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Tronosonic Experience, The: The Shadow Vol I & Vol II

Conceived as two separate EPs, The Shadow Vol I and Vol II are the latest releases from Norwegian instrumental progressive/space/jazz rockers The Tronosonic Experience. Tying down what this four-piece do is a challenge in itself, with a host of influences full on charging into each other at peak velocity. Easy listening this is not, but irresistible it quickly becomes. In truth, some of the elements here aren’t my usual go to listens, but when this outfit build up their almost never ending head of steam, the results click together with such force that you can’t help but be swept along by the whole thing.

The opening pair on Vol I, which is the two part “Sheik”, rattles along with real intensity, sax and guitars veering off against each other to then perfectly sit right back in place again mere seconds later. It’s heady stuff, with vague hints of a jazzier King Crimson coming to mind, although the much more languid style of “The Last Stand” broods in a way that simply makes it difficult to compare or contrast to any others, space themes ramped up through some scathing fret outbursts. “Golden Comet” is less spacey than its name suggests, a Van der Graaf Generator vibe working off more Crimson like structures to great effect. The playing throughout is tight, focused and yet loose in a manner that makes it sound and feel like a whole heap of tangled, intricate fun, and then the first EP ends on the short hum and thrum of “Undertow”…

…and the second opens on the short hum and thrum of “Undertow (Slight Return)”, which quickly gives way to the foreboding sounds of “The Shadow Of The New Praetorian”, introducing a Hawkwind like avant-garde spaciness that never quite appeared on the first EP, although it was often hinted at. Once that gives way to the almost jazz-doom of the track proper, you are left with the most intense smash of emotions this double set offers up - but again, the willingness to quickly veer off path keenly opens other opportunities. And that for me is the main theme here, with everything on these two releases - which come housed in artwork that when slipped next to each other forms a beautiful, colourful, mystic butterfly come face, and has quickly become my favourite piece of art I’ve seen on the front of a CD all year - constantly evolving in a manner that still sounds completely cohesive, while never sitting in the same place for any great length of time. It’s a clever trick played time and again, with “Supernova” being arthouse soundtrack music, dark jazz, trippy space rock and prog all at once - and there’s more, but you’re getting the picture.

As alluded at the top of this review, what The Tronosonic Experience offer up isn’t my usual listening fare, but when it’s done this well that fact gets thrown out of the window. Instead I’ve simply revelled in the stunning musicianship, artful arrangements and stupendous compositions all being brought together. The results, across both of these EPs, is really quite special.


Track Listing
Vol I
1. Sheik (Part 1)
2. Sheik (Part 2)
3. The Last Stand
4. The Sunwatcher
5. Golden Comet
6. Totak
7. Undertow

Vol II
1. Undertow (slight return)
2. The Shadow Of The New Praetorian
3. Supernova
4. Beehive
5. Chiaroscuro
6. Dunes

Added: October 19th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: The Tronosonic Experience on bandcamp
Hits: 185
Language: english

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