WIZRD - Seasons

(CD 2022, 43:56, Karisma Records)

The tracks:
  1- Lessons(4:11)
  2- Free Will(4:43)
  3- Spitfire(5:00)
  4- All Is As It Should Be(8:10)
  5- Show Me What You Got(7:44)
  6- Fire & Water(3:41)
  7- Divine(6:04)
  8- When You Call(4:24)

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WIZRD is a four-piece Norwegian rock band. The line-up consists of Hallvard Gaardløs (Spidergawd, Draken and more) on bass and lead vocals, Karl Bjorå (Megalodon Collective and more) on guitar and vocals, Vegard Lien Bjerkan (Soft Ffog and more) on keyboards and vocals, Axel Skalstad (Krokofant, Soft Ffog and more) on drums. Seasons is their debut album, featuring eight tracks that create a sound of rock, indie, jazz, and prog.

From the opener Lessons to the final When You Call the listener is treated to an “obscure” diversity of musical techniques, sometimes reminding me of the early Yes albums. WIZRD especially stands out due to the sometimes I must confess, almost irritating vocal harmonies, something I really had to get “used to”, but in fact I believe there is an overkill of vocal harmonies. Some tracks feature very fast riffing, quirky jazz grooves and the song Fire & Water, with guest vocals by James Petralli, has a certain Gino Vanelli vibe. All four musicians have studied at the Jazz Conservatory in Trondheim, and this is definitely a very distinctive influence on their music as most of the songs lean to jazz music, making it not an easy album to listen to.

Seasons must grow on you as this complex music can not be appreciated after just one spin, but for me it is even a very “obscure”, weird album after several spins; but if you like groovy, progressive, jazzy music with lost of improvisation and diversity then this is definitely an album you might fancy.

*** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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