be the time of year for prog folk releases, as Tusmorke (meaning "twilight") and
Ian Anderson have both released new albums recently. If I have to be honest,
though, I much prefer this new album from Tusmorke, "Riset Bak Speilet". These
Norwegians have some inspired passages to share with us, even if it's done in a
A very "full"
sounding prog folk music, Tusmorke combine the standard organ and flute with
other prog rock instruments to make a lusher soundscape. The music is rather
dark at times, though never suffocating. More than anything, the music just
meanders along pleasantly while taking some downward dips here and there. I
rather like the use of the flute to keep a constant flow of melody, rather than
just use it to play solos, like some other artists. Tusmorke likes to build a
foundation of flute from which they can add more touches of other instruments to
create an overall eeriness or beauty, whatever they desire.
The first and
last songs are sung in Norwegian, I believe. The rest are mostly sung in
English. I appreciated that, as an English speaker. The vocals are basically
constant harmonization between two singers, and they perform very well. I
honestly feel that their tone is perfect and wonderfully smooth. It adds a great
touch to the already full feeling of the album.
Speilet" features five great tracks, though I honestly do connect more with the
English-sung ones. I especially love the deliciously eerie "Black Swift", as
it's chorus is fantastically harmonized and the rest of the song is so
delicately black and haunting. It also includes the best instrumental passage of
the album. "Gamle Aker Kirke" is a wonderful, more upbeat track that I
appreciate for its vocals, especially. "All is Lost" is also a flute- laden
journey into darkness and momentum. I rather like its nuances and its
atmosphere, as well as some well-timed signature changes therein.
Tusmorke have composed a wonderful album that will appeal to any fan of prog
folk music. The middle three tracks are specifically good and more structured,
regardless of the language differences. There is a certain maturity at work in
this band's music, and a hypnosis that they try to engage, and succeed many
times in creating. This
is certainly an album worth hearing this year.