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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Markus Reuter featuring Sonar & Tobias Reber - Falling For Ascension

Markus Reuter has made a name for himself as a musician, composer, producer, and an instrument designer. From his collaborations with Stick Men, The Crimson ProjeKCt, and producing bands/artists such as Gentle Knife, Yang, and Sonar’s Stephan Thelen, Reuter has been around for nearly 23 years. And there is not a stop sign for him, because he is still going strong and never giving up.

Two years ago, he released an album by teaming up with Sonar and live electronic Tobias Reber called, Falling For Ascension. Released via Ronin Rhythm Records, Nik Bartsch’s label, Falling For Ascension gives Reuter, Reber, and Sonar a chance to dive into the waters of some unbelievable nightmares. Markus wrote some of the early compositions between 1985 and 1987 when he was in his teens.

To bring both Sonar and Reber by lending Reuter a helping hand, this is an interesting combination, but it works. The album was recorded in one day similar to what John Coltrane had done with his 1965 classic, A Love Supreme in one session. Reuter wanted to have it done under his direction as the pieces were prepared as modules with the 12-tone system as he assigned the instructions to each member.

Frank Zappa once said, “Music in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something.” And that is what Falling For Ascension is, the sculpture of Reuter’s compositions being done from start to finish with some insane results.

Condition I is following in the veins of the ‘80s-era of King Crimson by keeping the fires burning. Markus and Sonar walk into this dangerous tightrope that goes from the Grand Canyon to the edges of the unknown. You can feel the levels go up a notch as Christian’s bass line and I believe it could be the electronics done by Tobias Reber. It goes into this bass and dark-like piano tones to set up the traps in its right place.

Condition II sounds like a Space Jazz Rock voyage that crosses over the Moonmadness-era of Camel, Herbie Hancock, Hawkwind, and Gong’s The Isle of Everywhere with it’s rhythmic melody. Throughout the loops and some of the Jonny Greenwood territories, it sends you towards a Clockwork Orange-like scenario with some insanity that is ready to unlock the prison doors so that the inmates can run the asylum.

The larger sections of the forests get even darker on Condition IV. As it gets bigger and bigger by the second both Markus and Sonar walk into, the piece is even more dangerous as Reber’s spooky atmosphere shows that the killer is on the loose by raising the heat gage level to 500 degrees. The closing track that clocks in at 22 minutes is Unconditional.

Listening to this train chugging riff that is on a loop, I can imagine that Markus is tipping his hat to Lainey Schooltree and her 2017 Rock Opera, Heterotopia as if they’re plaing the style of the final section, Utopia with a Crimson twist. But it goes into the Starless & Bible Black-era as Reuter knows exactly where he wants them to go into this final light at the end of the tunnel.

The music itself becomes brighter and brighter by thesecond as if to get out of those muddy tunnels. They know that once they reach the final mark, you could tell that this was one of the challenging structures of music that has have been a part of. And they deserve a gigantic pat on the back.

Now while this album itself didn’t grab me that much, it took me about a year or so to appreciate this album as if ears would accept Falling For Ascension or not. And for my ears accepted it. Now mind you, this album is not your typical prog-rock album, but Reuter, Reber, and Sonar finally release some magic underneath their sleeves and they nailed it.

Kuhn Fu - Chain The Snake

It’s been two years since Kuhn Fu have released a new album after the release of their 2017 album, Kuhnspiracy. So for me, I had completely forgotten about them. Until this year. Their follow-up Chain the Snake, shows them that the band are going strong. And this time it is filled with vengeance. Christian, Ziv, Esat, and George have the battering rams ready to burst the doors down with a hardcore punch.

Marco Messy Millionaire starts off with a brassy punk attitude as Christian channels both the Diablo Swing Orchestra and the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo by singing in the styles of Danny Elfman. It delves into some of the territories of Captain Beefheart as Christian and Ziv do this intensive challenge between each other as they raise the stake to see where both rhythm and improvisation go into some free-Jazz punk like structures that honor the WorldService Project.

