Friday, July 01, 2016

Hedvig Mollestad Trio - Black Stabat Mater (Rune Grammofon, 2016)

With one foot each in the rock and jazz camps the Hedvig Mollestad Trio are a very formidable unit. Consisting of Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen on guitar, Ellen Brekken on bass and Ivar Loe Bjørnstad on drums, the group keeps much of the album on the heavy side but also ventures into more free and open improvisational landscapes. The album opens with a rush, as “Approaching/On Arrival” shows the trio rocking out in a heavy formation at a very fast tempo. The group drifts into a more open and spacey section toward the middle of the piece, developing the music dynamically, as their sound arcs and fades within the wider vistas. Things are brought back up to speed as the trio approaches the conclusion, with sparks of wicked electric guitar flying over heavy bass and drums. “In The Court Of The Trolls” has another fast and heavy beginning as the group puts forth a massive edifice of sound, with Mollestad’s guitar twisting and turning like a snake. They move into a spacier and more abstract section on “-40” where Mollestad weaves gently chopped guitar against waves of heavy cymbals. “Somebody Else Should Be On That Bus” concludes the album in fine fashion with thick bass providing the foundation for Mollestad’s guitar to dart to scalding and abrasive heights like a spaceship being launched into the great beyond. The trio’s music is seemingly motivated by hard rock like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, but it also includes and eclectic mix of musical ingredients like avant garde jazz, progressive rock and psychedelic music. It is a heady brew regardless of the ingredients and should be of interest to fans of both jazz fusion and heavy metal. Black Stabat Mater -

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