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Dynamite Vikings, The : Search For Happiness

Put three pretty talented musicians together, give them enough time to rehearse and then unleash them within the confines of a decent recording studio and the resultant output will be pretty unusual to say the least.

The Dynamite Vikings, as the name might suggest, are indeed from Denmark and consist of Jaak Sooäär on guitars, with Thommy Andersson on bass while Kalle Mathiesen keeps time and plays keyboards. All players contribute a degree of electronica and sing throughout the duration of the 13 tracks although you would hardly call any of them seasoned vocalists. The first thing that becomes immediately apparent upon the first few spins however, is that the drummer is very versatile and very quick, supplying a barrage of intricately timed fills and patterns that will please any discerning pair of ears. The guitar work is also impressive, often being played in a minor key with short sharp chord and note changes into a major key and then back again. This gives the music a fair degree of bounce but also begins to sound too disjoined in places.

Possessing an ever abundant degree of variety within each composition, the album's 52 minutes is all over pretty quickly and you'd be wondering where the time had gone while you were trying to absorb all the tasty ingredients. The predominant style of this album is a hybrid one of jazz and fusion sans vocals and while the band kick things into overdrive on occasions, its slightly discordant arrangements never seem to get in the way. This was a tricky album to appreciate initially and only after repeated spins did any semblance of sense and order become apparent. There are no real highlights on the album but then again there is really only one insignificant track out of 13 which is quite reasonable when all said and done. Trying to embrace a somewhat vaguely sounding rappish piece with some weird Danish vocals interspersed with a brief drum solo just doesn't work for these ears, but each to their own. A brief bass excursion with what sounds like some cello accompaniment, (possibly electronic), also adds a bit of confusion to the mix but things get back underway again with a number of more up-tempo tracks that brings this rather intriguing album to a sharp and unexpected close.

Yes, it's pretty radical, it's imaginative, it's very well played and arranged but it won't be for everyone. If pure jazz fusion is your thing, this may be too much of a departure from the tried and true method used by the likes of RTF, Al Di Meola et al but for those with a little more adventurous intrigue, or those just seeking something a little more challenging, this could be the ticket.

Track Details:

1. Hejudamej
2. Once Upon A Time
3. All These Notes Are Wrong
4. Now Or Never
5. Why To Search
6. Search For Happiness
7. Vikings Plan
8. 17
9. Ellak Doom
10. As We Speek
11. Message
12. Rumblin'
13. Old Ship

Added: June 4th 2006
Reviewer: Greg Cummins
Related Link: Band's Distribtion Web Site
Hits: 2010
Language: english

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