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Taskaha — Taskaha
(Bandcamp no#, 2020, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-12-24

Taskaha Cover art

Norway has no shortage of bands, and keeping up with them all requires dedication and a lot of time. Taskaha’s debut album came out back in 2020, but it’s worthy of notice for those who didn’t catch it upon release. This band plays a variety of rock that has one foot in progressive rock, though you won’t find side-long epics or vintage keyboards; they have another foot in melodic metal, but avoid the sludgy side of the genre as well as the harsher aspects; if they could be a three-legged beast, the third leg would be in 90s emo, with powerful vocals and dramatic climaxes. Rick Holmen’s voice is probably the first thing a listener will notice, and he’s got a strong, clean tone that carries melodies well and has a good range. Only very rarely are there any harsh tones. Lacking keyboards, the two guitarists, Stian Dahl and Simen Hanssen, fill up the sound with a full range of sounds, from picked acoustic to electric both clean and distorted. There’s occasional rhythmic chugging, but most of the songs are not overly reliant on it. There are also some very tasty two-guitar harmonies in the Wishbone Ash mode. Several of the album’s best moments come from the quieter parts, such as the beginnings of “Daylight’s Fading” and “Eden.” This latter track also includes an unexpectedly jazzy section. David van Dort’s bass work is very solid with a really sweet tone, and is mixed with the guitars in a very nice way. Drummer Ole Martin Svendsen has great taste, able to handle both busy and subtle parts, and knowing when enough is enough. Hopefully Taskaha won’t get lost in the chaos of the global pandemic, and can carry forward to produce more music as good as this.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Taskaha

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