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
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more