Annot Rhül is headed up by Norwegian musician Sigurd Tonna, who brings in additional musicians as needed to meet his vision for the music. Sigurd has been quiet for a while, the last Annot Rhül album being the 2007 released Lost In The Woods.
The set opens with the 7 part, 14 minute Leviathan Suite. After a hauntingly space-symphonic intro, the music launches into a male/female dual vocals segment that has a distinctly early 70s cosmic Prog feel, a theme that pervades throughout the album. It starts off lightly rocking but quickly morphs into dreamland with flowing Mellotron and other keys, traipsing through a steadily unfolding thematic evolution that recalls Eloy, Genesis, Yes and other classic Prog elements, though typically within a spaced out Psychedelic context. And for the finale the band dive into Uriah Heep land for some of their heaviest rocking yet. The Colour Out Of Space is an instrumental with a killer combination of flowing and rocking Space-Prog, at times having an early 70s feel and at others more modern rocking. We’ve got mind-bending guitars that sound like early Spacious Mind, bluesy Dave Gilmour licks, classic Prog keys, symphonic Mellotron, bubbling alien synths, and more. Surya is a lovely melodic rocking cosmic instrumental and vocal number. I love the trippy acoustic segment and multiple efx’d guitars. Distant Star is a short song with a shake and shimmy dance groove that sounds like it could be from some 60s sci-fi beach party flick. Dig that space-surf vibe. I like the intense heavy Prog vibe of The Mountains Of Madness, which sounds like some kind of deep space hellish King Crimson, but also explores along a Pink Floyd meets Genesis in the Milky Way axis. Wrapping up the set is the 5 part, 12 minute R’lyeh. It starts off eerily childlike, like a Mellotron drenched version of Goblin, before launching into a demonic yet majestic full blown symphonic Prog Phantom Of The Opera overture. But the gears shift quickly and dramatically as the music transitions to a lulling and angelically melodic songbird segment, and then makes a beeline into the most intensely power rocking assault of the set, feeling like a Metal offensive with ferocity tempering Mellotron and swirling space electronic effects, finally coming in for a freakily spaced out UFO landing that closes the set.
In summary, if you’re a space rocker with a taste for classic early 70s Progressive Rock you are sure to like Annot Rhül. Sigurd has absorbed his influences well and has a flair for continually evolving thematic development and giving a tasty cosmic edge to the proceedings. Recommended.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz