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SOT Redwings Nest album cover
3.86 | 15 ratings | 7 reviews | 27% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. They Called Me Sotanic... (3:51)
2. Odd Jethegrythe (2:59)
3. Ming-Mang Dynasty (5:17)
4. Morrakvisten (2:32)
5. Jan Mayen (3:32)
6. Anne Kath (3:37)
7. Redwings Nest (6:09)
8. Second Row (3:23)
9. Han sagde så (2:36)
10. Tore Hund (2:52)
11. Journey (5:53)

Total Time 42:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Skjalg Reithaug / guitars, vocals
- Lars Andreas Haug / tubmarine, trumpet, sounds
- Anders Hunstad / drums, piano

- Elisabeth Anvik / vocals
- Håvard Gravdal / vocals
- Camilla Susann Haug / vocals
- John Ehde / cello
- Knut Arne Finsrud / strings

Releases information

CD Sotanic Sounds SOT502 (2014, Norway)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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SOT Redwings Nest ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

SOT Redwings Nest reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Three years on from a fascinating debut, Norway's SOT return with another fragmented and quirky blast of their curious and defiantly unique take on progressive sounds with `Redwing's Nest'. A trio, although not the usual guitars/keyboards/drums set-up, instead favouring any combination of trombone/sax/trumpets over synths and bass, they create colourful and punchy music that runs through everything from jazz/fusion, metal, Rock In Opposition (R.I.O), Zeuhl, psych and avant-garde, often in the space of one piece, and this follow-up sees the band further honing their skills, still exploring new possibilities and endless potential directions. Their speciality is quick and tight musical bursts with skilfully implemented improvisations worked seamlessly into their compositions, and this time around it also appears that King Crimson have proven to be something of an inspiration for the band.

In under four minutes, the amusingly titled opener `They Called Me Sotanic...' tears through chiming guitar mystery, weaving Crimson-like metallic riffs, trumpeting horns, jazzy electric piano noodling, stop/start unpredictable drumming and even a few seconds of funky scat vocals, all wrapped within abrupt tempo changes back and forth! Puffing tuba races to keep up with spiky guitar grunge heaviness in `Odd Jethegrythe' that almost has a cheeky Gong-like quality, then twisting metal riffs throughout `Ming Mang Dynasty' (one of the longer pieces at over five minutes) thrash around late-night jazzy waffling and quirky keyboard soloing. The high energy `Morrakvisten' is a storm of serrated sharp little maddening guitar shreds that frequently grooves, the thoughtful and restrained `Jan Mayen' - one of the best pieces on the album - has shimmering delayed guitars with a lovely melancholic trumpet solo (nice to hear the band slow things down for a few moments!), and spacey electronics cling to unravelling electric guitar soloing heaviness throughout `Anne Kath'.

On the six-minute title track `Redwing's Nest', SOT take avant-garde noise to extremes, with unnerving unhinged wordless choral voices from vocal choir group Pust that almost bring a Zeuhl quality, a slow marching beat and deranged guitar mangling, with only a few brief ambient Post-Rock styled soothing passages to offer any respite. `Second Row' is a straighter jazz/fusion workout, `Han Sagde Sa' a slightly eerie and dark cinematic ambient experience (a exciting new direction the band may take further in the future?), `Tore Hund' a ripping blast of pschedelic guitar energy, and `Journey' wraps the album on a beautifully executed slowly unwinding Post Rock ethereal finale.

This is the prog equivilent of multiple personality disorder, for those who like their music random and unpredictable, played by a band bursting with talent, imagination and a refrshing sense of humour! Admittedly some listeners may be put off by the constant split-second changes of direction throughout much of the disc, and I personally would love to see the band try their hands at more longer extended pieces in the future (they work beautifully here). They shouldn't worry that not working in spontaneous direction changes all the time might rob them off their identity, as I feel their wind instrument choices makes them more than stand out already. But for now it's great to discover that `Redwing's Nest' sees the band building on all the potential they showed on their superb debut while maturing, all the time discovering new exciting musical avenues. It makes this one another album from SOT that comes highly recommended.

