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Brimstone - Mannsverk (2014)
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Brimstone - Mannsverk (2014)

20-04-2014, 09:12
Music | Rock

Brimstone - Mannsverk (2014)

Artist: Brimstone
Title Of Album: Mannsverk
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Karisma & Dark Essence Records AS
Genre: Rock, Progressive Rock
Quality: Mp3 (covers)
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Total Time: 54:41 Min
Total Size: 145 Mb


01. A Norwegian Requiem (6:27)
02. Rubberlegged Man (5:46)
03. Voodoo (6:21)
04. Flapping Lips At Ankle Height (6:14)
05. The Fixed Wheel (3:09)
06. The Giant Fire (4:28)
07. Sjø & Land (12:19)
08. This is The Universe (9:54)

In Bergen, Norway, in a small room on the docks, right on the edge of the great watery abyss that is the North Atlantic, sits a solitary figure illuminated only by two computer screens. The figure in question is Truls “Biff” Eriksen, bassist and in-house producer of Brimstone. It is the hour before dawn, and he really should have been back in bed several hours ago.
The reason for the delay is a strange noise his new sensitive microphones have picked up while recording the tracks for the new Brimstone album, Mannsverk. A high-pitched squeal; mournful and insistent in quality. At first he suspected that some of the band’s original 60s equipment had malfunctioned, then the plumbing and wiring of the elderly waterfront storehouse where Brimstone have built their studio. But the sound is irregular, comes and goes, and is tinged with a certain sadness.
Biff is not a superstitious man, but at this dark hour of the night, known locally as the “wolf hour”, and with the ocean mists creeping across the docks, it’s hard not to suspect that some sort of spectral presence is the origin of the noise. Hurriedly he scampers off, making a hasty dash for the city centre of Bergen.
As he stops by a 7/11 he notices the morning edition of the local newspaper, a pilot whale had gotten lost among the islands, bays and small fjords surrounding Bergen. The sound had been the whale’s vain attempt to signal it’s way back to the open ocean and it’s pod.
If one can imagine the sound of Brimstones “Mannsverk” emanating back across the water, one can hardly have designed a more apt soundtrack for the whale’s final plight, laden with themes of estrangement, bewilderment and time running out as it is.
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.
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.

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