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Prog Rock

We hope you had a nice Summer and maybe even a bit of vacation. Now it is September, and we continue our sale campaigns. This week, we offer our third and last progressive rock campaign.

It’s only a month until the glorious and amazing fifth album from Norwegian prog rock kings Wobbler will be released, so why not pick up the bands 4th album “From Silence to Somewhere” at a discounted price now? This was the first album Karisma Records did with Wobbler, and it went on to be a huge success. And by the looks of it, the new album, “Dwellers of the Deep”, will do great as well. If you’re into progressive rock we’re sure you’re already familiar with Wobbler, so we won’t dwell too much in the deep here.

We search the globe far and wide for good progressive rock, and Caravela Escarlate we found in Brazil. With a great and keyboard driven prog style, this trio reminded us of greats like Emerson, Lake & Palmer but with a distinct Brazilian flavour to the sound. Caravela Escarlates self-titled album was very well received and should be of interest for anyone into keyboard driven, classic prog rock. We hope to hear something more from this band in the near future.

Let’s hold our thoughts outside of Norway a bit longer, because we got a nice introduction to the Icelandic band Lucy in Blue a few years ago. This resulted in the release of their 2nd album “In Flight” in 2019, an album that was very much praised for the atmospheric and quite Pink Floydish soundscapes. It was so well received that the band had their release concert at the Roadburn Festival and went on a European tour with Sleep. We know the band is recording some new stuff, that we hope we can announce soon.

One of the earliest progressive rock releases we did, was the one and only album from the Trondheim-based band Gallery. Maybe they were a bit more rock orientated, but they resembled bands like The Tea Party, early Muse and even Radiohead (OK Computer-era). “Jas Gripen” (named after the Swedish fighter aircraft) did okay but should probably have been promoted better upon the original release. One peculiar thing, singer/keyboard player Snorre Valen ended up as a national politician after the band split-up for left wing party SV (Sosialistisk Venstreparty), but that didn’t help the sales much. We have a few copies left of “Jas Gripen”, which was an atmospheric, diverse and absolutely progressive rock album.

One of the first local progressive rock bands that got signed to Karisma Records was the then very young guys in Seven Impale. Actually, they were asked to be signed when they walked off stage after one of their early concerts, that’s how impressed we were. They were a young band with lots of ideas so we paired them with producer Iver Sandøy for the recording of “City of the Sun”, and they also worked together for the follow up “Contrapasso”. That co-operation went so well, that keyboardist Håkon Vinje is now a member of Enslaved as well. Both albums was so well received that they ended up in the top 10 in the best of the year polls at Prog Archives. Not bad for some young lads from Bergen. But then again, both their albums are still amazing! Rumour has it that the band has started rehearsing again, so may we hope for a new album one day?

Not too long after we released the first Seven Impale album, we signed another young and local band called Shaman Elephant. We just released their spectacular 2nd album “Wide Awake but Still Asleep”, but the debut album “Crystals” is still a strong one. Shaman Elephant has a more psychedelic touch, with small dashes of jazz and proto-hard rock in their mighty progressiveness. “Crystals” was well received when it came out in 2016, and still holds its ground.

A couple of hours south for Bergen, there’s an island called Stord and there we found a band called D’accord who had done a very good self-titled debut. We really liked the bands flute driven and hard-hitting progressive rock, and in 2011 their 2nd album “Helike” was released. This was a non-compromising prog rock album, with only two songs ticking in on over 20 minutes each. This was a bit hard to swallow for some, but very well received by the diehard prog fans. The third album was recorded, mixed and mastered totally analogue in London, and in 2013 “III” was very well received by those who enjoy the classic 70’s rock sounds.

Let’s go back to Bergen, and to a band that was to some extent a big part of the Bergen pop/rock scene. Originally called The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band, they started out as a psychedelic band around 2000, and did two albums in the mid-2000s. After a few quiet years Karimsa Records picked them up, and in 2009 they released the much more diverse and quite progressive album “Smorgasbord”. The band went quiet again, but in 2014 they had shortened the name to just Brimstone, and we witnessed the release of their last album “Mannsverk”. A true gem of a prog rock album, and an office favourite. The band collapsed some time after that, but the members are still lurking in the rehearsal rooms shadows and we might hear something new again. Maybe. Anyway, “Mannsverk” is a hidden masterpiece, and an album you should give a try.

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