TUSMÖRKE – Riset Bak Speilet
aaamusic | On 24, Jun 2014
Outside of the time, lost in a period which could be dated back to the late ‘60s-early ‘70s, but it also recalls some mediaevalesque feelings well rooted in the Nordic tradition; Tusmörke (translated “twilight”) are steadily firmed in the Scandinavian prog-rock background. They were born as an acoustic trio, but over the years they’ve changed their shape, adding the electric element and transforming their music into a more psychedelic oriented concept.
Their story goes back to 1994 in Skien, a town in the outskirts of Oslo. And, after the 7th rebirth, they have released their second full-length album. Sequel of their shadowy, almost ethereal debut, Underjordisk Tusmørke, Riset Bak Speilet (the Birch Behind the Looking Glass) carries on the dark path undertaken and bushwhacks through a bewitched forest.
Despite their metal look, the Norwegian band are far from the canon of the genre. Their sound is more refined, insomuch as it seems chiseled into wood. Their sensitivity more developed, able to recall folk resonances and sonic lyrisms. But, more than the ballad structure, their music points at the progressive suite. Dilated compositions, even fourteen minutes long (like the title track), solos and distortions which unfurl themselves in parallel with the main themes.
Riset Bak Speilet plays with a determinate imagery recalling all the distinctive characters of the genres mentioned. Undoubtedly the starting point lies in the origins of the band. Scandinavia is a region which still has a powerful centralising impact on some music styles and is also able to revive a specific “mythology”: it gathers together a full range of references about an older period, passed and gone, but still popular. Characters, places, legends. Memories of some distinct Swedish music neighborhoods like the In the Labyrinth, Anekdoten, and the seminal Pärson Sound and Ragnarök, which leave enough room to more “classical” influences including Aphrodite’s Child, King Crimson, and Gentle Giant. But, first of all, it is British folk, in its more acid acceptation, to filter through the abundance of Tusmörke’s putative fathers.
As soon as the flute comes into play in the opening power ballad ‘Offerpresten‘, the figure of Ian Anderson seems to materialise and bless the opera. All elements which guarantee further approval at home. So, the next challenge for the Norwegian band, is to move beyond the regional borders, to appeal to a broader audience, levering on all the associations and the innuendos, which their music inextricably creates.