Gargamel sees Kuhn Fu delve into the gems of Frank Zappa’s Weasles Ripped My Flesh. You could tell that Kuhn is like a composer by giving Ziv, George, and Esat some ideas on where he wants the band to march right into before going into this late ‘60s mysterious atmosphere with some wah-wah grooves. Traktus is one of their darker compositions by delving into the waters of the Rock In Opposition movement.

They channel parts of Henry Cow, Present, and Univers Zero before Christian Kuhn screams in the styles of Magma’s Christian Vander for a couple of seconds as Ziv’s clarinet and the dooming string bass sets up this nightmarish bloodbath as it switches into more of the punky movements as if Kuhn Fu are giving Green Day the big giant middle finger!

Gustav Grinch is a ska mode meets avant-jazz approach as Kuhn and Ziv crawl into this tiny little mouse hole by doing some alternate cartoon scores honoring Ren and Stimpy and the Robert Clampett-era of Looney Tunes. You can imagine Kuhn Fu are tearing down the rule books by going into the sounds by creating their take of making music for the 1942 short, Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid as if Beaky Buzzard has finally achieved his goal by capturing Bugs as if to please his mother.

Listening to Wolf’s Muckenkagel, Hadow’s tidal-wave intro on his drumkit is going through the sounds of The Ventures and The Surfaris. The chanting vocalziations go into a middle-eastern Malaguena motif as the chords makes these crashing sounds by setting up the final sequence of Clint Eastwood’s character of The Man with No Name in the final part of the trilogy, The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.

Kuhn Fu have scored another touchdown in their own take of Football with Chain the Snake as if they brought everything from the kitchen table of Jazz, Swing, Ska, Punk, and the Rock In Opposition genre into a delicious Wasabi Mango Pineapple Smoothie. And Christian himself has delivered more than just a smoothie, but a volcanic eruption that is ready to explode.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

King Crimson - Live in Newcastle: December 8, 1972

50 years since King Crimson launched. 50 years since despite the various line-up changes, the music is still going strong like an eruptive cannon blast that is waiting to happen. And 50 years later, Robert Fripp himself is still going strong and keeping the machines of Crimson like a train chugging at 500 miles per hour. There’s no denial on how despite the genres to put King Crimson in, Fripp always considers King Crimson, “A Way of Doing Things.”

That and this rare live recording released last year from The King Crimson Collectors Club entitled Live in Newcastle December 8, 1972, showcases the early beginnings of the John Wetton-era of the band’s period. By this time period, the band had already finished up promoting the Islands album in 1971. Fripp parted company between Mel Collins, Boz Burrell, and Ian Wallace as they embarked on other successful careers from Camel, Bad Company, and Don Henley.

And in January of 1972, lyricist Peter Sinfield departed the band due to creative differences with Robert as he would later work with bands such as ELP, Premiata Forneria Marconi, and producing the first Roxy Music album. What Robert wanted to do is go into deeper darker territories such as the music of Bela Bartok and Free Improvisations. He brought along Family bassist John Wetton, percussionist Jamie Muir, violinist and keyboardist David Cross, and Yes drummer, Bill Bruford.

Bill had shown that he had reached his peak with Yes after the release of their fifth studio album, Close to the Edge. And what Bill wanted to do with King Crimson is have free-rein and go into a large full scale assault on his drum kit by having more textures of Jazz improvisations like no other. Now onto the Newcastle recording.

This was from a soundboard recording at the Newcastle Odeon where Sid Smith, who not only wrote the liner notes for this, but he was at this performance. And this was the very first King Crimson concert he saw at the Odeon. Listening to this concert, despite its quality, is quite a rare treat to discover the quintet taking all of the aspects of Free Improvisations, Classical Music, Jazz, and Avant-Garde structures like no other.