Four stars.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Redwings Nest" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Norwegian avant/progressive rock act SOT. The album was released through Sotanic Sounds in June 2014. "Redwings Nest" features the same three-piece lineup who recorded the bandīs debut full- length studio album "Kind of Saltz (2011)". Skjalg Reithaug (guitars, vocals), Lars Andreas Haug (tubmarine, trumpet, sounds), Anders Hunstad (drums, piano).

The music on the album continues the adventurous take on jazz rock and progressive/avant garde rock as SOT introduced on "Kind of Saltz (2011)". There is a proud Scandinavian tradition for playing a slightly twisted take on this kind of music, which an artist like Samla Mammas Manna is also an example of (without further comparison). Itīs this catagory that SOT also belong in. While there are many nods towards jazz because of the scales and the notes chosen, the fusion drumming, and the use of tuba and trumpet in a rock music format, this is certainly not straight jazz (whatever that is). These guys simply wouldnīt be content with playing within the boundaries of a certain musical style and they make sure to incorporate enough challenging and intriguing genre pushing elemens for that never to happen. They even stretch as far as to incorporate heavy metal sounding riffing to some of their tracks. Examples of that can be found in the title track (a charming avant garde rock beast of a track) and in "Second Row".

So itīs safe to say the listener is met with an adventurous and challenging listen when spinning "Redwings Nest". Fortunately SOT also know how to write a song that sticks. Not necessarily in a mainstream vers/chorus format but still accessible and inviting, even though "regular" commercial radio listeners might not agree with me here (but who cares about them?).

The three guys in the band are greatly skilled and an incredibly well playing unit. Like the case was on the debut album the tuba, which is playing the bass parts, is one of the things in the soundscape that really stands out a lot. Who would have thought that a tuba could sound so amazing and powerful (almost brutal at times) in a jazz rock setting? The rest of the instruments and the sparse vocals (both male and female) also work really well together and the whole thing is packed in a powerful and organic sound production which suits the music perfectly.

This is neither the most complex nor the most demanding jazz rock album in the world (although itīs still pretty challenging), but itīs a damn charming one, that refuses to bow to convention, and thatīs always praise worthy. To my ears "Kind of Saltz (2011)" and "Redwings Nest" are pretty equal in quality and also in style and if you enjoy one itīs pretty likely youīll enjoy the other too. SOT are arguably a class act (whith a charming wacky side) and prove it once again on "Redwings Nest" and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars SOT's followup to their debut "Kind of Saltz in 2011 comes three years later with "Redwing's Nest". Norwegian proggers Skjalg Reithaug, guitars, vocals, Lars Andreas Haug, tubmarine, trumpet, sounds, and Anders Hunstad, drums, piano, perform a quirky brand of jazz fusion with a distinct RIO feel and smatterings of manic time sigs and jerky spasmodic rhythms. In the same vein as the debut, the group inject odd meters and spellbinding musical patterns into the melodies, impulsively jumping from one estranged idea to the next seamlessly, mercilessly, and with the flash and boldness of King Crimson or Van der Graaf Generator. The album cover has a delightful artistic flair depicting an Oriental watercolour of a Cherokee Indian Angelic figure. More art like this would have been wonderful but the album is devoid of a booklet, so I prefer the debut's packaging that was so innovative and thought provoking.

The band adopt a unique soundscape focussing on a primarily instrumental approach, but with a few oddities and "audiospices" thrown in with vocal intonations and some dialogue to enhance the music. At moments, such as the title track, there is a dirty metal guitar riff with all the finesse of 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic', but then a sudden transition with a horn and the band launch into squelchy synthesizer lines. The 'Lark's' riff distortion is also heard on 'Journey' but it is so appropriate to break up the keyboard and lead guitar work, that often feels improvised. There are layers of instruments overlapped at times sounding like they are from 3 different songs but somehow it works as the ear becomes attuned to the spontaneity and chaos. The female vocals from guest vocal group PUST are very uplifting and cleanse the grunginess of the atmospheres at times, especially on 'Journey' a spiritual fusion of Avant garde, Ambiance and Jazz.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of SOT is their original method of using horns as the lead instrument, and the tuba dominates much of the melody such as on the compelling, translucent 'Han Sagde Sa'. There are blasts of heavy metal that schizophrenically battle with tuba and trumpet such as on 'Second Row', a definite highlight on this release and the heaviest track.

