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(38:53: Karisma Records)
Track list: 1. Shaping Mirrors Like Smoke 5:47 2. Heart Listening 5:21 3. Blowing Raspberries 3:43 4. Brother 5:02 5. Let the Mother Burn 4:56 6. Caligula 4:16 7. Agafia 5:55 8. Variola Vera 3:53 LINEUP: Aleksander Vormestrand - vocals, guitars Hein Aleksander Olson - guitars, drums Lauritz Isaksen - keyboards Eirik Alfredsen - bass, vocals Leiv Martin Green - drums, vocals
Prolusion. Norwegian band Himmellegeme has a history that goes back to at least 2015, and in 2017 they released their debut album "Myth of Earth". It has taken the band a few years to manage to create and finalize a second album, but in October 2021 they will be ready to launch the album "Variola Vera" through Norwegian label Karisma Records.
Analysis. One of the fun, interesting but also challenging aspects about covering progressive rock is the sheer number of artists you come across that doesn't really fit into any of the known defined boxes of subcategories music nerds have invented over the years. In the case of Himmellegeme, once upon a time progressive rock would have been just fine as a genre indicator, these days many expect something more, a description going into greater detail and most of all a defined subcategory. I'm always grateful when I come across a band like this, that by sheer creativity crafts something that doesn't really fit the common norms and standards. Take a song like 'Blowing Raspberries' for instance. Would it be wrong to describe this single track as an example of electronic and futuristic psychedelic blues rock? This is the kind of song where five different people may well define the song in just as many different manners, and for me at least that is a good thing. A documentation that states that rock music isn't dead just yet, there's more to uncover, more to discover and more to create. For the album at hand, Himmellegeme do have a foundation in an atmospheric laden variety of progressive rock somewhere. They are fond of using electronic sounds and instrument distortions that makes their core sound appear as much more electronic sounding than it actually is, at least to my ears and my brain, and I suspect there's at least a couple of band members that know their Gilmour-era Pink Floyd rather well too as the Floydian atmospheres are recurring on this production. Much the same can be said about instrument details and some arrangements that feature a bit more of a post-rock approach and execution, which does expand the landscapes explored just a little bit more. Add in some acoustic instrument details and possible nods towards root music or folk music, and you'll start to get an idea about where this band is coming from and possibly also in the direction they are heading. This is an odd and eccentric variety of atmospheric laden progressive rock, strangely appealing and captivating despite the unusual combination of elements that most of the songs here are made of and made from. A stellar job has been done in the studio to balance all the elements here I suspect, and some very good ears have been in use to tweak these songs into an alluring submission.
Conclusion. Norwegian band Himmellegeme have crafted themselves an alluring and captivating example of atmospheric laden progressive rock on "Variola Vera", quirky music that at least to some extent defies categorization. Music that should have a broader appeal than the eccentric nature of the compositions suggests too when it comes to that. Psychedelic rock and post-rock explored inside an electronic tinged atmospheric progressive rock context might be a possible summary for this production, and those intrigued by that description should have a good chance of finding this album to be an enjoyable one.
Progmessor: September 2021
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