This was three months before their fifth studio album, Larks Tongues in Aspic was about to come out on March 23, 1973. And these were some of the early beginnings of what was to come prior to the Larks-era. So let’s embark on some of the highlights that are on the 48th release from the King Crimson Collectors Club.

My, my what a nice crowd of people they have in Newcastle. But now we will proceed to attack culture yet again to with a song called Daily Games and this, in turn, is preceded by a small demonstration of Mellotron tuning.” Fripp’s announcement after the exhilarating opening track of the first part of Larks’ Tongues in Aspic where Jamie Muir creates some eternal chaos throughout his percussions and drum kit by teaming up with Bruford as they let the beast run buck wild, is quite an achievement to come at you with some brutal force to start the show off.

The punching in the gut stomp intro of Easy Money from Wetton’s bass and scat solo, Cross’ mellotron, and Fripp’s nightmarish guitar lines delving into a clean yet quiet sound and Muir’s percussion textures, sets up the intensity of the greed coming at you and the dark side of the corruption. On Improv I, you can tell the band are having a blast going into some territorial free improvisation of the Jazz structure.

Wetton’s intensive bass lines, Muir and Bruford doing a duel on their drums and percussion, Fripp setting up some of the early beginnings of the Starless and Bible Black-era, and Cross taking you into those mysterious location in the heart of the forest that can be dangerous and very lifting at times. The drums are the key to the Newcastle recording.

You can tell that Bill and Jamie are having a blast between each other as they set the kettle boiling red hot from their free-improvisations as Muir is all over the place throughout the percussions whilst Bill is almost saying to him “Alright, let’s see how you can come up with this bad boy right here!” They are a perfect match, and a perfect team by working together during that performance.

And then they set up the Blaxploitation score by laying down the funk as Cross sets his wah-wah on his violin to set up the scenario on where Richard Roundtree’s character in Shaft will come up with next to bring justice and handle the law his own way, not the police, but the way he handles it.

Now on Improv II, I can’t tell if that is Jamie Muir screaming and chanting like something out of Jack Nicholson’s volcanic performance in the 1975 classic, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but if that’s him, he’s the raging beast ready to attack. He brings all of the percussion instruments to the forefront as he goes all over the place. It’s one of the terrifying and insane compositions I’ve listened to.

There’s the essence of world music he brings into at times, and some stronger elements of an Indian tribe and Soft Machine’s Third meets Klaus Schulze’s Irrlicht thanks to Wetton’s bass in the background very softly. The intensity is there and you can imagine the audience are going to be there for the ride that is challenging and right in your face.

Even though it is similar to the Earthbound release, the quality isn’t bad as I’ve mentioned earlier, but Live in Newcastle is the adventure that awaits them on what they were going to do and the direction they were going in between Larks Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and the Red album before calling it a day in 1975, this is the journey that begins the John Wetton-era.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Tillian - Lotus Graveyard

Whenever something that comes underneath the surface from either the Progressive Rock or Symphonic Metal genre, I know that something special awaits for me. And one of those up-and-coming bands that have really taken me by surprise is another band from Israel alongside Orphaned Land, Aperco, Ninet Tayeb, and Ahvak, is Tillian. Launched in 2014 from Tel Aviv, Tillian is the brain child of Leah Marcu.

Taking inspirations between Ayreon, Pain of Salvation, Gentle Giant, and Kate Bush, Marcu wrote it as if it was a solo album around the concept of alchemical transformations of the self. What she wanted to do was exploring those inner progressions; love to pain, pain to beauty, beauty to spirit, and spirit to love. It started to transform itself as Tillian.

And with help from Orphaned Land’s producer Erez Yohanan along with some hand-picked musicians while being mastered by Forrester Savell who worked with Karnivool. Alongside Leah who does the vocals, the line-up from the recording considers alongside Leah herself; Alexandra Marcu on Cello, Yadin Moyal on Guitars, Yoav Weinberg on drums, bassists Yanai Avnet and Alon Shulman on two tracks, and keyboardist Lior Goldberg.

