All Is Well

MesaVerde

Obviously talented as a band, this was an intriguing album to listen to. I loved that they embraced the 80’s at times, while clearly forging their own unique path. Although I do wish some of the melodies could have been developed and made to linger a bit longer, there is plenty of room for the listeners to explore.
March 2, 2024

Mount Fuji towers over Norwegian forests. At the top, the lovechild of YES, LED ZEPPELIN, THE BUGGLES, KORGIS, and TAME IMPALA brews up a colourful prog-rock storm. Get ready to ride the whirlwind of the sophomore album “All Is Well.” MESAVERDE is a new band based in Oslo, Norway, with one foot planted in pop and another in prog. With their debut album “KY” the band showed a unique ability to produce catchy and innovative music – music shaped with profound love for strong melodies, arrangements, and a totally unique sound. The music is created and recorded by the band in their own studio. Now, they return with “All is Well,” which has nine songs.

“Deep Time” is first. A frail, somewhat dark melody emerges first, followed by the thud of bass guitar notes and gentle keyboards. A steady rhythm develops but the melodies are subtle at first, and then they are all in. “Pyramid Fucksnake” has vocal harmonies with more bass and keyboards in support. The guitars build a bit and bright melodies come out in the chorus. “Moments” had another gentle sound, but like many Progressive Rock bands, MESAVERDE shifts the chord progressions into areas that you do not expect as a listener. The chorus however is pure melodic bliss.

“Eva” is no doubt about a girl. The relationship isn’t tumultuous, although the band moves a bit cautiously through the song, almost like a breeze to accentuate an already chilly day. He remembers her fondly, or does he? “Tracing” has a tandem sound in the vocals and music at first, but again, it explores in the unseen holes and cracks of the room, into surprising areas. Consider the instrumental passage as further evidence of this. “Pickings for the Beast” has an unabashed 80’s Pop sound, especially within the keyboards. It’s probably the most linear song on the album, and perhaps the catchiest as well. “Eyes” has some very sweet vocal harmonies. “The past is present, in reminiscence,” he says. How true these words are.

“Endurance” has a steady groove with a side of funk. Once again, their more Progressive side comes out, as they leave no stone unturned in their quest. Just when you think they land on a sound, it shifts again. “Story” closes the album. I’m not entirely sure what they are singing about, but the song builds as it moves, so subtly that you almost don’t even notice, and the end is just as mysterious the album as a whole. Obviously talented as a band, this was an intriguing album to listen to. I loved that they embraced the 80’s at times, while clearly forging their own unique path. Although I do wish some of the melodies could have been developed and made to linger a bit longer, there is plenty of room for the listeners to explore.

8 / 10

Excellent

Songwritting

7

Musicianship

9

Memorability

7

Production

9
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"All Is Well" Track-listing:

1. Deep Time

2. Pyramid Fucksnake

3. Moments

4. Eva

5. Tracing

6. Pickings for the Beast

7. Eyes

8. Endurance

9. Story

 

MesaVerde Lineup:

Jørgen Apeness

Lars Fremmerlid

Henrik Schmidt

Jonas Lundekvam

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