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HØST

Heavy Prog • Norway


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Høst biography
There are really two versions of this Norwegian band: the metal one and the symphonic one. They were originally formed in 1973 by two guitarists, a bassist, keyboardist and vocalist who indulged in hard rock. No sooner had they released an album than three members split, leaving the bassist and vocalist on their own. The two recruited three new members and released a second album of an entirely different sort. Failing to sell, however - and their record company balking at financing a third album - they tried to widen their audience by writing material with English lyrics and even changed their name to ICE at one point, but to no avail. They split up in 1978, briefly reformed in 1991 for a couple of concerts then went their separate ways.

Their first release "På Sterke Vinger" is a hard rocker that could almost be described as a proggy version of IRON MAIDEN (two years before this band was even born!), complete with dual guitars battling it out, pumping bass and the appropriate harsh vocals. Still a bit hard-edged, the second album "Hardt Mot Hardt" is much more symphonic, giving the keyboards a more prominent role as well as featuring flute and strings. It's a mixture of 70's hard prog with softer moments and a little local flavour (lyrics on both albums are sung in Norwegian). The vocalist is the same on both although he sounds much more convincing on the second album. There is also a live album, "Live and Unreleased", comprising material from three shows during 1975, 1978 and 1991. Seeing as two of these shows were professionally recorded for broadcast, the quality is first rate.

All three albums are recommended to fans of hard prog, especially "På Sterke Vinger" if you're a fan of early NEKTAR or early metal bands in general.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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HØST discography


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

3.79 | 30 ratings
På sterke vinger
1974
4.13 | 43 ratings
Hardt Mot Hardt
1976

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

3.15 | 7 ratings
Live and Unreleased
2001

HØST Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
Extra! Extra!
1977

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

HØST Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 På sterke vinger by HØST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.79 | 30 ratings

BUY
På sterke vinger
Høst Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Høst came from the small town of Knapstad in Norway, originally formed in 1971 by guitarist/songwriter Svein Rønning, bassist Johnny Myhre and drummer Stig Berg.Myhre left the group at its early days and three new members joined, Bernt Bodahl (bass), Ronny Gyllensten (guitars) and Geir Jahren (vocals).In 1973 the band started gaining fame through local live gigs, but again two line-up changes occured, Berg and Gyllensten left and were replaced by Knut R. Lie and Odd Inge Olsen respectively, tha last one replaced by Lasse Nilsen just before the group entered the studio for the first time.At the fall of 74' the group recorded its debut ''Pa sterke vinger'' at Arctic Studios in Trondheim, released on the On label.

With two guitarist in the line-up the sound of Høst was built around the twin guitar leads of Rønning and Nilsen, while their style drew influences from British Hard Prog and Progressive Rock with a bit of a Scandinavian character on the poetic Norwegian vocals.To my ears the group sounds a lot like BLACK SABBATH jamming with KAIPA and THIN LIZZY.The tracks are not very complex, featuring extended guitar leads with some nice solos, measured organ and piano parts, while the good vocals of Jahren are also a basic component of the group's sound.The structures are rather simplistic with standard choruses, yet the overall approach is quite irritating with changing guitar themes and some good alternating tempos.The long eponymous closer is another story.Clocking at 10 minutes this composition is based on the shifting changes between melodic guitar parts ala KERRS PINK, poetic vocals in the vein of KAIPA and more doomy explorations in the vein of BLACK SABBATH.There are also some nice bass lines to be found around the middle, the presence of keyboards remains rather discreet, while the epic multi-vocal choirs at the end are pretty exciting.

The album has been reissue on CD by Pan Records, so anyone can listen to this work, which sounds sometimes close to the Proto-Metal sound of SCORPIONS.Nice and recommended effort.

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 På sterke vinger by HØST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.79 | 30 ratings

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På sterke vinger
Høst Heavy Prog

Review by Discographia

3 stars This group sings in norway his native language which gives it a plus. "Me Fattig fri" The first song is very sweet, very beautiful guitar melody, heavy rock is present, with a touch of progressive rock interesting. "For a Angre feels" very very short under way. "I ly av marquet" a slow dance with a style identical to the first ever title. The guitarist made his talk his pure enough, also close to Guitar Hero, without forgetting the keys of keyboards very light and a beautiful song. "Satans Skorve", the guitar is clearly highlighted with a beautiful delivery, the song is still under control, still slightly progressive form of heavy boogie, synthesizer sounds very light but the point .. "vi told me" the guitarist Svein Ronning always placed in a leader with the song also exists and also very good quality. "Samhold" repeats the same cliche at this time the album may be suffering from a lack of variation, a lack of progressivity as well. "Pe Sterke Vinger" the title gives its name to the album is more refined, more airy.