Lotus Graveyard is their debut released this year. It is such a killer release for a band that’s delivering not just the goods, but combining metal, prog, and ominous haunting melodies, Tillian have unleashed an amazing debut. From the opening track of Reborn featuring the crossover sections between nylon strings, piano, and haunting electric guitars between Yadin, Alexandria, and Lior, walks down this twisted corridor to give Leah a chance to shine.

Her vocals resembles Within Temptation’s Sharon Den Adel and Anneke van Giersbergen as she rises from the ashes by becoming X-Men’s answer to the Dark Phoenix as she sings the line “Will I wither like all roses?/Will I forfeit my own cry?/But the blackness held its silence/The golden scales in perfect balances.” When she sings that section in the song, the music becomes this nod towards Muse’s Absolution as she tips her hat to Matt Bellamy’s arrangement.

The sections on Touched between the piano, moog, and classical structures by giving Leah a chance to spread her wings while Yadin’s guitar goes into the nylon strings into a battering ram line on his electric guitar with some heavy riffs while she channels her inner vision of Kate Bush as if she had sung for Gentle Giant by making her vocalizations go up a notch.

Yadin channels the bands between Judas Priest, Deep Purple (MKII), and Iron Maiden with some arpeggiated fast-driven lines and riffs for a short minute on Caught in your Slought while I’m Too Close tackles the themes dealing with obsession and domestic abuse. Leah’s vocals and Yadin’s guitar goes through the ascending mountains as you can imagine the woman herself going through this struggle to escape after being tormented by this person’s obsession and abuse towards her.

It’s not an easy subject to tackle, but the intensive arrangements makes this woman’s point of view to being free and escaping from the torment she was going through, but the moment she goes to sleep, he will haunt her in her dreams for the rest of her life.

Black Holes goes into full speed between Yadin’s riffs, Goldberg’s keyboards, and electronic drum sounds that have a trip-hop effect as the gates open up with the vocals and chords rising from the grave. It delves into a spaghetti western waltz before heading back into the territories of Gentle Giant as the tidal wave crashes down the cities with a mighty crash.

And it gives the band members some free-rein to have the waves to crash even more to hit those powder kegs at the exact moment they explode with a big gigantic bang. And then that gates open up even more on Love or Heaven for the battles to begin as guitars and drums go in full throttle with the bullets go into some rapid firing with snarling vocals thanks to Shachar Bieber (not related to Justin, mind you).

While I’m not crazy about the snarling voices from Shachar, but after Leah sings, she gives Shachar a chance to deliver those beast-like vocals as he is ready to raise hell even more to give Leah a chance to hit those notes on a big massive scale. Earth Walker is a nod between Iamthemorning and Steven Wilson’s Grace for Drowning. Leah channels the vocal arrangements of Marjana Semkina on the closing track.

Alexandra, Lior, and Yadin sets up this aftermath from the battle which has now become a massive bloodbath while delving into the atmospheric sections of Klaus Schulze’s Irrlicht. Alexandria closes up the book to give Lior a chance to wait at the exact moment for Leah raising her arrangements on her vocals.

This took me about two listens to delve into Tillian’s Lotus Graveyard. And the moment I listened to this from start to finish, I was completely spellbound that they’ve brought the genre of both Progressive Metal, Classical Music, and Symphonic Metal with a gigantic crunch by bringing them into one. I hope they continue to do more because the yellow brick road for Leah and her bandmates, have only just begun to follow in Dorothy’s footsteps.

