At the junction of Trondheim fjord with the Nidelva River, you will find the city of ‘Trondheim’ the very first capital city of Norway. A beautiful city surrounded by wonderful countryside and the centre of Norway’s cross country skiing fraternity. Little wonder that the magic of this region has greatly influenced and inspired the nature saturated music of ‘Kornmo’. The subject of this review is the bands second album entitled ‘Vandring’, a delightful privately pressed progressive rock project. And although this album stands alone in its appeal it could be described as being similar in style to a mixture of Camel meets Mike Oldfield.
So here we have, as a result, an album of wonderfully constructed melodic keyboard orientated music that effortlessly ebbs and flows with many guises in similar fashion to the journey of a river passing through ever changing nature sculptured landscapes. Each phrase and passage telling its own story as the soundscapes unfurl throughout the progress of their dramatic voyage. Without doubt, as you listen, you can feel that the whole affair is a musical anthology reflecting the spectacle, beauty and nature of this scenic part of the world.
Obviously, with only three members in the band there are clearly multitudes of clever ‘over-dubbing’ and carefully balanced manipulations going on within the mix. The result of which has created a wonderfully atmospheric and totally focussed symphonic consistency that follows throughout the entire ten tracks. The solid platform for the music and indeed the key to the core of the orchestration is a series of rhythmic keyboard orientated arrangements that act as the canvas for the other individual instruments to come to the fore and hold sway? The various keyboards are indeed played in an amazingly resourceful fashion with the full range of their combined capabilities being utilised to create this harmonic glue that knits everything together.
The melodic bass lines which gently wend their way throughout the various musical sets are totally fascinating to pick out, especially in the way that they echo and replicate the main melody lines produced by the keyboards and guitar. Indeed, focusing on the bass alone one is treated to an impressive array of tuneful emphatic counter melodies whose extensive range is both exhilarating and enchanting adding much panache to the proceedings. There are plenty of beautifully executed guitar pieces too that add brilliance and charm to the compositions. These range from a classic Spanish stylisation to full on virtuoso heavier rock. The drumming throughout is beautifully executed especially as the movements, throughout the programme of tracks, are so wide ranging with multitudes of extremely diverse time changes and which are packed with many combinations of complex instrumental sequences.
Summary: A beautiful instrumental progressive rock album of interesting well-constructed music that is both melodic and dynamic reflecting the nature of Norway.
Kornmo was established four years ago by:-
Nils Larsen (bass)
Odd-Roar Bakken (guitars and keyboards) og
Anton Larsen (drums)
Info from the Band
My name is Odd-Roar Bakken I am member of the norwegian progband Adventure and was a member of Morild. I am also a member of a instrumental, symphonic prog-project called Kornmo. We have released two selfproduced albums so far. "Svartisen" in 2017 and " in 2019.
As to the keyboard sounds. I mostly used a Korg C3 hammond in the studio with a Leslie and a Moog Voyager. An Ensnoique keyboard was also used on some tracks. I use these keyboards live, too. Some other sounds are recorded using midi and plug-ins that gave us the proper 70’s sound.