When I listened to Dark, the opening tune from Somnia, I had to think about the latest album of Glass Hammer. On Three Cheers From The Broken Hearted we hear a number of songs that move towards the more poppy side of progressive rock music. However, we can still enjoy the Mellotron and the Hammond-organ, both very important instruments for the sound of a progressive rock band. From time to time, Norwegian band Terraex, use the sound of the Mellotron for their songs as well, but more significant is the voice of female singer Maria Torensen. On the first track, but also in songs like In Chains, her voice reminded me of Susie Bogdanowicz and therefore the similarity with the music of Glass Hammer becomes even more obvious.
As far as I’m concerned, singer Maria Torensen makes the biggest impression on Somnia. She’s not only a very gifted musician on piano and violin, but above all she has a very flexible voice that sounds differently in almost every track. I hear hints of Kylie Minogue and Gwen Stefani, but also of Kate Bush and Tori Amos. A singer with a voice like Maria’s certainly lifts the music to a higher level, but unfortunately not all compositions are strong enough. They don’t always meet the standards of our beloved style of music. On the eleven tracks you’ll hear several influences from musical genres as reggae, pop and mainstream rock.
Their record label Musea mentioned bands as Goldfrapp, Radiohead and Sigur Ros to compare them with. Well, since I don’t have any albums of those acts in my collection, one might think that Terraex’s music is not my cup of tea. Strangely enough, this is not the case. I even enjoyed this album. The overall feeling is rather positive, because the music sounds fresh and it sometimes even touched me. On their MySpace-page they label themselves as an alternative band with a progressive attitude. I fully agree with that qualification!
**+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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