Panzerpappa - Summarisk Suite

Despite the line-up changes, Panzerpappa are still going strong by keeping the fires of the RIO/Avant-Rock genre burning bright. After discovering their music thanks to both Sid Smith’sPodcasts from the Yellow Room, they’ve released six studio albums from 2000 to 2016. So the big question is this, what will Panzerpappa think of next? Well, it’s been three years since they made a new album. And this year, they’ve released a new album from the Apollon Records label

Home to bands such as Ring Van Mobius, Pogo Pops, The Windmill, Pixie Ninja, and Swifan Eohl and The Mudra Choir, Panzerpappa fit right at home to Apollon. And their follow-up to 2016’s Pestrottedans, their seventh album Summarisk Suite (Summary Suite) shows that they have cooked more hot and spicy foods that are very delicious by mixing in both Tabasco and Wasabi sauce that makes it very yummy and very dangerous.

From the opening track of Alerisk Symfo, the eerie introduction of the keyboards sets up this cold wintery night with Jarle’s howling cry that is a nod to Terje Rypdal. And some nods to Pink Floyd’s Obscured By Clouds meets the saxophone from Blade Runner done by Steinar himself.

You have this intensive atmosphere that gives Panzerpappa does by going into some militant formats as they do a quick change reminiscing Present’s Roger Trigaux and delving into the madness that his happening across the city before the mood changes into the style of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue done in a Rock in Opposition format.

Listening to Belgerisk Improv, Panzerpappa honors the scores of the ‘50s B-Movies as if they were using the Theremin by bringing Gort from the 1951 classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, back to their home planet once more. Now I can’t tell if Steinar is playing either his Saxophone or the Akai EWI 5000, but it works well by creating this sombering mood of a planet that once was bright and beautiful, has now descended into chaos.

Jarle channels his inner self of Allan Holdsworth as Anders walks through a deep, dark passageway while the sound increases to bring this epic scenario for the Oms and Draags to bring peace between each other from Rene Laoux’s 1973 adult-animated French classic, La Planete Sauvage (Fantastic Planet). Revidert Malist is a nod to Terry Riley, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich while Seriell Ballade makes the jump to light speed.

With a haunting melody between the guitars, piano and sax, it sets up this notion of walking through this empty giant cavern they come across by walking into the territories of Art Zoyd’s Musique por l’Odyssee with some watery effects and insane noises as each of the doors open up one by one by making everything go haywire. And then they hurtle through the cosmic forces with some Canterbury twists and turns.

I have to say this Panzerpappa’s Summarisk Suite is an okay album. Is it their finest? No, but they brought some great ideas that show how much they’ve been around for 22 years. And while this album has some great moments, it shows that they are still going strong and never giving up.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

King Crimson - Epitaph

It was during Spring Break of 2002, and something strange had happened to me. I was only 17 years old when my Mom drove me for an evening run to Soundwaves in the Montrose area here in Houston. I was in my Sophmore year in High School when I came across this incredible set of a King Crimson live album entitled, Epitaph.

Now unfortunately many years later I worn it out not just because of the incredible, yet intensive performances they gave from their sessions they did for John Peel’s Top Gear, but the performances at the Fillmore East and West between November 21st and in December of 1969 with the original line-up.

Now released last year in an eco-wallet design, it brought back so many memories revisiting some of those moments with Robert Fripp, Greg Lake, Michael Giles, Ian McDonald, and Peter Sinfield on my little boombox 17 years ago and revisiting the volumes one and two for their incredible virtuosity. 50 years later, despite the sound quality whether it’s an A or a B recording, it still sounds fresh.

Not to mention the album cover design of The Four Seasons by P.J. Crook. Her artwork that is evidential on the latter King Crimson’s albums, is quite staggering. It’s almost the passage of time set in this Victorian-era in the late 1890s and Crook captures that moment of what once was, is now gone. But let’s get into Volumes One and Two of the 2-CD set, Epitaph.

Now by this time period, King Crimson released their debut album on October 10, 1969, In The Court of the Crimson King after performing their breakout performance by opening up for the Rolling Stones on July 5th at Hyde Park featuring the Third Ear Band, Family, and Alexis Korner’s New Church to name a few. And word of mouth started to spread about this band including Pete Townshend of The Who, describing their debut, “An Uncanny Masterpiece.”