The rhythms on tracks such as 'Tore Hund' are intricate and amusing in the way the instruments are switched recklessly from heavy 70s psych guitar to a glockenspiel sound, then after some caterwauling some Frippian like guitar is heard and then an abrupt stop. One is never really sure where the music is heading or in what direction the band will take and this is the most endearing and exciting characteristic of SOT.

The music takes on surreal passages of Avante clashes between decisive horns and guitars and the percussion holds it all together. There are serene streams of keyboard washes, offset by quick outbursts of drum patter and guitar breaks played in perfect synth; a technical triumph that is beautiful at times and broken with jagged guitar motifs that lock in with admirable precision. The opening track 'They called me Sotanic' is a tour de force of highly engaging, exhilarating music blazing with fiery guitar and turbulent tuba. 'Odd Jethagrythe' overflows with fractured rhythmical metrical patterns, splintered drum beats and dynamic lead accompanied by chirping whistles.

'Ming Mang Dynasty' has an Oriental vibe, then launches full tilt into hyper horn and very well executed guitar motifs blasting out the quirky time sig that keeps the metronome swinging wildly out of control. 'Morrakvisten' is another grandiose example of trumpet playing and features some raucous twin lead guitar playing over an intricate signature. 'Jan Mayen' proves the band are capable of some mellower melodic music, with some lovely horn solos and ambient choral sections, though the disarray of quick musical tantrums still prevail in places. It is as though the guitars are bursting through a dam wall to make their presence felt with violent ferocity.

Overall, "Redwing's Nest" is a grand followup to the scorching debut, a showcase of infernal guitar, soothing horns and off kilter jazz drumming. SOT are worth listening to without a doubt and play some of the best instrumentals I have heard in a long while. It would be interesting to see where the band goes from here, whether the next album will feature more singing or additional instruments, and perhaps more conceptual material. The music takes on all kinds of musical ideas, and is perpetually adventurous and outrageously impetuous. For all these reasons SOT are a band worthy of our attention.

Review by Andy Webb
3 stars Dynamism in music is perhaps my favorite aspect of listening to progressive rock. The breadth of the human imagination is boundless, especially when it comes to the creation of music. Avant garde music, in its various forms, is perhaps the best at this, as musicians who play this genre purposefully take the accepted norms of music and transform them into either beasts or beauties or musical creations. This experimentation does not come without its share of risk, however, as the composition and performance of music that has not already been tested and reviewed before can often lead to harsh ridicule or simply a lack of listeners.

SOT, a Norwegian avant-jazz rock band that has been around the avant scene for less than five years now, is no stranger to this risk. Their debut 2011 album Kind of Saltz was a hit amongst fans of experimental and adventurous music, myself included. The band blended a unique groovy rock backing with tuba-driven jazz riffs and motifs. The album was exciting, unpredictable, and fun to listen to. The disorganized mish-mash of riffs and styles combined for a unique, different, and altogether enjoyable album.

When I received the bands next album, Redwing's Nest, I was very excited. The band had not released an album since their debut three years prior, and I was hungry for more of the band's spicy blend of Norwegian avant jazz rock. After my first spin, however, I was confused. It felt, on first listen, that the band had lost their spark. Kind of Saltz had a ferocious yet restrained pep to them, giving a raw energy to both the melodic and not so melodic aspects of the album. From the outset, Redwing's Nest seemed to be the product of a couple of weekend jam sessions that produced a lot of great ideas that had little cohesion. But as a veteran of their first album, I was convinced I was missing something and refused to have my opinion shaped by a single listen.

I was right, to a degree. The twists and turns of SOT's music still had that element of defiance against musical norms, and a number of the songs on the album, such as "They Called Me Sotanic," "Jan Meyen," "Redwing's Nest," and "Second Row," had that element of careless abandon that made their last album so special. The instrumentation was tight and purposeful; the arrangement showed power where strength was needed and restraint where a gentler or more whimsical motif was played. This is showed best in "Second Row," which is easily the best song on the album, showing each of the band's many, many styles. The band, as they showed on their last album, can switch between a pulsating metal riff, a feathery alto sax melody, and a weaving guitar-driven avant garde riff.