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 Live and Unreleased by HØST album cover Live, 2001
3.15 | 7 ratings

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Live and Unreleased
Høst Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars HOST are a band that i'm a huge fan of, and the two studio albums they put out back in 1974 & 1976 are incredible. The vocals on those two records are in Norwegian and the sound is quite heavy and guitar led. This particular release is a live album looking back at three periods of the bands career.

The first six track are from a live concert in Karlstad, Sweden back in 1975. This concert was also broadcast on radio in Sweden.The singer talks in Norwegian between each track. The instrumental "Ase" is my favourite from this section. I like the songs they chose for this concert but the sound quality isn't as good as what we get with the rest of the album.

The next three tracks were from a re-union concert from 1991. Good sound on this one and that makes all the difference in the world.The bass and guitar really stand out on these three tracks.This is a glimpse at how powerful this band was."Fattig Men Fri" is my favourite from this section. Just the raw guitar and heavy sound as the drums pound away is so gratifying to me. Haha. I like when it settles too. Scalding guitar after 3 minutes. Huge bass later.

The last four tracks are previously unreleased and come from a period when the band had changed their name to ICE and started to sing in English. Only the vocalist and bass player remained. They were looking for some wide-world success but they broke up before even recording an album. There four tracks were recorded in 1978 from a Norwegian TV show. Not really a fan of these songs.

So 3 stars is all I can give, non-essential. Stick to their two outstanding studio releases.

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 På sterke vinger by HØST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.79 | 30 ratings

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På sterke vinger
Høst Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. I love this band ! I really didn't think of IRON MAIDEN as some others have mentioned, but yeah they have twin lead guitars and a bassist who you can't ignore if you know what I mean.The vocals are in Norwegian and are excellent. I'm actually glad he sings in his own language, it sounds amazing ! And the drummer is so impressive.The truth is that this band could play with anybody.They're all gun slingers. I have their second and final release which is also a killer album but I like this one a little more.

"Fattig Men Fri" opens with 30 seconds of fury before it settles down as reserved vocals come in. I thought I heard mellotron but it's "string ensemble". The one guitarist also plays moog, clavinet, organ, and grand piano. Nice guitar solo after 3 minutes as well. Awesome opener and probably my favourite. "For Sent A Angre" opens with guitars as bass and drums join in followed by vocals. I really like the drumming on this one. More excellent guitar after 1 1/2 minutes. "I Ly Av Morket" opens with piano as drums then reserved vocals arrive. Tasteful guitar after 3 minutes. This is fairly mellow overall and my least favourite.

"Satans Skorpe" starts off slowly but gets better as it goes. Some vocal harmonies in this one too. Great sound after 1 1/2 minutes as it gets heavier. Guitar solo a minute later and check out the chunky bass. The tempo picks up late as the guitar rips it up. "Dit Vi Ma" is just so impressive, just sitting back and listening to these guys play is a joy. Nice fat bass in this one and some blistering guitar. "Samhold" is more aggresiive with some killer bass. Vocals a minute in. Scorching guitar after 2 minutes. The vocals really shine on this one. "Pa Sterke Vinger" opens with guitar as passionate vocals with floating background organ comes in. Very melodic guitar leads on this one. The ground shaking bass before 5 minutes is joined by guitar and drums.They seem to just jam at this point. Nice.The guitar lights it up after 7 minutes. Vocals are back a minute after that.

My kind of music ! A must for fans of Heavy Prog.

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 Hardt Mot Hardt by HØST album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.13 | 43 ratings

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Hardt Mot Hardt
Høst Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What amazed me most about this album was the virtuoso guitar playing of this guy named Fezza. He also plays the flute and wrote all the songs except for the instrumental. But man can he light up the guitar, and he can play some delicate and intricate melodies as well. This record is no doubt Symphonic yet there are some classical elements and some downright scorching guitar solos as well. The singing is in Norwegian and is quite good. The drumming and organ play are outstanding as well. These guys don't take themselves too seriously either as there are some silly moments.

I like the vocal melody to open the instrumental "Ase" it's pretty funny. "Lektyre" is an orchestral song with vocals. "Sirkus" is the longest tune and one of my favs. I like the aggressive guitar playing and there is some violin and what sounds like the accordion to me. The opener is a good one, with crisp drumming and some beautiful guitar melodies. "Gorobin" opens with some intricate guitar before we get the full sound around the 2 minute mark.The drums and organ dominate although the guitar is again great !

My favourite song is "Nattergalen" as it all seems to come together beautifully. The guitar, drums and vocals are incredible while the flute solo is a nice touch. Organ play follows and then an amazing guitar solo. There are some good bass lines in the final song "Aeraeeo" and I swear Fezza can make his guitar talk. The vocals are theatrical and the organ and flute all add to an amazing sound.

This took a while to grow on me but right from the start there was no disputing the talent of this Norwegian band. A beauty from 1976.

