Formed in 2007 in Trondheim Norway, Morild is four piece outfit that plays a wonderful brand of symphonic progressive rock that is combined with a distinctly melancholic folk influence. Comprised of John Anders Troset (vocals), Nils Larsen (bass), Alex Salgado (drums) and Odd-Roar Bakken (guitars / keyboards) their debut self financed album Time To Rest, is an auspicious and ambitious double CD release that is chock full of lush keyboard passages, introspective melodies and superbly crafted arrangements.
The absolutely majestic opening number "All I Wanted (The Whale Song)" definitely sets the tone for the remainder of the music that follows. This thirteen minute epic composition brilliantly weaves together a plethora of exquisitely vintage sounding keyboard passages, ranging from huge Hammond organ swells, delicate piano textures and splashes of shimmering synth solos. It's skillfully blended together with some stunning acoustic folk melodies which are augmented by the playing of guest flautist Mari Haug Lund. Based on the true story of a whale that ran aground in the river Thames in London, Troset recounts the experience told through the eyes of the whale, and his warm, heartfelt vocal delivery is the perfect match for this musically diverse composition. Other highlights on the fifty minute first disc include the multi-faceted & constantly shifting arrangements on the instrumental title track as well as a couple of superbly crafted, extended numbers "Circus" and "Early This Morning (Christmas Song)" to close things out. In my opinion both of these songs are wonderful examples of the songwriting genius of Larsen and Bakken. Of the two "Circus" is a harder edged track that features plenty of Bakken's muscular guitar work and melodic solos, while "Early This Morning" has a softer sounding arrangement to accompany the poignant message of the lyrics.
Disc two begins with the instrumental "Apus Apus" which quickly shifts into gear via the warm, organic tones of Bakken's organ, which is once again interspersed with some inspired and spacey sounding synth solos. From there it's straight into yet another elaborate track as the thirteen minute "Two Glasses" takes the listener through a myriad of intricate time changes, wonderfully orchestrated melodies and some downright scorching solos from guest guitarist Hans Kristofferson. The disc concludes with the three part tour de-force "The Slave Ship". Clocking in at close to thirty minutes this suite certainly has to be the most challenging and complex music on all of Time To Rest. Of course the challenge when composing a track of this length is to find a way to keep the listener completely engaged for the full duration of the song. Well there's no cause for concern here as the band effortlessly pulls it off by never allowing the arrangements to sit still for too long, so the listener is always kept on their toes so to speak. To be honest my personal threshold for extended pieces of music is probably somewhere around the fifteen to twenty minute mark, so I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how well the guys in Morild were able to keep me focused from beginning to end. This speaks volumes about not only the songwriting talents of Larsen / Bakken, but I think it also says a lot about the unique qualities of each musician in Morild and what they bring to the table both individually and collectively.
Time To Rest is a truly magnificent and captivating musical statement from beginning to end, which certainly isn't an easy feat considering that the total running time here is around one hundred minutes. That in itself is a worthy accomplishment, but when you also consider the fact that Morild are operating entirely on an independent level, and creating stellar music that can easily sit alongside today's more established progressive rock bands, well that just might be their most impressive accomplishment right there. I have no doubt we'll be hearing more from these guys in the not too distant future. Basically if you love progressive rock in any shape or fashion, then you should definitely check out Time To Rest. This is one that is definitely going to be on my top ten list for 2010.
1) All I Wanted (The Whale Song)
2) When The Night Turns To Morning
3) Time To Rest
4) Blackbird's Lullaby
6) Early This Morning
1) Apus Apus
2) Two Glasses
3) The Slave Ship- Part 1: Zong: Searching For Prey
4) Part 2: Harbour Lights
5) Part 3: Mercy