Tusmorke - Hinsides album review

Fourth album from medievally-fixated Norwegian folk proggers

Tusmorke - Hinsides album artwork

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The traditional career arc for most bands is to tirelessly churn out material in their early years and then leave tax-exiled decades before later releases.

Somehow this Oslo-based lot have done the reverse. They took 18 years to release their debut album after forming in 1994, but Hinsides follows barely a year after their third album, Fort Bak Lyset, a wonderfully idiosyncratic, pagan-themed folk rock affair that was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy. They’re evidently enjoying a creative purple patch, donning their best medieval threads to fit with the themes of this record – the final track, for instance, commemorates 666 years since the Black Death was at its height in Norway. Its 23-minute song-cycle, punctuated with urgent percussion, portentous church bells, ancient instrumentation, spritely flute and the odd rock wig-out represents a powerful final act, but the most instantly likeable moments here are the almost cartoonish ebullience of Hjemsokte Hjem’s opener, and the insistent, riff-driven Tullish folk rock of I Feel Like Midnight. The sole English-sung track, their mixture of native tongue and the language of rock’n’roll feels quite exotic – and who would have understood a word uttered 666 years ago anyway?

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock