Band: Grand General
Band Website: http://www.facebook.com/grandgeneralnorway
Label: Rune Grammofon Records
Label Website: www.runegrammofon.com
Release Date: 2013
The folks at Rune Grammofon Records are known for their edgier, more adventurous musical tastes; hence they provide an outlet for bands like Panzerpappa or as in this case Norwegian band, Grand General. The band’s five members are: Even Helte Hermansen (guitar), Ola Kvernberg (violin), Erlend Slettevoll (keyboards), Trond Frønes (bass) and Kenneth Kapstad (drums). Each of these guys has quite a musical resume playing with any number of other Norwegian groups and the music they create here is guitar heavy jazz-rock with plenty of proggy overtones.
The disc Grand General consists of six instrumental tracks two if which clock in over eleven-minutes long while most of the others are around six-minutes. The general tone hearkens back to the early days of heavy metal; I’m thinking Black Sabbath crossed with Red era King Crimson. It might very well be the ever-present violin that summons up that King Crimson reference. While the music of Grand General can be quite complex with many elements of jazzy improvisation as in the opener “Antics” [12:20], they’re not averse to charging ahead with a distortion laden bluesy rocker such as “The Fall of Troy” [6:30] with its splendid recurring riffs and themes. In fact the band takes this aspect of recurring musical motifs and applies it across all of their music. They will start with a riff of some kind, meander off in different solo directions and then return to an earlier musical theme perhaps in grander fashion. And then there’s usually the big finish! My favorite tune happens to be “Tachyon” [6:24] with its ever building melodies and driving intensity.
Given the nature ofGrand General’s music, jazzy rock and the way they incorporate violin into their sound you will find a number of musical references musically to Mahavishnu Orchestra and I guess that wouldn’t be out of line. They don’t really sound like them, but they do play like them, if you know what I mean. If you are looking to get your jazz-rock fix on, Grand General will definitely do the trick. You should check it out.