You have this flaming fire version of 21st Century Schizoid Man at the Fillmore East where the band were on fire to an audience were in for a treat to hear this band kicking into full gear as if a cannon went off unexpectedly at the right moment at the right time. Then there’s the mournful composition of Epitaph at the same venue where Ian’s Mellotron, Greg’s bass, and Robert’s sadness that he brings throughout, the song tackles the subject of the dangers of war that is about to come.

Greg’s vocals fill the halls of the Fillmore East as he sings “But I fear tomorrow/I’ll be crying/Yes I fear tomorrow/I’ll be crying/Yes I fear tomorrow/I’ll be crying!” You almost couldn’t turn off the first disc, because it is simply beautiful of what Lake has brought to this track. The jazzier smoky sounds from Ian’s sax and Greg’s bass of an old song that Giles, Giles, and Fripp did during their recording sessions for The Brondesbury Tapes, sees King Crimson going into the towns of Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis from the ‘50s of Drop In recorded at the Fillmore West on the second disc.

Their take from the BBC Session of Donovan’s Get Thy Bearings, despite the quality of the sound, takes it up a notch than the version I heard from the Plumpton live recording back in 2000 on the fourth disc of the 1992 box set, Frame by Frame: The Essential King Crimson. Ian’s sax goes through various corners while Greg’s walking bass line sets up the night before climbing those ladders to reach those sections for Ian to tackle the Coltrane sound to honor the master himself and just going all over the place.

Mantra gives Fripp, Giles, and McDonald to take this middle-eastern minor section throughout the chords of finding the signs of peace from the first disc with some incredible relaxations from their previous tracks on disc one. But it’s both A Man, A City (which was one of the early basis for Pictures of a City from their 1970 follow-up, In The Wake of Poseidon) and Mars that gives Crimson a chance to go into mass madness.

Fripp describes to the audience on the first disc about the song describes the city of New York City and dedicated to the Big Apple as Lake sings in the style of Schizoid Man structure but with some heavier grooves, insane time signatures, calm before the storm, and then back into the action once more. But when you get to Mars, this is where King Crimson brings all of their energy out into the audience.

From the seven movements of The Planets suite by Gustav Holst, Crimson go into this brutal nightmarish atmosphere on the Fillmore West performance. With the view of the red planet of its militant march between Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Mellotron, it turns into a chaotic frenzy near the end as the audience erupts into cheers that can really make your skin crawl and the audience chanting for Crimson to do another encore.

Epitaph really brought back memories for me as a Teenager. And now listening to this again, I can imagine what unearthed material that is going to be delved into the 50th anniversary box set of their groundbreaking debut album for its own limited edition that's coming out this October. And as Robert Fripp would always say, “King Crimson has a way of doing things.” Well, they do. And for them, there’s not a single stop sign for them.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Tirill - Reissues

Tirill Mohn is a name you probably may or may not recognize. She’s a singer-songwriter from Asker, near Oslo. She was one of the multi-instrumentalists that appeared on White Willow’s 1995 debut, Ignis Fatuus that was originally released on The Laser’s Edge label and reissued on Termo Records seven years ago. Last year, three of her solo albums from 2003 to 2013 have been reissued on Stephen Lambe and Huw Lloyd-Jones’ crossover label, Sonicbond.

These three albums showcase Tirill’s arranging and composition by continuing where she had left off during those sessions on White Willow’s debut. Listening to these albums, there is a Folk-like landscape that is set inside a gothic cathedral as if she had recorded them at the same venue by having this haunting atmosphere. Her debut album, Tales from Tranquil August Gardens was originally released As Dance with the Shadows on a small indie label, The Wild Places.

