It was, in a roundabout way that I was first alerted to the ‘Norwegian’ band ‘Adventure’’. The bands Keyboard player Odd-Roar Bakken’ directly contacted ‘Progplanet’ and asked for us to listen to the second album from the progressive instrumental symphonic band he was involved with called ‘Kornmo. Within the included biography of ‘Kornmo’s album, ‘Old Roar’ had mentioned his involvement with long term band entitled ‘Adventure. And so I followed up this connection the results of which are the review here of their forth studio album ‘New Horizon’ the writing and recording of which began at the end of 2015 and was finally completed in March 2018,
‘Adventure’ were founded in 1995 by guitarist Terje Flessen and keyboardist Odd-Roar Bakken, and now operate as six piece band comprising: - Odd-Roar Bakken (keys), Terje Flessen (guitars), Terje Craig (bass/vocals), Alf-Helge Lund (drums), Elen Cath Hopen (vocals/keys/flute), Kjell Myran (vocals).
The immediate conclusion, upon first listening to thus album, suggested an extremely wide ranging compositional style with their musical eggs, so as to speak, spread over several baskets. This conclusion not only applying to the cross section of tracks but also to the diversity of music contained within each individual track itself. In fact the entire spectrum of rock music seems to have been integrated over the ten tracks. Maybe, with a general audience, this is a wise move in terms of overall appeal, but for the more strictly progressive rock aficionado there is a distinct possibility that their attention span might be diverted away towards other bands with a more composite approach. Another possible disadvantage might be that such variance over the range of music could confuse the bands identity from the promotional angle.
However, such negativity you can dismiss, because for me I thoroughly enjoyed the variety and the overall spread of talent contained and displayed throughout the album by the various members of the band, in a sense reminding of the approach ‘Peter Jones’ utilises on ‘Tiger Moth Tales’. So many delightful musical incursions such as female singer/flutist/keyboardist Elen Cath Hopen with links to the ‘Trøndelag’ District Opera.
There is, clearly, a lot of fun contained and occurring within the structure of the music as both the lead guitar and keyboards jostle for position. Both lead instruments having a field day bouncing off of each other resulting in some wonderfully melodic interchanges. In fact you really do sense that these guys are thoroughly enjoying themselves as they switch between harmonious swathes of floating keyboard chord arrangements, melodic complex guitar riffs and runs. Certainly too, after several spins and as the compositional arrangements become more and more familiar there is revealed oodles of lovely harmonies and deft instrumental collaboration and superb drumming. The bass guitar particularly, seemingly and normally overshadowed by the keys and lead guitar, actually comes to the fore with some beautiful solid note progressions particularly as the track entitled ‘Lighthouse’ unfolds. The exquisite flute of Kine Wallum is a total joy.
Other surprises contained within the album are the assured lead vocals from ‘Kjell Myran, I really warmed to the vocals delivered by ‘Kjell’, it actually took a few tracks to for me get on-board with his slightly irregular singing style but his intonation and expressive vocalisations suit the music brilliantly. Incidentally it was interesting to note that other band members and guests had got to share some of the vocal duties and the duet with Elen Hopenon ‘In Search of a Life’ is absolutely excellent.
Summary: A real grower of an album with delightful instrumental passages and full of melodic well considered arrangements. Excellent but slightly unusual vocals grace the proceedings.
A4 You Belong
A5 With Tears in Their Eyes
B2 Here To Stay
B3 Nothing Will Change
B4 In Search Of (A Better Life)
B5 For The Fallen
Mixed by Terje Craig in Craigtones studio and mastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo (White Willow).
Other Information from Terje Craig, bass guitarist, singer and producer for Adventure. I joined the band in 2010, but the band has been around since 1996. Adventure are the Trondheim-area and have released four albums and one EP. Currently we are writing and demoing songs for a new album probably due mid-2021.
Line-up / Musicians
- Kjell Myran / lead (2-5,7,9,12) & backing vocals - Elen Hopen / lead (5,6,8,10) & backing vocals, keyboards, Strings synth (11), piano (12) - Terje Flessen / electric & acoustic (5-7) guitars, e-bow (1), electric sitar (3) - Odd-Roar Bakken / keyboards, Hammond, synth, Moog, Mellotron - Terje Craig / bass, keyboards (1), bass synth & Fx (3), bass pedals (7), lead (5,6,10) & backing vocals, narration (11), mixing - Alf Helge Lund / drums, percussion, finger cymbals & bells (1)
With: - Atmasukha Ananda / piano (3,9,11) - Kine Wallum / flute (4,6,7,12)
Odd-Roar Bakken - keyboards (founding member, and also member of Kornmo)
Terje Flessen - guitars (founding member)
Kjell Myran - lead vocals (joined in 2015)
Alf-Helge Lund - drums (joined in 2014)
Elen Cath Hopen - lead and backing vocals + flute and keyboards on live gigs (joined
Terje Craig - bass guitars, lead and backing vocals
Adventure (self titled) on Adventure Records, 2000 - CD only and almost sold out
Beacon of Light on Progress Records, 2009 - CD and digital
Caught in The Web on Progress Records, 2014 - CD and digital
Refugees EP on Adventure Records, 2017 - 10" vinyl only
New Horizon on Artemis/Apollon Records, 2019 - CD, vinyl and digital