Amgala Temple — Invisible Airships
(Pekula 003, 2018, LP / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2019-01-23
Next up in the parade of bands featuring Norwegian musicians best known for work in other bands is Amgala Temple, which was formed by Lars Horntveth (Jaga Jazzist), Amund Maarud (The Grand), and Gard Nilssen (Bushman’s Revenge). Together, they serve up an appealing blend of jazz-rock and space-rock fronted by Maarud’s guitar and Horntveth’s keyboards backed by the rhythm section of Nilssen (drums) and Horntveth (bass). They are masters at setting up a great groove and working it, with Nilssen’s fantastic drumming providing both energetic propulsion and a noticeable jazzy feel. The bass parts are less flashy, more concerned with maintaining the trance-like flow than in standing out. The lengthy sections of repeated riffs are broken up at just the right time by changes, as in “Bosphorus” when they drop into a heavier half-time section in the midst of the quick main rhythms. “Avenue Amgala” has a wonderful tricky riff full of unexpected accents, at least part of which is in 9/8. Keyboards mostly provide spacious background, though occasionally they carry a melody or take a solo. Maarud’s guitar is generally heavily processed with effects, with a variety of interesting tones, and provides plenty of soaring Hillage-like moments. Horntveth even breaks out the lap steel on “The Eccentric” for a different flavor. For space rock, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Related artist(s): Amgala Temple
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