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Matterhorn: Outside

Matterhorn is a project led by Norwegian musician Tommy Sebastian Halseth, who founded the band in 2013. It has taken a while but in 2020 Matterhorn released their debut album titled Outside. The core of the project consists of:

Tommy Sebastian Halseth (vocals)
Edvin Matthieson (bass, acoustic guitar)
Andreas Stunes (drums, keyboards)

Other musicians appearing on various tracks include:
Petter Selliseth (guitar, soundscapes)
Tor Ole Byberg (guitar)
Finn Olav Holthe (guitrar, soundscapes)
Jacob Holm-Lupo (guitar)
Marius Halleland (guitar)
Rhys Marsh (guitars, Mellotron, Hammond, synth, tambourine)
Jørgen Dahl (saxophone)
Øyvind Smidt (violin)
Jørgen Meyer (strings)
Ann-Lill Grendahl (backing vocals)
Gry Anita Sivertsen (backing vocals)
Solveig Meland (backing vocals)
Eskild Kløften (backing vocals)
Stein Halseth (choir)
Erling Halseth (choir)
Svend Halseth (choir)
Arnt Olav Halseth (choir)

Musically, Matterhorn has a distinct sound with perhaps influences from Anathema, Katatonia and Pink Floyd. Not so much in sounding like those bands but in the way they incorporate atmospheric and moody passages into their songcraft. Halseth has a pleasing voice, very easy to listen to and on many tracks the backing harmonizing vocals stand out in a good way. Sometimes the music turns into off kilter forms, bringing to mind bands like King Crimson. The album kicks off with the title track and its distinctive Eastern sounding guitar melody. Keyboards are used for crafting texture in the background soundscape, not for intense soloing. The organic nature of the band’s sound can be heard on the gentle builds in “Aura Noire”, the pleasant vocals and Hammond in particular stand out. Exceptional drumming and bass work highlights the mood laden and keyboard/synth drenched soundscapes in “Bruit Blanc”, along with the Halseth’s melodic lead vocals. The backing vocals of Ann-Lill Grendahl are a gorgeous touch. This is a song that just might worm its way into your head and stick around for a few days. The somewhat abstract lead guitar of Petter Selliseth is also worthy of mention. The gorgeous vocals, soaring guitar and strings in the alternative sounding “Aorta” and the solemn beauty of “Last Page” are more highlights. I should mention the quality of the musicianship is exceptional throughout the album, including some fabulous guitar solos.

For moody alternative rock and prog, Outside hits all the right notes, at least for me. I recommend all fans of moody rock music give this one a listen. It is indeed, excellent.

Track Listing:
1. Outside
2. Aura Noire
3. Bruit Blanc
4. Aorta
5. Last Page
6. Oceana
7. Silhouette
8. Døden og meg

Added: September 22nd 2021
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 181
Language: english

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