Unfortunately, when the album was released, the label was defunct due to the death of label boss Michael Piper. What Tirill did was to go back to the original album’s title. The guests that are on her 2003 debut include; Ketil Vestrum Einarsen on Flute, Sigrun Eng on Cello, Nils Einar Vinjor on Guitar, and Sylvia Erichsen on Vocals.

When I was listening to Tales from Tranquil August Gardens, Tirill’s voice resembles the spooky atmospheres between Happy Rhodes, Nick Drake, and Mellow Candle’s Clodagh Simonds. She captures these different tones that are stirring, eerie, emotional, and epic. It’s like being a part of her journey as we the listeners, embark on her emotional, beautiful, surreal, and powerful ride that is something extra special.

Nights are Colder begins this track with a dystopian scenario as if hell has arrived and everything has gone to pieces. You can imagine her singing this by going through the calm after the storm and carrying a bit of the Acid Folk and White Willow structures as she tips her hat to Jacob Holm-Lupo. She and Odd Halson Solbakken walk towards the rubble through the abandoned architectures.

When you listen to Don’t Dare to Love You, It’s her nod to Radiohead’s OK Computer. But then she carries that mysterious walk through the singing styles of Subterranean Homesick Alien and Exit Music (For a Film) with Nils’ steel guitar with Ketil’s intensive flute playing, and some incredible percussion work by setting up this scenery of a romantic relationship gone wrong.

Ketil’s reverbing effect on his flute throughout Heavy Heaves gives you another return to the futuristic nightmare as the spooky effects from the keyboards and the vocalizations between Happy Rhodes, iamthemorning’s Marjana Semkina, and Trees’ Celia Humphris. It makes you return to that landscape by sending shivers down the spine for one of the terrorizing visions that await us for the 22nd century.

Sylvia and Odd lend Tirill a helping hand on Vendela by doing the vocal duties. You can feel the goosebumps behind you as she continues to honor White Willow’s music by keeping the flames burning bright as if this was recorded during the sessions for Ex Tenebris. Now with Nine and Fifty Swans, it was inspired by the poetry of W.B. Yeats as she continues to write these story telling compositions that was a follow-up to her 2003 debut.

She channels both Vashti Bunyan and Trees’ The Garden of Jane Delawney as Sigrun’s cello and Nils lferman Schultz’s double bass captures the day of a life of a woman who is going through her routine as being queen. Dagfinn Hobaek’s vocals give Tirill’s narration a shining light to the story while the medieval folk structures pay homage to the 1973 British cult classic The Wicker Man by dedicating To A Child Dancing in the Wind.

Parting is Tirill’s nod to Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle. Dagfinn’s vocals and Tirill share the mournful loss of saying goodbye to a loved one and the struggle to move forwards. There is some eerie guitar lines that come near the end. And then we come her third album released in 2013, Um Hininjoour (About Heaven). Tirill moves from the folky genre into the progressive and ambient sound.

Chariot’s usage of the mellotron fills in some of the empty spaces to bring some sort of closure as she fills in the missing puzzle pieces in the composition by fulfilling your destiny as the lifting melodies begin to make you feel closer by coming towards the heavens. Fagar Enn Sol (Pleasantness Than Sun) is Tirill at her strongerhold.

She brings her vocalizations into different areas that have a multi-layered background along with her singing while some of the minor chord changes at the end brings to mind of David Bowie’s Hunky Dory-era. The spooky keyboards on Moira delve into the waters of King Crimson as the sound becomes these atmospheric locations as the guitars swim towards the city of melody while becoming a shadowy shape-like figure that watches every step you make.

The gentle lullaby that’s on Quiet Night gives Tirill to go into this quiet relaxing finale as for thanking the listener to be a part of her journey. I have to say after listening to these three albums, Tirill Mohn has come a long way. 

Tirill is more than just a progressive artist, but she's taking it a step further to go beyond the genre and beyond the yellow brick road. I hope that she continues to do another solo record in the near future and waiting to see and hear what she’ll come up with next.