Much of the rest of the album, however, felt hopelessly disorganized. I could easily tell what the band was doing with each song, and on their own, many of the riffs are brilliant, but together, there are too many songs that feel forced. The transitions are weakly formed, and the songs blend together in a less-than-appealing way. For some, this reckless song formation will be attractive, as the songs themselves are not bad in any way. The band members play with drive and passion, and the writing is a prime example of what avant garde music can be. For me, however, I was disappointed with how little it seemed the arrangement of the parts seemed to have been thought out. I'm sure the band spent a considerable amount of time on this, and I'm afraid that it didn't show as well as they had hoped.

In the end, this album is in no way bad. All in all, it's a very enjoyable album to listen to. While I would prefer to listen to "Schlatan" for Kind of Saltz compared to "Second Row," this album shows that SOT still has a strong muse and can belt out a killer riff when they want to. Redwing's Nest is a really good album, but it will only be excellent for those who enjoy the form of avant prog that is played by bands with a stronger emphasis on riff diversity than riff cohesion. 3+ stars.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Ok, let's attempt a review about one year after my last one... I have loved the first excellent album of this Norwegian trio and I have to say that this follow-up, even if quite different, is as good as that. There are some intersting news: Lars doesn't play tuba only but we can hear an excellent trumpet riff on "Morrakvisten", plus some noises and sounds throughout the album which should be coming from his pot. Skjalg's guitar is more "rude" and distorted, especially on the first three tracks, but also later there are some very rocking parts. Last but not least, it's good hearing a drummer-pianist not playing pop tunes in his old age.... The tracks are shorter respect to Kind of Saltz, but to me this means that the band has gone directly to the core of the musical ideas. The hard start becomes softer while progressing with the tracks, some jazzy moments are not far from Canterbury, but sometimes the energy rises again. Another new is that there are some guests. Cello and strings add a touch of chamber rock. The vocalists are at work not only to sing (few) but also to add speeches and a touch of crazyness to some tracks (but I haven't given much attention to them, honestly). This album is probably less spontaneous than the first, but it's more mature.

I apologize with the band for this is surely a low-quality review, but it's my first after a lot of time. If you have liked the debut which I actually rated with 4 stars, this doesn't deserve less. If you have missed it, this album will appeal fans of King Crimson which I suspect is one of the prinicipal influencer of the band, but also Canterbury in general. It appears clear that there's a lot of jazz skill behind the trio and even in the darkest moments the music is not too difficult even for listeners not used with this kind of things.

Morrakvisten and the title track are may personal favorites, but all the album is athe same excellent level.

4 full stars

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Norwegian band SOT, short for Salt Of Tusj, has been around since 1992, when the threesome started out as a school band. The band is notable for a core instrumentation consisting of drums, guitars and tuba, which isn't the most common in the annals of rock history. They released their debut album "Kind of Saltz" in 2011. "Redwings Nest" is their second full-length production, released through the band's own label Sotanic Sounds in 2014.

"Redwings Nest" is a production that should appeal to those with an interest in music that bends, breaks and transcends common and uncommon boundaries and traditions in music alike at most times, and then occasionally deciding to explore more predictable territories on a few select occasions thus maintaining an unpredictable edge. Jazz and metal are arguably the main stylistic flavors explored, and then within an avant-garde progressive rock context with defined eclectic tendencies as the main mark of identity. A challenging production that comes recommended to those who have an ongoing curiosity about the eclectic and avant-garde parts of the progressive rock universe.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I learned about the Redwings Nest through a PA discussion about Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra, who are, ironically, not even listed on PA. Luckily, SOT and the Redwings Nest happen to be listed, under the RIO/Avant-Prog subcategory. The band position themselves somewhere inside the "prog-meta ... (read more)

Report this review (#1317119) | Posted by Argonaught | Saturday, November 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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