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The Konsortium - Rogaland

The Konsortium
by Kayla Hutton at 01 May 2018, 6:38 AM

THE KONSORTIUM from Stavanger/ Oslo, Norway was formed in 2003. After releasing a demo in 2008, the band inked a deal with Agonia Records. Their self-titled debut album was released the summer of 2011. Their new release, ”Rogaland”, is due out on June 1st in Europe and June 8th in North America via Agonia Records. Named after a county in Western Norway, "Rogaland" has a newer approach then the prior releases as “Rogaland” is more complex and technical. The vocal tracks, “nature-inspired and folk-tinged,” were recorded on site in the woods, in the mountains and on the Northern shores. “Rogaland” begins with the atmospheric intro,”Innferd”, as to be expected. The deep sounding tom hits are spaced apart and timed well to create a more dramatic environment. Sounding like a ceremonial, tribal, kind of ritual as if preparing for someone of high importance to enter.

Abruptly a very odd toned voice elevating in speech destroyed the mood set by the intro. “Skogen” has begun. The music joins in all at once, very fast. There is a lead guitar part however its buried and kind of hard to hear exactly what he is playing aside from one shriek that jumps out and for some reason is so above the mix that it just seemed like an unprofessional mixing mistake that no one caught. About the 19 second mark everything slows down and the guitar line becomes apparent. Its very clean and clear which really has me baffled as to what happened at the start. The vocals are grunted and yelled out of key. Very off key. When someone signs and holds a note way too long and you can hear their voice start to crack and become unstable. Similar to EL DUCE, but he did it on purpose.

The mix overall is lacking in the proper use of compression which I find very unfortunate due to the amazing guitar parts. They are at times in the forefront and when I can hear them, they sound very well structured and extremely complicated. “Arv” begins with a better vocal attempt. Then just reverts to the same snarled and out of key straining. At times sounding as if he is not standing still at all. This song has some serious chugging and is fast-paced minus the blast beats giving the music some breathing room. The background vocal tracks reminded me of a brilliant hall with high ceilings. Not a chant of words just long-held tones. Very dark. The start of “Utford” demonstrates some real emotive guitar work. Similar to the instrumental tracks that came out of nowhere on ATHIEST’s album “Elements.”  Bursting with very melodic, moving and inspiring playing.

The only saving grace for “Rogaland” in my opinion(“opinion”: meaning not factual, but a matter of personal taste) is the guitar work. Imagine if John Petrucci (DREAM THEATER) played more extreme metal. There is some serious talent and it’s really terrible when it gets buried. The drums are all over the place and struck me as trying to cram as much into the song as possible rather than accenting and complimenting it. This could also be another result of the mixing. “Rogaland” has its moments of being diverse and musically progressive. Mixing psychedelic, black metal, prog metal, and death metal. If you are already an established fan of “THE KONSORTIUM” you will be shocked at how much more technical their sound has become. I won’t say don’t listen to it, I just offer a disclaimer. If you can look past a mix that could be better, adjusting the volume periodically to keep it balanced, and are a fan of F.G.’s vocal style, definitely give it a chance. Again, the guitar work is baffling and very impressive. The rest, however, is nothing I would refer to as being a solid release.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Innferd
2. Skogen
3. Fjella
4. Stormen
5. Hausten
6. Arv
7. Havet
8. Utferd
F.G. Gugelli - Vocals/Guitar
B. Waldejer- Guitar
T. Jacobsen - Guitar
Teloch - Bass
Dirge Rep - Drums
Record Label: Agonia Records


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