The rather new Norwegian progressive rock band Morild recorded their debut album Time To Rest (see review) in 2009. At the time our reviewer complimented the band with this double album and he also stated that the music could be compared to bands as Camel, Kerrs Pink, Magna Carta, Flamborough Head, Landberk and Eloy. Time To Rest had been recorded by John Anders Troset (vocals, guitars, percussion), Odd-Road Bakken (keyboards, guitars, ukulele), Alexander Holand Salgado (drums, percussion) and Nils Larsen (bass). Apart from this line-up Mari Haug Lund (flute, piano) and Hans Kristoffersen (guitars) teamed up as guest musicians.
Now four years later Morild recorded their second album Aves with the same line-up. The only change is that the guest musicians now have become full-time band members. While listening to this second effort I noticed that the band have grown music wise. Maybe the new band members have pushed them in the right direction, since in my opinion Aves is a far better album than Time To Rest. Their debut was lacking real strong compositions and therefore it would have been better if they had recorded a single disc with the best tracks from both CDs. They probably wanted to release all songs they'd written from the time they started as a band.
This time the 75 minutes of music on Aves are very well used; all of the six compositions are of a high level. Sure, the same sound and influences of their debut are still present, but their vintage progressive rock style now contains more elements of folk music and that suit the band very well. This more folk-like sound is mainly due to the acoustic guitars and the flute parts. Moreover, not all tracks are up-tempo or played in a higher gear. These new features make sure that the music can 'breath'. On most tracks it seems that the main influences are from Camel (keyboards) and the Dutch band Focus (electric guitar and organ). However, throughout the album Morild reminded me of another Dutch prog act, namely Flamborough Head although I believe that the band members of Morild are not familiar with this band.
The similarities with Flamborough Head are mainly due to the voice of John Anders Troset and the sound of the flute. Troset's voice is quite similar to that of Siebe Rein Schaaf who sang on the first two albums recorded by these Dutch musicians before he was replaced by Margriet Boomsma. Her flute playing provided the band some folk elements, the same ones you'll find on Aves.
In my opinion the highlight on this record is the final and also the longest piece. Waiting For The Ferry, parts 1 & 2 lasts for 25 minutes and summarizes all you can hear on the other five tracks. Everything comes together on this wonderful epic piece and therefore lovers of vintage prog, in particular those who love Camel, Focus and Flamborough Head will embrace this album!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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