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4 stars NevarlLajf are a Swedish band whose debut album, Klusterfloristen, was released in 2009. They play instrumental music that focuses a lot on the guitar and bass, but with some keys and effects added as well. The sound can be described as complex, jazzy, with lots of heaviness (although never quite reaching metal territories). All in all, it yields a highly enjoyable album with many features. The band has not yet quite reached maturity yet, however, and although this album is full of excellent tracks and sounds, it speaks to me of a band who have yet to release their best work. I can only hope that this debut garners them enough attention to drive them back into the studio to release a second album. I know that I would purchase it in a heartbeat.

The Music

NevarlLajf is clearly influenced by many bands in the prog scene, and at some points I can feel influences from bands that aren't even prog. For example, in the opening track, there is a keyboard section that reminds me of Moving Pictures era Rush. The second track, The Carpet, features a section where the band creates a melody by playing a note on one instrument, then a note on a different instrument, and so forth, much in the way that Gentle Giant would do (although Gentle Giant never made a song that sounds like this!). On Kaskelottkotte, they even have a section that reminds me a fair amount of the sound Van Halen had around the release of 1984.

Influences aside, NevarlLajf don't really sound like they are trying to be any of these bands. They want to be complex, they want to be loud, and they accomplish both these feats quite nicely. The music shifts from mood to mood quite aptly. The tracks really rock when they let the distorted guitars loose, but even the cleaner sounder electric guitars bring a unique aspect to the band, focusing more on their melodic and jazzy side. It is not unusual for them to switch between these two moods multiple times in the same song; Ove Och Det Tjockaste Sminket is an example of where they do this many times, and to great effect. And while keys are used on this album, they never seem to take the foreground away from the guitars and bass, being content to sit in the background to add additional texture to the music.

Much like Gentle Giant, the band rarely goes beyond the 6 or 7 minute mark in a single track, causing both the feeling that the album is passing very quickly (wow, track 4 already?) and at the same time, utter awe that they are able to fit so many ideas into a single five minute track.

In terms of flaws, this album doesn't really have a whole lot. In some cases, it does feel as though the band is sacrificing melody to maintain complexity, although these events are rare. There are a few scattered sections in the album that don't catch my interest for no real reason, other than perhaps not being as high grade as the rest of the album.

The band does play a trick on you in the last track, KyskHastsDisco. At the end of the song, they build up into a roaring, crunchy riff, only for the album to end at what seems to be mid- riff! Is this a pressing error, a problem with my disk, or just the band deciding to end on a memorable (if not odd) note? It's hard to say, but it always catches me off guard when I start rocking out only to suddenly be greeted by abrupt, deafening silence.

Report this review (#291425)
Posted Thursday, July 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars This 1st work of the Swedish band NEVARLLAJF - "Klusterflorien", is one more of those disks difficult to classify. Presenting a fusion of jazzy elements with funky-prog, heavy-prog, blue. Having mixed in the everything, elements of the most popular music of that European area (just as in the track 4 "Flourtantskosmos" where there is an abbreviation passage that seems extracted of a POLKA!). I found in their music as main influences SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA (in the most progressive parts) and influences of bands as FAITH NO MORE .(in the heaviest parts). However the disk didn't please I for the way in that they call the several passages inside of the same music (problem that I consider critical), what does with that the music doesn't form a closed idea in herself, seeming more a series of experiences inside on a single track. I give to the disk 3 stars, more for the good ideas presented than for any enthusiasm tha t the audition has provoked!!!
Report this review (#297533)
Posted Sunday, September 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Swedish instrumental outfit NEVARLLAJF was formed in the town of Mora towards the end of 2005 by five friends from high school, who after a few initial rehearsals decided that this project was worthwhile taking further. For the next couple of years they honed their craft and after winning a national music contest some high profile gigs followed; a record deal was signed with Musea Records in 2008, and in late November of 2009 their first full length production "Klusterfloristen" was released on the Musea Parallele imprint.

If you enjoy fusion, are intrigued by a band that has an adventurous approach to this genre, and you don't mind the odd musical flirtation with art rock and metal, "Klusterfloristen" is a production you should add to whatever list you have of artists who warrant a closer check. In particular if you prefer music of this variety to be of a purified instrumental nature.

Report this review (#365524)
Posted Monday, December 27, 2010 | Review Permalink

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