Ragnarok — Nooks
(Belle Antique 9004, 1976/1990, CD)
by Peter Thelen, 1996-03-01:
Not to be confused with the Swedish band of the same name, this Ragnarok is from New Zealand and released two albums in the mid-70s, of which Nooks is the second. Their sound was a solid symphonic rock, fairly accessible, and typical of the times. Most of the tracks feature vocals, contributed by all four members, yet their presence doesn't overwhelm the music, which remains the driving force. Influences might include some of the early British mellotron bands like the Moodies, yet there is a jazzy / percussive element in some tracks that defies that comparison. A closer connection might be found in Australian band Sebastian Hardie, although Ragnarok eschews the languid soloing and makes every second count. They also have a nice acoustic side that surfaces from time to time. The odd track here is "Captain Fagg," a spoof of early 70s glam-rock that might sound more at home on an early Mott the Hoople album. The only negative is that the CD is a vinyl transcription, which may annoy some of the digital purists. Still, this is an album definitely worth owning.
by Mike McLatchey, 1995-07-01:
Belle Antique released this some time ago in the days when Japanese distribution was much more expensive and less widespread. It's a vinyl transcription of the second album by the New Zealand group (not to be confused with the Swedish band Ragnarök on Silence) a symphonic rock album that should have great appeal. Ragnarok's concoction reminds one of many English groups – Moody Blues, Yes, Genesis; lesser known groups like Fantasy, Kestrel, England, and an approach similar to Sebastian Hardie. Yes, a plethora of analog synths, tons of Mellotron and great dynamics. The only problem I have here is the obnoxious "Capt. Fagg," a Bowie-esque number with terrible lyrics and definitely out of place here. Fortunately, that's where the skip button comes in handy, the rest of this is solid sympho-prog that will appeal to most except the very adventurous.
Related artist(s): Ragnarok
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