

6. "Dagen Er Endt" (8:30) with Mari singing in a lower, more relaxed voice I find myself more engaged and contented. There's a little CICCADA/Evangelia Kozoni in this song--in Mari's performance. Too bad the dual guitars didn't ramp up for their dual solo around the three minute mark. Great vocal and band passage follows to complete the fourth minute and carry forward into the fifth. The prolonged instrumental sendoff is tasty. A top three song for me. (17.5/20)

7. "Das Tote Kind" (6:13) Mari's ghost-like vocalise pans around the soundfield as symths, finger-picked acoustic guitars, and Mellotron begin to fill the soundscape until at 1:15 the full band burst in with some uncomplicated metal instruments and riffs. Mari begins singing in a powerful metal ballad style made familiar to us by many other Norse/Nordic female vocalists of the past 30 years. However, she's just not quite as powerful as the good ones (like Simone Simon, Floor Jansen, or Noa Gruman). (8.75/10)

8. "A Match" (4:30) sounds like the continuation of the previous song, with arpeggiated electric guitar providing the only performance of the chord sequence, but using the same pacing and cadence--but here we have a male vocalist-- singing, rather pleasantly (theatrically) in English! When Mari joins in for the second verse she doubles up the lead vocal duties with her male partner. Very nice! At 2:30 everything comes to a stop as the two electric guitars and violin begin a little weave to drive the song along, bass, drums and male vocalist (now more aggressive with a theatric graininess in his voice). Mari and macho male dual out their conversation to the song's end. Interesting. (8.75/10)

9. "Abschied" (4:19) simple, bare-bones heavy prog baseline over which Mari sings--auf Deutsch! Unfortunately, there is nothing new or exciting here, just competence. (8.5/10)

10. "Under Der Linden" (4:10) another song sung in German, this one starts out very simply, almost like an iamthemorning song, but with the second verse it gets heavier support from guitars and drums, forcing Mari to amp up her own vocal performance. Around 1:25 the music enters a metallic instrumental passage of some kind of folk melody. When we return for the next vocal verse I get very strong reminders of the Dutch duo SCARLET STORIES--both musically and female vocally. (8.75/10)

11. "Das Veilchen" (3:44) yet another song sung in German (is Mari German?) near-classical piano support with rock band support flares up a little between or behind the vocal passages with delicate (and some not-so-delicate) electric guitar flourishes. The chorus motif sees the band move into a more standard rock strummed chord progression--and then straight into a nice lead guitar solo passage (with lush keyboard and expert support from the second guitar). Another top three song. (8.875/10)

12. "The Day Is Done" (8:24) piano and same theatric (think Phantom or JC Superstar) male vocalist open this one-- until, that is, a Rick Wakeman-like organ theme takes over in the second half of the second minute--which then turns into a classic prog-like motif of bombast reminding me of something by GLASS HAMMER with its aggressive male and gentle female vocals being traded and then combined (for the chorus). Nice instrumental passage using the same organ-based motif starts at 4:20 but then goes gentle and pastoral as piano takes over the organ's arpeggi while electric guitar and Michael Giles-like cymbal play provide the lead entertainment for a bit. By the six-minute mark the full band has reappeared in full prog bombast to support the tasteful lead guitar solo. At 6:50 we drop back to piano and bass as the male vocalist delivers a Peter Gabriel-like poetic vocal for a few measures, but then he (and the rest of the band) burst out into an impressively powerful outburst to finish the song. Impressive! Reminds me a lot of some of the NeoProg bands to come out of Italy in the 90s or Naughties--like Citizen Cain, The Watch, La Maschera Di Cena, or even Glass Hammer (who is, obviously, not Italian). Easily the best, my favorite, most proggy song on the album. (18.5/20)

Total Time 59:12

One of the most beautiful album covers I've seen in a long time. If only the music could match up, but no, this album has been in my review queue for some time but I've not been able to get engaged in the half dozen attempts I've made to review it: the music is just too simple and innocuous--all instrumental performances totally set up to support/enhance the vocal performances of Mari Klingen. This might work if it were not for Mari's innocuous folk- tinged vocals feeling totally mismatched with the heavily-restrained metal-disposed band who feel as if they are always ready (and bursting at the gut) to try to break loose into some full-on metal music.

B/four stars; an excellent, if confusing, collection of enigmatic and often ambiguous songs. I recommend that you to try it out for yourselves in order to form your own opinions.

