Superfjord – All Will Be Golden

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label URL: https://www.svartrecords.com
Released: 2018
Buy Album [URL]: https://www.svartrecords.com/product/all-will-be-golden-2/#all-will-be-golden-lp-black
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/superfjord/

Band line-up:

Jussi Ristikaarto: guitars, electronics, vocals
Mikko Kapanen: guitar, vocals, percussion
Ilari Kivelä: drums, percussion
Teemu Soininen: bass
Juho Ojala: keyboards
Jussi Peevo: drums, percussion

Tracklisting:

1. Cut and Paste
2. Master Architect
3. Rainbow
4. No Rest for the Wicked
5. Parvati Valley
6. Rainha da Floresta

Review:

Superfjord are a Finnish prog-psych band and their sophomore album ‘All Will Be Golden’ will be unleashed on September 21st through Svart Records. The release is about ‘the journey, the destination and the vehicles’ and it’s an ambitious musical trip of long arcs and many colours. Its influences include Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead and Spiritualized. The first single of the album ‘Rainbow’ is a message from the end of the rainbow. Surrender to its force!

The album starts off with the intriguing ’Cut and Paste’. Its intro is rather reminiscent of Tool (although it is lighter in tone), so you may be disappointed when the relatively basic vocal melodies enter. They are far from genius Maynard James Keenan’s standard, and are instead almost annoyingly repetitive and predictable. They are also in a very different and perhaps surprising gentle rock style, so some mental adjusting might be needed if you are expecting something similar to the super group. However, once your head is sorted out, you should be able to keep enjoying the music. Again in contrast to the legends, the first song develops in a completely different way than perhaps anticipated. Rather than it building in a gradual manner, equally effective surprises are used. The guitar solo in the same song is refreshingly, even rarely melodic. It’s almost jazzy in its complexity, yet it still really rocks and with a great distorted tone. Considering how long it goes on for, you may hope for some more technical ability to spice things up, however.

‘Master Architect’ plays with interesting polyrhythms but again, they aren’t of the same standard as Tool. Whilst ‘Cut and Paste’s’ surprising shift in material was effective and innovative, the development sounds a tiny bit rushed with this one in places, though its funky and jazzy style is a breath of fresh air. As it’s mostly an instrumental that is somewhat chilled out, some may come to the conclusion it needs more vocals on top of it to add interest. However, in its current form it makes great music for zoning out to. The saxophone solo brings a welcome variety of textures and isn’t ostentatious enough to ruin the atmosphere. When the singing does come in, it is unexpected yet natural sounding at the same time. It may not be great, but it is perfectly reasonable and to be fair few bands can write outstanding melodic lines.

‘Rainbow’ repeats the pattern found in the opening song in terms of the annoying vocals (which I’m sure are meant to sound ‘fun’). The guitar solo is a little on the wild side at times without it being inappropriate, so there are no minor problems with tedium or melodic wandering, there. The following synth solo is just as well thought out and stylish. It’s not at all filler, instead it is something to look forward to and to be remembered. From this point on in the album, the material is a lot more in the style of Frank Zappa. Furthermore, some parts of ‘Rainha Da Floresta’ sound like trippy rock versions of ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’s’ outro section, which is well… weird. Well weird in theory anyway, it actually sounds pretty good, as unoriginal as it is.

In conclusion, if you ever wanted to hear a band that in many ways sound like Tool but also Zappa, you are in luck! The band have attempted to write colourful music, and they have gloriously succeeded without creating a musical mess. Rather disappointingly, the songs have a tendency to just fizzle out, which is a little strange when you consider how much effort was put into the vast majority of the music. Even using fadeouts could have been more effective, but there are countless examples of weaker outros out there in the world. This album is recommended listening for anyone into prog in general or maybe for those who like something a little on the weird and wacky side. Great stuff!

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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