Kosmodone, a band who hail from Bergen in Norway, is the brainchild of two brothers, Sturler and Severin Sandvik, with the aim of presenting their take on ’60s-tinged psychedelic rock. These influences certainly feature, but for me there is also an early Yes influence. Despite this, they have still been able to create and retain an original sound.
The brothers have this to say about this debut album: “We aim to draw listeners into the Kosmodome, in all its diversity. Thoughout the album, we dwell in the melodic and the groovy; a baseline for deep dives into massive, heavy soundscapes and spacey atmospheres. Instrumental sections are central to our musical storytelling, further supported by our lyrical themes; introspection and wonder, rumination on the human condition and frustrations towards contemporary society.”
Well that statement says it all and covers what the album is about so well – I think my job here is done! But seriously, this is an album full of great feel-good music with a wealth of great melodies – and it’s certainly very groovy at times. The album is divided into eight tracks with running times ranging from just over a minute to just under nine, yet none of the tracks ever overstays its welcome. They have got the timings and pacing spot on, developing each song with enough interest to appeal to the listener, and at the end creating the urge to hit replay.
Enter the Dome gives us a bright and playful start with the album’s shortest track before we move straight into Retrograde and off into psychedelic/prog territory, with the vocals, to these ears, reminiscent of Wobbler. They carry the energy into Hypersonic, a fast-paced, catchy and direct song, and then Deadbeat, classy and well-paced with the tempo gradually increasing. At around five minutes, we get a more gentle, almost acoustic break with guitars and percussion, which leads to the song’s conclusion at after around seven minutes.
Then – Pow! – they hit us with the tour de force that is Waver I, right at you and in your face but superbly well controlled, full of energy and enthusiasm. They carry this into Waver II, but here there are periods of restraint, intercut with the high energy. The 1% is a thoughtful song lyrically, dealing with the state of the world. Here they appear, to me, reminiscent of Motorpsycho in their song structuring. The album closes with the longest track, Orbit, which moves back to a more psychedelic/prog rock feel.
This debut album deserves to get the band noticed. Despite the retro leanings it sounds fresh and modern, well mixed and balanced throughout with lots of textures and melodies to peak your interest. The Sandvik brothers have certainly put a lot of thought and care into these songs and have created a top quality listen. Here’s to the next one lads.
01. Enter the Dome (1:13)
02. Retrograde (6:33)
03. Hypersonic (3:39)
04. Deadbeat (7:00)
05. Waver I (4:48)
06. Waver II (6:10)
07. The 1% (6:27)
08. Orbit (8:49)
Total Time – 44:42
Sturler Sandvik – Guitars, Vocals
Severin Sandvik – Drums
Ole Andreas – Bass
Jonas Særsten – Keyboards, Effects
Morten E. Olsen – Guitar Solo
Record Label: Karisma Records
Country of Origin: Norway
Date of Release: 10th December 2021