 Fremmede Toner by LUMSK album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.08 | 26 ratings

Fremmede Toner
Lumsk Prog Folk

Review by KansasForEver

4 stars LUMSK is a Norwegian group which was unknown to me until the publication of this new and fourth album (the first album dates back to 2003) and which offers us a mixture of folk, rock and metal, hence a compulsory membership in so-called progressive music.

Many line up changes since 2003, only three original members remain, Espen WARANKOV GODO on keyboards, Eystein GARBERG on guitars and Espen HAMMER on bass guitar and especially sixteen long years since the release of their previous album in 2007 which fact that for many the formation had indeed disappeared... nay because the recordings of this "Fremmede Toner" began in 2009 but the vicissitudes of everyone's life meant that this fourth album only seems in the spring of 2023. Nevertheless, we must specify that the violinist and the drummer were also present in 2007.

"Fremmede Toner" is the name of a collection of poems by the Norwegian author Andr' BJERKE, poems translated and for some rewritten by poets from all over the world. The singing on the vast majority of the work is in Norwegian which could possibly put off a certain part of our readership, nevertheless the singer Mari KLINGEN is doing overall with honors, the rare male vocals with singing in English are less fascinating (Mathias R. SAMUELSEN childhood friend of Espen, recognized literary authority) as in the eighth title "A Match" (7/10), or the concluding piece "The Day is Done" (8/10), a piece that reminds me of the old incarnation of KAYAK with Edward REEKERS and Cindy OUDSHOORN...the latter nevertheless has an interesting quasi-instrumental second half (remarkable use of the piano) by Espen WARANKOV GODO.

Only two titles exceed eight minutes, all the others oscillate between 2:20 and 6:13 (including six around four minutes). Among these ten titles (I mentioned the two sung in the language of SHAKESPEARE a little higher), the most pleasant for me are the first "Det D'de Barn" (9/10) and its highly symphonic finale, the second "En Harmoni" with its Bushian intro (the "little girl" voice of Mari KLINGEN) which evolves towards a metallic and memorable rhythm (8/10), the fourth "Under Linden" for its violin at midpoint supported by six strings biting and its disheveled conclusion with multiple keyboards (8/10), the sixth "Dagen Er Endt" the pearl of the work if it is necessary to designate one (10/10) of the high level symphonic progressive where everything sounds perfectly ( this violin in the finale! all the octaves must pass there), the seventh "Das Tote Kind" a track with climates that are alternately soft and playful, even energetic, almost metallic in the good sense of the term (9/10), the eleventh " Das Veilchen" too short unfortunately, perhaps for a radio passage? (8/10).

On the other hand, I didn't appreciate the short "Avskjed" which sounds almost "punk" (5/10) nor the too basic and frankly metallic one but in the wrong way.... "Abscheid" (6/10) as well as the tenth title the rocknrolling "Under Der Linden" too sung for my taste (7/10). In general I would have appreciated that certain tracks were more developed, several of them would have deserved a more extensive instrumental treatment, a very good disc nevertheless which will probably have a place in my annual top 15.

 Fremmede Toner by LUMSK album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.08 | 26 ratings

Fremmede Toner
Lumsk Prog Folk

Review by Evvil_spoon

5 stars It must have been 20 years ago when I first discovered Lumsk's debut album. I was immediately addicted to their unique style of progressive folk-rock/metal, heavily influenced by Norwegian tales and poems. With 2005's Troll, the band managed to improve on their amazing debut by further streamlining their songs and allowing themselves to not shy away from more passionate and vulnerable sections. Hopes were high for 2007's album, but it seemed like the band took their progression a bit too far. The album consisted mostly of poppy ballads, with the odd folky prog-rock song in between. After years of silence, it seemed this was the end for this band?

You can imagine my surprise when they announced a new album, almost 16 years later. With some changes in their line-up and a very long time to work on the new material, I was curious about the direction the band would evolve. Are we getting another ballad-ridden, mediocre album, or will they return to their roots? Both of these guesses turned out to be wrong!

Before completely breaking down the album, it must be said this one needs a bit of explanation. Like the other Lumsk albums, this is a concept album. The songs are based on 6 poems by André Bjerke, who took inspiration from Goethe, Nietzsche, and Swinburne. Each poem is transformed into a song in Norwegian in the first half of the album and an English or German version in the second half. Luckily, this doesn't mean the songs are the same at all, though! There is a clear thread that connects each of the pairs of songs, without them ever feeling like a copy of one other. The best way to think of it is as a reflection or mirror image of the same concept (As the beautiful cover art also suggests).

