Kerrs Pink are a Norwegian progressive rock band that I have been following since 1997. Their first eponymous album was already released in 1980 and since the release of their fourth album Art Of Complex Simplicity (1997) they are on my radar. However, it has been eleven years since the band recorded their fifth and latest album called Tidings (2002), but with the release of the new album Mystic Spirit they fill the hiatus they had left since Tidings! Therefore I was very curious to find out whether they have succeeded in making another strong prog rock album comparable to the music on their previous two albums!
Maybe I was wrong to doubt if they're still able to write and perform great prog music because after playing the entire album I was overwhelmed by the superb compositions they had penned! The current line-up with original member Harald Lytomt (guitars), Eirikur Hauksson (lead vocals, Magic Pie), Per Langsholt (bass, bass pedals, MiniMoog), Glenn Fosser (keyboards, accordion) and Magne Johansen (drums, percussion) has outdone itself with Mystic Spirit. With the help of several guest musicians they recorded an album that will be loved by many prog heads, especially the ones who like the music of Camel mixed with influences from Norwegian folk music.
Some people might call it folk prog, but I guess that's too simple to describe Kerrs Pink's music. Anyway, it doesn't really matter how you categorize a band. As long as the songs are worth listening to there's no need to be under discussion. And I can tell you for sure that the music is really outstanding. All of the twelve compositions on this album made my heart beat faster; no fillers or any weak tracks at all. It's just a delight to listen to those tasteful guitar solos with lots of traditional Norwegian folk influences. At the same time I couldn't avoid thinking of Andy Latimer (Camel) since these amazing solos reminded me of the way he plays his electric guitar. Apart from all this the use of the accordion next to the bombastic keyboard parts on the Mellotron, Hammond C3 organ and MiniMoog works out well. And last but not least: the bass parts have been mixed in the forefront and made me regularly think of Chris Squire (Yes).
Well, I can go on raving about this superb album, but I guess you already got the message that I really love Mystic Spirit. This musical journey inspired by the grandeur of nature and reflecting on the various aspects of our lives just grabbed me by the throat. I guess I've said enough about this splendid album that should be heard by all fans of Camel. However, in general this album is highly recommended to all people who love great melodious prog rock!
****+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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