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 På sterke vinger by HØST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.79 | 30 ratings

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På sterke vinger
Høst Heavy Prog

Review by master_k

4 stars Truly a fascinating release from yet another overlooked band out of the 70's. Høst played twin-guitarleads a couple of years ahead of Iron Maiden, so one could say they had their roots in full-fledged hard rock. Combine that with the operatic vocalwork from Geir Jahren and the folky melodies composed by S. Rønning and you got the groove that is "På Sterke Vinger". They also managed to sneak in a couple of timesignature changes here and there just to spice up the whole mix, and they pull it off with a lot of credibility. The musicianship is outstanding. Knut R. Lie and Bernt Bodahl really secured the heavy foundation. You will find that type of evidence on track 6, "Samhold", where they groove on a heavy riff played in 7/8 time. "Fattig, men Fri" (poor but free) displays a little bit what the band was about in lyrical terms. This is indeed a heavy bohemian rock anthem. The lyrical content is about a man telling the world that he would rather be a lonely drifter without having materialistic objects like money. This lyrical concept can be found throughout the whole album.

My personal highlight on this album has got to be Satans Skorpe. A neverending groove with a highpitched howl from Geir Jahren at the end of the track. Truly an excellent hard rock track.

This album won't get full score from me, mostly because of "I Ly Av Mørket" and "Dit Vi Må". They aren't exactly fillers, but they fail to outconquer the great melodies which can be found on the other tracks. An excellent addition to any prog music collection! I would recommend this album to prog rockers, people who listen to metal and to the hard rock fans.

Truly a lost gem!

If I were to recommend similiar music out of Norway, I would say Popol Vuh (they later changed their name to Popol Ace). Their leadvocalist was Jahn Teigen who wields the same type of vocalstyle as Geir Jahren did. The music of Popol Vuh/Ace is quite a different story as they nod their heads a little bit more to the krautrockscene in Germany.

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 Hardt Mot Hardt by HØST album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.13 | 43 ratings

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Hardt Mot Hardt
Høst Heavy Prog

Review by Bj-1
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Another great band from the mid-70's Norwegian Art-Rock scene. Høst can remind you of a mix of Deep Purple and Genesis with lot's of other influences too. The lyrics are sung in Norwegian and vocalist Geit Jahren does a good job singing them, though the lyrics are somewhat nonsense-ish sometimes. Fezza Ellingsen joined the band after their first release and contributes some really great guitar playing on the songs, backed up with the other musicians playing contributions to the music. The mood on the album is both adventurous and local at the same time, but the album never get's downright boring.

Overall; Great musicians, many great songs, though a couple of weaker ones too. The opener, "Profeters Ord" is the best track. A great and catchy opener that is not easy to dislike if you like 70's prog! I recommend this album strongly to Symphonic Rock/Art Rock fans. It's a bit heavier than most regular prog, but not at all disappointing! 4/5 minimum!

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 På sterke vinger by HØST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.79 | 30 ratings

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På sterke vinger
Høst Heavy Prog

Review by k_ravn_thedrummer

5 stars Simply one of the best Norwegian albums ever! All of the songs have an extremely high standard, no dead-points. The musicianship on this album is very good, and so are the vocals too. You can in fact almost hear some Iron Maiden types of music on this album. although this album came out a couple of years before Maiden's debut. I love this album, and I would recommend it to anybody.

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 På sterke vinger by HØST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.79 | 30 ratings

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På sterke vinger
Høst Heavy Prog

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

3 stars A key band in the development of prog rock in Norway, Host can be a northern version of Uriah Heep's heavy progressive sound. The compositions easily catch the aggressive, rhythmical "incisive" guitar sections of heavy metal, punctuated by typical "rapid" solos of the genre. The progressive section comes from interludes, alternative acoustic arrangements; folk instruments as flute...Vintage organ parts are added to enrich the musical vocabulary of the band. The very high pitch, screaming vocals of the singer is not without reminding me Bruce Dickinson's voice, rather insupportable. However the compositions provided by the ensemble are enough complex and varied to maintain the attention of the listener. Head bangers will love it! For others it's an interesting listening but absolutely not a prog masterpiece, sorry!

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 Hardt Mot Hardt by HØST album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.13 | 43 ratings

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Hardt Mot Hardt
Høst Heavy Prog

Review by a

4 stars Høst (means autumn in english) is a legendary norwegian progressive band along with Aunt Mary and Junipher Greene. Høst is a lot harder around the edges than those mentioned, some of the tracks lean towards a heavy-progressive style. Other than that, their intrumental skills are very good, varied songmaterial and different moods create a very nice album. They use all the right synthesizer and guitarsounds. Being a norwegian i understand the lyrics. They are totally ridiculous and ruin the experience for me. "come to me and be good, i am kind" "listen to the oaktree up north, wise words, friend of thor" are examples. But when i concentrate not to listen to them, this is quite a pleasant album, and an essential part of the scandinavian progressive rock scene.

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