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Cakewalk: Transfixed

Glenn Astarita By

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The Scandinavian band ignites memories of early, unconventional space rock explorers Can and Faust, but integrate a neo-psychedelic imprint with their second album for Norway-based, Hubro Records. Here, the musicians navigate through murky passages and flights of fancy via Stephan Meidell's steely electric guitar permutations and Oystein Skar's poignant electronic effects textures atop drummer Ivar Loe Bjornstad's pounding medium-tempo rock pulses. At times, the trio projects conceptions of a slow-moving doomsday machine, obliterating everything in its path.

The musicians institute subtle hues and sounds that often creep to the forefront amid certain pieces that contain flourishing thematic content and weighty soundscapes that could fare well for cinematic backdrops. On "Bells," they launch a staggered rock groove, highlighted by Skar's silvery and phased synth lines that appropriately feature bell tones and a grandiose melody line. Other activities include experimental workouts, tinted with harshness and casting emotive sentiment, perhaps echoing dire situations. But all hell breaks loose during "Swarm," where Bjornstad's crashing cymbals add emphasis to howling guitars and layered keys, summoning a psyched-out trip to the netherworld. As "Dive" intimates an eerie ambient- electronic vista, complemented by the artists' counter moves and swirling effects, nestled within a dimly lit and bizarre sequence of propositions.

Cakewalk is one of many exceptional bands, presented by this label's roster of artists that frequently think outside the paradigms of conventional thinking. They intentionally or by default, gear their product to listeners' who seek music that strikes an unbalanced chord, sparking neural stimuli or new perspectives on the tried and true.

Track Listing: Ghosts; Bells; Transfixed; Swarm; Dive; Dunes.

Personnel: Oystein Skar: synthesizers; Stephan Meidell: guitar, bass, boxes and tape machine; Ivar Loe Bjornstad: drums.

Title: Transfixed | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Hubro Records

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