Album review: TUSMORKE – Riset Bak Speilet

TUSMORKE – Riset Bak Speilet

Svart Records – Out Now.

Some people may have all the luck in the world but then the majority of us have to try really hard in order to achieve our goals in life. Take Norwegian Folk Rock quartet Tusmorke as an example.

First formed in 1997, it took the Oslo natives twelve whole years in order to release their debut album “Underjordisk Tusmorke” but the stir caused by this release was enough to convince Finnish label Svart Records, the home of all things unusual and unique-sounding, to offer them a contract.

Another five years later, the band lead by the Momrak twins is finally ready to present us with its second music offering entitled “Riset Bak Speilet” – a five track release that has been rocking my world these past few days.

Tusmorke play a fine blend of Progressive Folk Rock steeped in the sounds and traditions of the early 70s and whose influences are so many and so varied that they will undoubtedly attract the attention of a wide range of fans.

The flute in the lead role will undoubtedly lead to comparisons with Jethro Tull, but thieving from the house of Mr. Ian Anderson is definitely not what these lads are all about.

The band’s need of constant rhythmical manipulation and the large number of cleverly-crafted atmospheric interludes are testament to both the band’s skills and compositional prowess, creating in the process five compositions that will pleasantly surprise and absolutely delight in equal fashion.

Led by an enthusiastic flute theme, “Offerpresten” may initially come across as a typical Jethro Tull tune but its layered vocals performed in Finnish, combined with keyboard themes of a rather unusual nature and cleverly placed wind instrument sections, offer something much different from what I am sure most of you would have originally assumed.

Slower in tempo and moodier in feel, “Gamle Aker Kirke” is a smooth 70s tune which reminded me of highly intricate vocal-led ballads created by bands like Simon and Garfunkel, while the absolutely sensational guitar harmonies and immense groove of “Black Swift” will almost certainly appeal to fans of bands like Pentagram (US) and Witchcraft.

With the flute once again in full swing, “All Is Lost” comes across like a Rockier version of a Skyclad tune, while the fourteen minute same-titled composition featured enough thematic variations to keep even the most demanding of listeners enthralled.

I never thought I would be so impressed by and addicted to Tusmorke’s second studio album a week or so ago, but such is the case!

It took these lads quite some time to get their band going but with an album of such sheer quality at hand, all that remains is for Svart Records to do a decent job with regards its promotion and the world is theirs for the taking. Splendid work guys!

John Stefanis

Rating: ****1/2 (4.5/5.0)

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