The gentle piano accompanied by hauntingly beautiful vocals of Det døde barn (The dead child) starts our journey. When the drums and acoustic guitars kick in, you will immediately notice this album is far more progressive than any of Lumsk's previous works. Halfway through the song, the first distortion can be heard. What a relief to hear this heavier side of the band, mostly absent from the previous release. If this opening track didn't at least pique your interest, it might be better to move on to something less out-of-the-box within the metal scene. We'll only be getting more of this!

En harmoni (a match) gives us the first good listen to the beautiful violins we know from earlier albums. They are hidden in the background on the first song, but here they take the front of the stage. The progressive elements are even more prevalent in this song and are supported by a Hammond organ for the more '70s prog sound. This song features a beautiful vocal / drum break before launching in a heavy section that will remind the longtime listener of passages from their first album, Åsmund Frægdegjevar. Even more than in the previous songs, the attention is drawn to the drum performance by Vidar in Avskjed. 16 years is a long time between albums, but it's clear that he hasn't been sitting still all this time. His technique, choice of accents, and fills are incredible and lift this otherwise straightforward song, of just over two minutes, to another level. The same can be said about the riffs and guitars in general, with outstanding performances by Eystein and Roar. Now we can safely say that Lumsk is back and stronger than ever.

With the start of Under Linden (Under the Linden/white wood), we get flashbacks from 2007's Det vilde kor. Although this album was more focused on ballads and vocal performance than Lumsk's other works, it didn't lose their unique sound and feel. This song is written in a very interesting combination of time signatures, but isn't too complex to follow along easily. We get another Hammond organ break, after which we are welcomed by a wall of distorted guitars and a captivating solo that shows glimpses of the better Opeth tracks. What differentiates Lumsk from them however are the fantastic vocals in Norwegian by newcomer Mari, who captures the sound of her predecessor Stine-Mari (although I do miss her soulful rolling 'R'). Fiolen (The Viola) follows the last song up perfectly and marks the first full-on ballad of the album. This short track gives room for, as the name already suggested, the violin. The performance of Siv Lena is as great as always and still leaning heavily on the traditional Scandinavian style we have gotten used to in the band's works. The first half of the album is closed off with Dagen er endt (The day is done). Unfortunately, this is also my least favorite track of the album, which in no way means it's a bad song! It captures all the elements we've heard so far and combines them to form a great, but rather straightforward, ballad.

The first song of the second half of the album is the German Das tode Kind, and this is the first time we hear Lumsk with lyrics in another language than Norwegian. I like the concept, but think there is some loss of emotion when not singing in their mother tongue. This doesn't take away that this is another amazing song with a chillingly beautiful buildup to a heavy final, that once again takes us back to their first album. Lumsk manages to find the perfect balance between slow, intricate sections and distorted, heavy sections again. A Match is the first ever Lumsk Song in English, and it introduces us to the new voice of session musician Mathias. His warm baritone fits perfectly with Mari in this lovely duet, which focuses heavily on the lyrics. Things get shaken up in the later half of this song, where the time signature changes, and they once again build up to a heavy closing. Both vocals get more raw as the song progresses, making this perhaps the most metal song on the album, which you would never expect listening to only the first part of the track.

We hear the return to German In Abschied. This is another heavy hitter, with great performances all around. The drums once again stick out due to the very contrary play style, which makes the songs so much more interesting on multiple playthroughs. By now it is more than clear that Mari has an incredible vocal talent, both fragile and powerful, fitting the music perfectly. Under de Linden continues with an incredibly beautiful vocal performance, guided by a melancholic piano riff. This song twice features a complex, but very satisfying, time signature change that I can't get enough off. The songwriting is of a very high standard and, understandably, it took the band some years to finish these compositions! (Although 16 years is a bit of a stretch, of course?)

Das Veilchen is another fantastically beautiful track, with a buildup to an emotional eruption only the greatest in the history of prog-rock can churn out. Lumsk does this, all without ever sounding like they copy any band. This is another highlight of the album. When The day is done starts, the album has been playing for nearly one hour already, yet it feels like it could easily carry on for another hour. This last track features Mathias' vocals prominently, and at times his voice reminds me of some of the best Marko Hietala (former Nightwish) performances. Halfway through, Mari joins for a final time, topping the already great duet we heard on A Match. The piece forms a beautiful and engaging prog-rock epic, with very heavy 70s prog influences, mostly resembling Pink Floyd. Not a single note on this album overstays its welcome, and the only thing you want to do when the final note fades out is hit the repeat button. What an incredible experience!

