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Bresk: A Journey Through the Life of Peder Balke 1804-1887

Bresk are a Norwegian prog rock trio formed by keyboard player Lars Christian Narum (Hellbillies,Narum). Bresk is a family affair; Lars Christian is accompanied by his son Peder Narum on drums and guitar veteran and brother Jon Anders Narum on bass.

A Journey Through the Life of Peder Balke 1804-1887 is an all-instrumental album, heavily dominated by the Hammond Organ, clavinet and Moog played by Lars Christian. Given the prominence of the Keyboards, it’s hard not to reference ELP & Rick Wakeman as stylistic influences. Indeed, The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Rick Wakeman and Bo Hansson's Lord of the Rings, are cited as stylistic influences on Bresk’s own conceptual piece.

Peder Balke (1804-1887) was a Norwegian landscape painter. To quote from the press release; “Peder Balke was a poor boy who grew up on Helgøya in the middle of Lake Mjøsa in Norway and made an incredible class trip by the standards of the time. Revolution, setbacks, and challenges usually lurked around every corner. Still, astonishingly enough, he achieved what was considered unlikely by his contemporaries, to climb the social ladder and make a name for himself as a Norwegian counterpart to J.M.W. Turner. Balke found the tone with the French king at his height, and Balke's work is still exhibited at The Louvre in Paris”

The album itself is an enjoyable collection of well executed instrumental prog rock. The musicianship is classy without being overly technical or jaw dropping. Given that it is Keyboard-centric prog I’d suspect people who are particularly interested in Keyboard playing will like this album more than most.

It’s the sort of album I’ve enjoyed listening to on long drives or as background music whilst working. If I allow myself to be critical, I don’t find myself humming any of the melodies or necessarily feeling like it managed to get its hooks to deep into me though. Whilst the album is a concept piece, I didn’t really find that the narrative was able to be told in the music either. These are relatively minor gripes; I have no doubt that fans of 70s era prog will find enjoyment in the arrangements and the retro soundscapes- sonically the album sounds like it was lifted from the golden age of prog.

Track List
  1. Awakening
  2. Napoleonic Wartime Overture
  3. The Mountain
  4. Sailing The Northern Coast
  5. North Cape Arrival
  6. Hangin' Out With The King
  7. The Revolution Of 1848
  8. Balkeby
  9. The Fire
  10. The End

Added: March 21st 2022
Reviewer: Chris Reid
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 404
Language: english

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