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Caligonaut - Magnified as Giants CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.18 | 213 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Man I've fallen in love with this album. It took a few spins for the melodies to sink in but after that I just don't get tired of spinning this beautiful record. Ole Michael Bjorndal is the man behind CALIGONAUT and this is his debut released in 2021. Ole is a guitarist and if you know him it's probably from AIRBAG or that related band the BJORN RIIS BAND. We get 8 musicians taking part here and a singer adding backing vocals on one track. But really this is a trio of Ole on guitar Kristian Karl Hultgren on bass and Lars Fredrik Froislie(WOBBLER) on keyboards. Arlid Broter from the Jazz band PYMLICO plays drums on two tracks and AIRBAG drummer Henrik Fossum on one track. The guest violin on two tracks adds a lot. Ole thanks all who performed on the album saying "It's hard to overstate how satisfied I am with their work". He mentions the bass player for his inspiration and encouragement from the beginning and the musical hints along the way. He thanks the other bands he's in along with GENTLE KNIFE. Having Lars on here is huge as he adds some hammond, synths, mellotron and keys.

I really like Ole's voice and the music can certainly be retro ala WOBBLER but also folky. Very good and meaningful lyrics. I'm not surprised it came in seventh for the 2021album of the year here on this site. I would put it in the top five quite easily. Only four tracks here worth over 50 minutes of music. I can't even pick a favourite each track just hits the spot for me. Hultrgren on bass is huge in my opinion. He really stands out on this record and that is heard right away on the opener "Emperor" and I have to mention the drumming from the AIRBAG guy, it's just a pleasure. A 14 1/2 minute song that takes us places. A WOBBLER vibe around 2 1/2 minutes with the mellotron and more. Violin on this one as well around 4 1/2 minutes. At 7 minutes it starts to turn on us to a dark mood and the drums and bass shine out of that. It brightens a minute later as vocals return. More violin as he sings "My emperor you are alive" before 10 minutes.

"Hushed" clocks in at under 11 minutes and is a meaningful and moving track. It opens with those moving vocals and sound created by the piano, bass and guitar. It picks up some before 2 1/2 minutes before opening right up at 3 minutes. Love this! A calm with violin follows and guitar returns in this emotional section. I really like when it kicks in late with that crushing bass and they are almost galloping after 9 minutes. "Magnified As Giants" is by far the shortest piece at under 6 minutes. How about that chorus as he sings "Magnifiied as giants we survived". Lots of acoustic guitar on this one, mellotron too.

The closer "Lighter Than Air" is incredible. Over 19 1/2 minutes with lyrics I can relate to. The bass stands out even though this is a mellow setting. Organ floats in. Synths after 3 1/2 minutes as the vocals cry out. How uplifting is this at 4 1/2 minutes. It turns powerful surprisingly 6 minutes in. Guitar stands out too before 7 minutes. Vocals are more passionate. Great section. Huge bass 8 minutes in as we get a killer instrumental section. Mellotron and depth after 9 minutes and again big bass. How about that angular guitar solo 10 1/2 minutes in. What! The bass is crushing it here. Organ comes in sounding nasty. Check out the drums! Guitar then rips it up. A dark calm follows before 12 minutes. Love the electric piano and sound that follows. Vocal melodies after 14 minutes. Come on! What a song!

One of my favourites from 2021 just outside of my top five.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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