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Kerrs Pink — Presence of Life
(Kerrs Pink Production KPP-2021, 2021, CD / 2LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2024-05-11

Presence of Life Cover art

I came into this release by Kerrs Pink unfamiliar with their previous material. I know they’ve been around for a long time — their founding is listed as 1973 — though Presence of Life is only their seventh studio album. Apparently they were originally known for the incorporation of Scandinavian folk sounds into the music, but there’s not much of that in evidence here. This is modern symphonic progressive with a relatively even balance between guitars and keyboards in the arrangements. Technologically, there’s not much that couldn’t have come from the 70s, but the music sounds fresh and real, and both the writing and the playing are solid enough that it doesn’t sound nostalgic or retro. Guitarist Harald Lytomt has a hand in composing the music for all six tracks, sometimes in conjunction with Lasse Johansen (keyboards), Per Langsholt (bass), or Magne Johansen (drums); all the lyrics, which are in English, are by singer Eirikur Hauksson. There are several other musicians featured on the album: Hans Jørgen Kvisler (guitar), Glenn Fosser (keyboards), and Øystein Torp (violin on two tracks), plus Linda Kallevik and Synne Wennersberg-Løvholen (backing vocals on one track each). Some of the musical references that come to mind are Genesis in the time from Trespass to Foxtrot and Camel on Mirage, along with some touches of Italian bands of the era. Hauksson has a very pleasant voice with a hint of grit, able to convey tenderness or drama as the music demands. Presence of Life is a beautiful symphonic album with enough energy and guts to have an edge that some bands lack, and is testament to the band’s worthiness in the top rank of Norwegian progressive rock.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Kerrs Pink

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