Hinn Íslenzki Þursaflokkur — Þursabit
(, 1979, LP)
by Rob Walker, Published 1994-02-01This band hails from Iceland, and to get a hint at their sound you might think of a Scandinavian Gryphon mixed with a large dose of Gentle Giant. This was their second album, released in 1979. Hinn Íslenzki Þursaflokkur are by no means anything close to a Gentle Giant clone - they just do their own thing which happens to incorporate a lot of the kinds of things that make Gentle Giant such a good, original band; odd meters and constant time changes, lots of dynamics, quirky rhythmic and melodic motifs, excellent musicianship, a healthy variety in their sound, even within the same song, and well performed, if sometimes odd, vocals. The music is also reminiscent of bands such as Hatfield and National Health. They have folk roots, but except for maybe two songs, this influence is heard more in the vocals than in the music. There is some excellent prog here, very energetic, that serves as a setting for old Icelandic verse. The extensive liner notes come with the lyrics in Icelandic as well as explanation and background on the poetry in English. Very interesting reading. The instrumentation is guitar, a variety of keyboards, bass, drums, and sometimes bassoon, all played with plenty of enthusiasm and intensity. In my opinion this is as good as anything Gentle Giant has done, and it is one of the best CDs I've gotten this year. If you don't mind the idea of Icelandic vocals (I find them quite interesting), consider giving this a listen. And if you do try it, just ignore the first track. It's rather "poppy" in a 70s kind of way, but its only three minutes long and sounds nothing like the rest of the album. Great stuff.
Related artist(s): Hinn Íslenzki Þursaflokkur
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more