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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Folque's third album, Vardoger, is pointed by most progheads as the album we should start with. I agree that from the Folque albums I heard (only the first three) , this one should please us more. But be wary when you want to investigate the folk/folk-rock band that , although there are times when they are very good and intricate moments/passages on the longer tracks , most of the album is still very traditional-sounding folk music that could easily be played in your local village summer celebrations such as the End Of Harvesting reunion with all of those suave female dancers full of old lace costume (it takes hours to undo those clothes , so any mating urges must be severely restrained).

Comparisons can again be drawn to Steeleye Span for the very traditional side and Fairport Convention and Incredible String Band for the slightly rockier side, but Folque should be more closely associated with the first mentionned one.

Again most progheads will find their happiness in the longer tracks but if one wants to investigate some of those intricate rythms , he migh also find his happyness. Again , I state here that Folque is a borderline case for inclusion in the ProgArchives, but most folk purists regards early Folque albums as essential.

Report this review (#39770)
Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars Folque are a band that will appeal to fans of traditional-leaning Nordic folk like Gjallarhorn, Kebnekaise and Garmarna. They tend to be mellower than most of Garmarna’s music, and Lisa Helljesen’s vocals are solid but not in the same league as Gjallarhorn’s Jenny Wilhelms.

Like all those bands Folque form their music around traditional Nordic folk (hence the name) but add modern instrumentation such as electric guitar, drums and synthesizers. Of course the instruments that make this folk dominate though, and especially violin, mandolin and dulcimer. At least two band members play banjos, but really the violin tends to overpower all the other stringed instruments on the first half of the album, while on the second half most tracks emphasize the banjos.

Several songs including “Æ'kje Gutane”, “Felerier”, “Dansevise” and “Gjevrevalsen” are simply traditional folk arrangements with really no progressive tendencies whatsoever. On that note the band should probably be considered more of a plain folk band than a contemporary one, but occasionally they stray into this century with some guitar and drums garnishments to liven things up (“Varulv”, “Beiarblakkjen”). These are the exceptions though, and the norm really is a traditional folk album with just enough of the twentieth century in it to earn them a place in the world music rack at your more discerning neighborhood book stores.

I can’t say this album does much for me personally, but it’s decent enough for what it is. I don’t expect most progressive folk fans will find the sounds here too appealing, but if you happen to run across a copy it might make for appropriate background music while reading a dusty old book about European history, or possibly for the drinking hour at a family reunion if Nordic bloodlines run in your family. Otherwise I can’t say the album rates much more than a fan’s choice, so two stars it is and on to the next one in the stack.


Report this review (#173909)
Posted Saturday, June 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Gosh !! Memories comes flooding back.

When I am listening to this band, and in particular the female vocals, I am brought back to the 1970s and the music scene most people want to forget. The Progg scene. Not Prog. Progg !

... Beginning of a rant. Progg is a codeword for Stalinist/leftist folk music where every word was shouted out like thunder by some non-smiling bands who sang the virtues of a classless stalinist paradise. The music was pretty dire. But it was only there to spread the message. To my knowledge, Folque was not a part of that scene. But the music is pretty similar because all American influences was banned in their stalinist world. .......End of rant.

Folque blends in bluegrass into their Norwegian folk music and rocks it up with country & western. That's why I would not call their music folk rock....... well, maybe it is folk rock. They use bass, flute, guitars, drums and traditional harding fiddle (one of the Norwegian weapons of mass destruction). The vocals here, and in particular the annoying female vocals, is more bombastic than melodic. Which is the traditional Norwegian way of singing folk music. Which reminds me why I dislike this music so much. Check out the difference between Folque and for example Iona and you will get my point. The vocalist in Iona is singing the words. The female vocalist in Folque is shouting the words.

The songs here is a mix of Norwegian folk music, country & western and bluegrass. The progressive element is hidden well out of sight. The quality is reasonable good. There is no good songs here though. I call it a mediocre album. In short; I do not like it. It has not aged well too. It has not aged well too. But if you are looking for a good Norwegian folk rock album, this is a good choice. But it ain't prog.

2 stars.

Report this review (#250274)
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
2 stars So this is like traditional Nordish folk (folklore ?) music sounds. Expect uniquely sounding folk (every country sounds uniquely), however, strangely combined with country music. I though that this happened only with 90s (oh my gosh) group Rednex. This is better, but not too much.

Sound of Vardoger is extremely dense and Heavy, depressing (except Æ'kje gutane and few others), I'm again not sure what to think about this music (today I'm reviewing albums that I long postponed because of this). There are good songs (song?) like for example Beiarblakkjen, but most of them are simply the same over and over again. Not Prog Folk, but just Folk (and even Folk that I absolutely don't like). Hapless creation of tortured minds perhaps.

2(+), not for me though.

Report this review (#285888)
Posted Thursday, June 10, 2010 | Review Permalink

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