Oddarrang - Agartha - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Oddarrang - Agartha

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2016-09-30

Finnish experimentalists, Oddarrang play cosmic chamber music that threatens, and occasionally delivers the kind of post-rock exultation that opens backstage doors at rock music festivals. At times beautiful, mystical and fraught, the music is also gravid with unease. Ideas constantly grasped and then disbursed in favour of some other experimental ground. 

The music on Agartha straddles a three way boundary between prog-rock like Yes and Keith Emerson, the cacophonous resolutions of Sigur Ros, and the minimalist laments of Arvo Pärt.  

'Telos/Agartha' is a case in point where Oddarrang’s experimentalism is not easily defined. There’s a rather lovely prologue to the track which begins with a kind of muted bell-tone emulated by guitar, and with a weight given the more somber moments in a Wagnerian opera. Then the music segues into a delicate beauty reminiscent of the two stringed bowed instrument, the Erhu, used traditionally in Chinese music. The next phase of the track is all space-rock, followed by some Eastern European folk sounds enshrined by a motorik rhythm. All heady stuff, and  we’re only two-thirds the way through ! The tracks ends in celebratory style, sounding all the more classic rock. 

Final track begins with some portentous horn playing which unpredictably, and perhaps somewhat disparately, segues into keyboard prog-rock that a young Tony Banks from the 1970 incarnation of Genesis might have played.

Although confounding at times, Agatha is ambitious in scope and impressive in stature.    

 

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