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Kornmo: Svartisen - 2022 Miks

Svartisan, as confirmed in the review of this album’s original release by my esteemed colleague Jon Neudorf , was recorded back in 2016 and subsequently released the next year. Since then it would appear that the album received a second bite at the cherry in 2019, before now, being furnished with a new ‘2022 Miks’, which I presume translates to ‘mix’. Since this album first saw the light of day, another two have been released, but without having heard them, the only context I have is this outing alone and I must admit that the simplicity of the symphonic, melodic, instrumental prog that the trio behind Kornmo - Odd-Roar Bakken (guitar/keyboards), Nils Larsen (bass) and Anton J. R. Larsen (drums) - while quite endearing, leaves me pretty cold.

Yes, context is deserved here, after all this was a new band - although chief composer Nils Larsen had previously been in Morild - recording a self released album without the outside help of labels or the like, and there’s definitely talent on display. However, while that does maybe explain the unexciting nature of the presentation, even with a new mix, it doesn’t quite excuse just how humdrum much of this sounds. Slow passages rule the day, with keys or guitar often allowed to take centre stage without ever really knowing what to do with it. The guitar solo on “Stilllhet” is a prime example, with all of the other instrumentation stepping back to allow it to shine, and yet the unsteady results make you wish the keys and drums had offered more obvious support. From there keyboards kick their way to the forefront and shine brightly for a moment or two before quickly confusing themselves and not quite knowing where to head next, and from there things just seem to become ever more unstuck.

This isn’t a terrible album, but I’d suggest that describing it as ‘nice’ and ‘flawed’ is about as excited as I can be about what I hear, although I will concede that the cover art is rather beautiful, but I’m not really sure that was meant to be the high point…

Track Listing
1. Snø 

2. Nordlys 

3. Istind 

4. Stillhet 

5. Havørn 

6. Smeltevann 

7. Fallvind 

8. Uvær 

9. Snøtind 

10. Haredans 

11. Føn

Added: October 1st 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Kornmo @ bandcamp
Hits: 216
Language: english

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Kornmo: Svartisen - 2022 Miks
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