Brimstone, Mannsverk (CD)
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After the virtual menagerie of instruments (everything from flutes to saxophones to accordions, choirs and violins) that graced their previous album, “Smorgasbord”, “Mannsverk” finds Brimstone back as a 4-piece, with a tight, muscular and poetic sound as the result.
They’ve also shortened their name The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band, to simply Brimstone. The album is also a return of sorts to the band’s musical roots, with a strong late 60’s/early 70’s prog vibe evident throughout. The music easily transcends it influences though, and the end result is unmistakably Brimstone. The whole of the album was recorded in their own studio, enabling the band to really stretch out. Many of the songs are well beyond the 6-minute mark, one almost 10 minutes and another well past 12 minutes long. The musicianship and precise arrangements of the songs ensure, however, that “Mannsverk” never descends into boring solos or fruitless jamming. The individual identity of each player is clearly stamped across the album, but still contributing to the greater whole. Listen for instance to the effortless fusion between Biff’s thundering bass lines and Thomas Grønner’s relentless jazz- grooves, or the way Rolf Edvardsen’s tasteful vocals and genial guitar work never clash with ivory tinkler Øyvind Grønner’s arsenal of organs, pianos, mellotrons and synthesizers.