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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Elephant9 with Reine Fiske Atlantis

Elephant9 with Reine Fiske
Rune Grammofon

If you think jazz-rock is a dry or cerebral exercise in self-indulgence then a quick blast of the third album from this Norwegian power trio will disabuse you of any such misguided notions for once and for all. Ferociously lapel-grabbing from the very first note to the last,  Ståle Storløkken, (keyboards) Nikolai Eilertsen (bass) and Torstein Lofthus (drums) are joined on this outing by guitarist Reine Fiske who’s melodic presence can usually be found with Swedish psychsters, Dungen.  

Musically the compositions are relatively straight-ahead without too much of any tricksy arrangements. Executed with such force and barely-tamed energies, they evoke and marshall the same kind of colossal, edgy brutality found in early Tony Williams’ Lifetime and the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s debut.

On the shimmering title track Fiske’s guitar is wreathed in a delicate glow of feedback that seems always on the verge of breaking out into an anguished howl. Yet he carefully sculpts a beguiling melody that’s mournfully exquisite, deferring the instinct to let go until he’s joined by the thundering and gloriously implacable rhythm section. The sense of release is palpable and to hear musicians erupt so beatifically as this is something of a privilege.

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