Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hinn Islenzki Thursaflokkur

Extremely rare progressive rock from Island. 2 albums
Their name on their first eponymous album was Hinn Islenzki Thursaflokkur (translation: The Icelandic Flock of Trolls / Hinn = The). This album was released 1978. When they released their second album Thursabit they had shortened their name to Thursaflokkurin (translation: The Flock of Trolls), and that is what everyone call them (even in the notes of the first album). Their third album was live and was probably released in 1980. It is said that they had made a fourth album 1994. This band hails from Iceland, and to get a hint at their sound you might think of a Scandinavian Gryphon mixed with a large dose of Gentle Giant. Thursabit was their second album, released in 1979. Hinn Islenski Thursaflokkur are by no means anything close to a Gentle Giant clone - they just do their own thing which happens to incorporate a lot of the kinds of things that make Gentle Giant such a good, original band; odd meters and constant time changes, lots of dynamics, quirky rhythmic and melodic motifs, excellent musicianship, a healthy variety in their sound, even within the same song, and well performed, if sometimes odd, vocals. The music is also reminiscent of bands such as Hatfield and the North and National Health. They have folk roots, but except for maybe two songs, this influence is heard more in the vocals than in the music. There is some excellent prog here, very energetic, that serves as a setting for old Icelandic verse. The extensive liner notes come with the lyrics in Icelandic as well as explanation and background on the poetry in English. Very interesting reading. The instrumentation is guitar, a variety of keyboards, bass, drums, and sometimes bassoon, all played with plenty of enthusiam and intensity. In my opinion, this is as good as anything Gentle Giant has done, and it is one of the best CDs I've gotten this year (along with Locanda della Fate, the double CD of Magma Live, Banco's Io Sono Nato Libero and Darwin!, Ozric Tentacle's Live Underslunky; pretty good company!). If you don't mind the idea of Icelandic vocals (I find them quite interesting), consider giving this a listen. And if you do try it, just ignore the first track. It's rather "poppy" in a 70's kind of way, but its only 3 minutes long and sounds nothing like the rest of the album. Great stuff. -- Rob Walker





















Hinn Islenzki Thursaflokkur - Hinn Islenzki Thursaflokkir(1978)






















Hinn Islenzki Thursaflokkur - Thursabit(1979)

5 comments:

newelectricmuse said...

I've been listening to and enjoying the first album - it's got a very appealing sense of fun about it. However the second album has such a scary cover that I haven't attempted that one yet!
Newelectricmuse

Anonymous said...

I would be really happy and grateful for listening to thier third (live) album. I hope someone can help!

Aldo

Art Rock said...

Thanks for posting this. I love obscure prog music and blogs like yours are a fantastic way to sample the unknown!

Anonymous said...

THANKS, I´D LOOKING FOR TOO MUCH TIME THIS ALBUMS AND BOTH ARE GREATS, REALY AMAZING MUSIC VERY WELL BALANCED OF PROG AND FOLK KEEP THE TENSION.

Anonymous said...

hello,

and a very big "thank you" for this blog and esp. this kind of music - i love it !!
greetings,
andreas.