Lumsk manages to do the (nearly) impossible with this profoundly goosebump-inducing album: A return after a 16-year-long hiatus, combining all the elements that made the band great in the first place and creating the perfect culmination of emotionally driven, progressive folk rock/metal. If any of these genres speak to you, you simply must hear this album. To close things off, it must be mentioned that the production of this album is of a very high standard, giving room for all the individual elements to shine, while still sounding pure and heartfelt. This is without a doubt their best work to date, and I would almost say it was worth the wait! Just don't take another 16 years for the next album, the world needs more remarkable and unique pieces of art like this album!

Highlights: All tracks, but if I had to choose: Det Døde Barn, En harmoni, Avskjed, Das tode Kind, A Match, Abschied, Das Veilchen.

 Troll by LUMSK album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.85 | 17 ratings

Lumsk Prog Folk

Review by wiz_d_kidd

4 stars It's funny how you can stumble across new music. Not long ago I was researching Hungarian bands after listening to Korai Orom and I came across the band After Crying. One of their tracks, Bevezetes, got me enamored with Gregorian chants and beautiful operatic vocals used in a prog setting. That led me to discover a genre referred to as Prog Viking Metal. Who knew there was such a thing? (Obvious answer: not me!)

The Viking Metal genre led me to the Norwegian band Lumsk, and their Troll album (among others). Troll is by far my favorite album of theirs, as it has a nice balance of metal, vocals, prog, and Norwegian folk influences.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a big fan of metal, but its usage on this album is not far from what can be found on many hard rock songs. It is largely absent from many tracks, but when it appears, it's not too harsh or overbearing. Enough, perhaps, for the metal enthusiasts, but not so much as to turn off those who shy away from it.

The vocals, all sung in Norwegian, include both female and male singers. The female vocals, provided by the classically trained, award-winning soprano, Stine Mari Langstrand, are soaring and operatic in some instances, softer and folksier in others. Absolutely engaging and beautiful, her vocals are the highlight of the album.

Male vocals are provided by Andreas Kjerkol Elvenes and Steinar 'rdal. They have a deep, dark characteristic, which at times reminds me of Deluge Grander (August in the Urals), but more melodic.

Throw in some Mellotron and Hammond organ here and there, good splashes of violin, and some interesting arrangements, and the music pushes into prog (folk) territory.

The songs on the album tell different stories about trolls and spirits in Norwegian folklore. A lyrical excerpt from the first track (translated to English) reads: "The N'kk, he sits a-playing. Can you hear the fiddle go? From the river you hear the melody. It's the evil that here reigns."

The track entitled "Allvis", in my opinion, is the best on the album. At one point, a Norwegian story teller (Stian Hovland Pedersen) chimes in, and I immediately picture a rugged, sea-faring Norwegian salt with a well-weathered face, replete with tattered cap and homemade pipe, relating a story of a troll he's encountered on one of his harrowing journeys. The whole piece is an addicting drug that I can't stop listening to. But that's just me...

This is an totally engaging album. Whether you like a little metal in your prog, or enjoy drop-dead gorgeous vocals, you're sure to enjoy this performance. A good starting point if you're unfamiliar with Lumsk, or Prog Viking Metal, I give it 4-1/2 stars (rounded down because I can't give a half-star, and I don't dole out perfect 5's very often).

 Åsmund Frægdegjevar by LUMSK album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.25 | 13 ratings

Åsmund Frægdegjevar
Lumsk Prog Folk

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars for sure

Lumks is one of the unfairly unnoticed bands from Norway , with 3 albums in their pockets so far. Their debut is named Åsmund Frægdegjevar released in 2003. Musicaly speaking they combine in good measure progressive metal of the heavier kind with traditional norwegian folk themes, all done with taste. Imagine something like Amorphis in their first years with nice mellotron added in the mix, even some moog is present. Just to be check the instrumental opening Det Var Irlands Kongi Bold and then the second pieces of the album Ormin Lange are simply said excellent, very nice arrangements. Aswell the duo female vocals add a colorful atmosphere. The metal passages are very well combined with folk parts, some acustical passages are aswell present here and there and a plus is they sung in their native tongue, norwegian , who is a plus for me, it gives a special overall dark scandinavian feel. The lyrics aswell is taken and adapted from a famous norwegian poet of XIX century. A nice album, a debut that for some resons is not so popular among fans of heavier kind of prog metal, 3.5 stars for sure.

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition.

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