Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) was a Norwegian author, playwright and poet who had a lasting importance for Norwegian culture. One of his most famous novels was the moving description of the life of a poor writer in Oslo at the end of 19th century, ‘Sult’ (‘Hunger’). When the Second World War came, he showed fairly obvious sympathies for the German way of life which naturally caused a bit of a stir in his home country. That set aside, Hamsun’s talent and importance cannot be denied.
The reason for this literary intro is the fact that folk avant-gardes Lumsk have decided to turn their latest release into an interpretation of one of Hamsun’s collections of poetry, ‘Det Vilde Kor’ (‘The Wild Choir’). I know this may sound a bit dodgy, but it works like magic!
The most striking thing about the album is Stine Mari Langstrand’s sublime vocal performance. You’re constantly in the goose-bump zone when listening to ‘Det Vilde Kor’ just because of the at times quiet at times violent power of that voice.
It should be said right here and now that if you’re not able to listen to folk, you should move on to the other reviews right now. Lumsk are first and foremost folk, mixed with rock, progressive bits as well as weird jazzy bits and stuff. And they sing only in Norwegian, by the way. That’s not as bad as some of you might think, though :]
The longest and most beautiful track on the album is Om Hundrede Aar Er Alting Glemt (A Hundred Years From Now Everything Will Be Forgotten). The song is a duet between Langstrand and folk singer Ola Bremnes and this one really moves you right into the aforementioned goose-bump zone.
‘Det Vilde Kor’ can be recommended for a rainy day with a good book and thoughts of a lost love. In fact, it will make you long for a rainy day with a good book!
Impressive piece of non-metal.