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Taskaha: Taskaha

With links to bands such as Soundborne and Gentle Knife, the quartet of musicians involved in new Norwegian progressive outfit Taskaha may not be quite as wet behind the ears as the announcement of a debut album could suggest. Thankfully that’s also something quickly borne out as “Mind Date” becomes a belter of an opening exchange. These lads sure ain’t mucking around as the razor sharp, but still warmly glowing riff is pushed into place by a shimmer of hi-hats and the crack of a snare drum. That David van Dort’s bulging bass then corals the whole caboodle into place via some sharp guitar punctuations means that the colourful and confident vocals from Rick Holmen merely seal the deal. Interestingly the latter actually brings quite a melodic rock shimmer behind the mic, immediately opening up and utilising new opportunities that Taskaha are sure not to waste.

With a hint of the mighty Dream Theater about the slower slide of “Distressed”, variance is already also high on this self-titled effort’s agenda and even with the quality and quantity of competition to be found operating in this arena, it’s impossible not to take this outfit very seriously indeed. Highlights continue to tumble forth, “Reframe!” again using a DT framework to build a complex yet catchy construction that both challenges and provides a sing along, whereas “Invisible” takes a sidestep into a more brooding and atmospheric setting. Although with Holmen’s voice soaring and whispering, yet again dynamics play a large part in what’s going down here - especially when a gargantuan riff comes in mid-song and creates merry hell.

Excellent though these examples are - and likewise the multi-faceted “Nature Girl” and shorter, acoustic based “Friday Night”, where the vocals could be described as choir like - once you’ve experienced this album a couple of times it’s difficult to shake off the notion that everything hasn’t been building towards the thirteen minute “The Climb”, which quickly provides this release’s towering summit. Deep, dark, varied and poised, the time and room given to guitarists Simen Hanssen and Stian Dahl proves hugely rewarding on this track. A mix of jaw dropping solos, powering riffs, acoustic break-downs and clever little motifs resisting the temptation to self serve and instead creating a truly involving and intriguing collection of set plays that meld into a perfect whole. In truth though, the standard across this debut is almost this high throughout and as such not only have Taskaha delivered an excellent debut, they’ve announced themselves as serious contenders in the heavy, yet accessible progressive rock arena.

Track Listing
1. Mind Date
2. Distressed
3. Reframe!
4. Daylight’s Fading
5. Invisible
6. Eden
7. Nature Girl
8. Friday Night
9. The Climb

Added: September 13th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Taskaha online
Hits: 919
Language: english

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