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Go to the Gåte website  Gåte - Jygri [Warner Music Norway - 2002]

This weekend I saw fellow Trondheim citizens The Third And The Mortal perform with their soundengineer on keyboards and sequencers and now the first full-length CD by Gåte is in my CD-player (tusen takk, Stein). It’s called Jygri and it’s as good as the previous EP promised.

Their heavy rock interpretation of their Norwegian roots was impressive on the EP and the album is a logical progression from the material on that EP. Brother and sister Sveinung (violin) and Gunnhild (vocals) represent the traditional part of their sound. They get accompanied by drums, bass, guitar and various electronic instruments ranging from synthesizers and sequencers to mellotron (both in Inga Litimor for instance). This gives their music a modern sound with an old ‘feel’. Compared to the EP, Jygri sounds a little warmer and organic, a little less ‘industrial’.

The album starts with Bendik Og Årolilja (can somebody explain the Turkish names like Håkan and Bendik in Norway?), an uptempo pop/rock song. On the second song Snåle Mi Jente Sveinungs violin pulls the song more into traditional territory and Torgunn Sundli (their mother,) sings in that fashion as well. The sad story Til Deg, about a girl rejected by her boyfriend and father of their son, is a rather ‘unfriendly’ song again. Like most of the songs aren’t very happy or uplifting. The atmosphere is dark and sometimes sad with an occasional outburst of anger. The beautiful waltz Kara Tu Omna and the solo-vocal of the titlesong is beautiful and is a nice contrast to heavy songs like Springleik and the monstrous track Margit Hjukse. The song Bruremarsj Frå Jämtland reminds me of the Swedish band Hoven Droven, the band that engineer Gustav Hylén was a member of. Kjell Erik Eriksson from that same band also jumps in on violin in this song, so that makes perfect sense. The newly done version of Sølbønn from their demo reminds me a bit of earlier material by The Third And The Mortal and that brings us to the end of the album.

Gunnhild’s vocals might not be for everyone with the ornamentation and microtones, but if you can take that hurdle you’ll find this is a wonderful album with melancholic, atmospheric and heavy folk-rock. Gåte is currently taking the Norwegian musicscene by storm by entering the VG Album Topp 40 on number one, selling more than 10,000 copies in the first week. Let’s hope their CD will be released in the rest of the world as well and a international tour will follow.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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