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Kornmo - Vandring CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 11 ratings

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'Norwegian three piece formation Kornmo arose early 2015 from the ashes of the band Morild which disbanded around 2014. Chief composer and bass player Nils Larsen wished to continue making music, but sought a slightly different challenge this time, namely focussing entirely on instrumental music. Along with his friend of 50 years and previous band mate from Morild, Odd-Roar Bakken, he started a new musical project to fulfil this wish. To complete the band, Nils asked his son Anton Larsen to join on drums, now Kornmo was formed. Kornmo is a project that solely records original progressive instrumental music, and the band does not perform any live gigs. Thus far this collaborative effort has yielded two albums: Svartisen (2017, remixed and remastered in 2019) and Vandring (2019). Kornmo is inspired by bands such as Camel and Jethro Tull, as well as artists like Mike Oldfield, Bj'rn J:son Lindh, and Pekka Pohjola, blended with a distinctive touch of Nordic folk tones'. Information provided by Anton Larsen, early July 2020.

This second effort from Norwegian trio Kornmo entitled Vandring is in the vein of the warmly welcomed debut album Svartisen: instrumental 24-carat symphonic rock that sounds melodic and harmonic, with flowing shifting moods and dynamic outbursts. It's pretty simply structured but very tastefully arranged with the focus on moving Hackett/Latimer-inspired guitar work and lush vintage keyboards, including lots of Hammond organ, along Mellotron and Minimoog. The rhythm-section does a solid job.

My highlights.

Many flowing changing amtospheres featuring with flashy Minimoog, a swirling Hammond soli, fiery and finally a heavy bombastic outburst with powerful guitar and lush Hammond in Oppbrudd.

A strong build-up from mellow to more lush, embellished with Mellotron, twanging guitar, Hammond and finally a howling twin guitar sound in Nord.

Another strong build-up from dreamy to bombastic featuring a vintage keyboard drenched final part and varied guitar work (Symphonic Rock Heaven) in Taiga.

First dreamy with piano and soaring keyboards, then a slow rhythm with lush Hammond waves, halfway beautiful cello play, culminating in a compelling dark atmosphere and moving guitar (Latimer/Hackett), and finally tender cello and and twanging guitar in Kveld.

The final track F'niks delivers a lush instrumentation and cascades of shifting moods: from a folky acoustic guitar and melancholical cello sound to a heavy explosion with raw rock guitar work and propulsive rhythm-section, then from moving guitar runs and Mellotron violins to bombastic with powerful and howling runs guitar with Hammond (again Symphonic Rock Heaven), concluded with a soaring tremolo Hammond sound, wow!

The band its first genuine epic composition, entitled Nunatak (close to 13 minutes) is the magnum opus on this second Kornmo album. The first part contains a blend of swinging piano, and bombastic outbursts with a church organ sound, and Mellotron flute. Halfway a slow rhythm with Minimoog and Hammond, and powerful electric guitar work with fiery runs. It sounds very dynamic. In the second part a swinging rhytmm with sensational pitchbend driven Minimoog solo, then melancholical violin classical sound, raw guitar and Mellotron violins. A nice musical idea is that this interlude is blended with the classical piece Bourree. Next fragile electric guitar and soaring Hammond, and a slow Minimoog solo. Finally a strongly build-up guitar solo, from sensitive to fiery, topped with lush Hammond, what a splendid, very compelling grand finale, this is Kornmo in its full splendor!

If you are up to simply structured and intense instrumental 24-carat symphonic rock Kornmo is a band to discover!

This review was previously published (in a different version) on the website of Background Magazine, the oldest Dutch progrock source.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |


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