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(34:03; Apollon Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Undertow (Slight Return) 0:23 2. The Shadow of the New Praetorian 12:35 3. Supernova 3:45 4. Beehive 8:31 5. Chiaroscuro 5:50 6. Dunes 2:59 LINEUP: Ole Jorgen Bardal - saxophone Oyvind Nypan - guitars, electronics, soundscapes Per Harald Ottesen (RIP) - bass, guitars, electronics Jan Inge Nilsen - drums, percussion
Prolusion. Norwegian band The Tronosonic Experience have been around since at least 2017, and have four studio albums to their name so far. "The Shadow Vol II" is the most recent of these albums, and the second of the two albums released in 2022 through Norwegian label Apollon Records.
Analysis. As with the first part of this album series, the music on this production comes with multiple reference points to improvised music, to the point that this is how I would categorize this album overall. In a bit more detail I would specify that this is an instrumental variation of the form, and that the music overall fits nicely into a progressive rock tradition. Alongside jazz-tinged sections where the saxophone is in the lead as well as more expressive sections with a more chaotic expression overall, we are also provided with slightly gentler passages with more of a psychedelic intent by way of guitar soloing and expressive guitar playing, as well as certain details here and there that adds a slight bit of post-rock to the proceedings. All the longer creations here will feature several instances of both forms, in a flowing and fluid motion that transports the song from one phase to the next in a smooth and logical manner. We also get atmospheric laden soundscapes in between the longer songs, just as on "The Shadow Vol I". In addition we get a more careful and delicate creation here in the shape of 'Chiaroscuro', a song that wouldn't have been out of place on one of the more accessible of the Jan Garbarek Group albums: The moods and atmospheres on this song gave me specific associations to Garbarek's composition 'Twelve Moons' as a matter of fact. As was the case with "The Shadow Vol I" this is a solid and appealing production. For some reason or other not quite as engaging for me, which may be due to these albums sharing similar traits and thus lacking the revelation factor, or just me having slightly different perceptions on a different day.
Conclusion. When I wrote a more superficial review of this album earlier this year, I think my final summary of that one feels just about right, with a few slight alterations, also after exploring this album a bit more in depth: While I do not know for sure if this album is improvised, the type of music here is one that will feel right at home with those who enjoy instrumental, improvised progressive rock, and then in particular by those who prefer psychedelic and jazz-oriented movements in this type of music.
Progmessor: April 2022
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