Reviews RCD2139

Having worked live as the Kenneth Kapstad Group, Motorpsycho´s drummer has given this unashamedly jazz-rock-oriented quintet a group identity for their recording debut. That´sa good move given the collective heroics that make this such a thrilling album. Filled by Ola Kvernberg´s fractious violin, the early Mahavishnu Orchestra influence can't be ignored on these six raw and heated instrumentals. Alongside Kapstad´s tour-de-force drumming Trond Frønes´ always potent bass locks in perfectly to create an intelligent, pressure-sensitive support to Helte Hermansen´s dazzling fretboard excursions and Erlend Settevoll´s luminous keyboards. Incorporating folk-rock head-banging (Antics), wry cat-and-mouse dynamics (Clandestine) or rhapsodic dueling (Tachyon), they marry restless fervour with seasoned precision and finesse. What some jazz-rock practitioners forget is that instrumental chops alone aren't enough to make a good album - what you need are good old-fashioned tunes. Grand General get the balance between the head and heart exactly right - pieces you can sing along to and solos that´ll make you wonder what the hell just happened.
Prog (UK)

This five-piece trade in furious rock á la King Crimson circa "Starless And Bible Black" and early Mahavishnu Orchestra ... Grand General distinguish themselves not only with the mournful violin of Ola Kvernberg alongside Kapstad´s tireless battery and Even Helte Hermansen´ s acidic guitar, but also via the raw aggression of their attack. The nightmarish intensity generated on opening speedfest "Antics" is sustained throughout, regardless of tempo and never at the expense of the ensemble´s rock-solid groove.
The Wire (UK)

Members of Motorpsycho, Bushman´s Revenge and other Norwegian avant-rock scene luminaries come together for some instrumental prog / jazz-rock action of decidedly old-school stripe. Opener "Antics" sets the pace with its ebullient, galloping rhythms, woody, Celtic folk-influenced filigrees and psychedelic guitar wobble, while "The Fall Of Troy" splices Back Sabbath´s "Lord Of This World" with fractured reels to produce a heavy bond theme in search of a Bassey.
Rock-a-Rolla (UK)

This thirtysomething, Trondheim-based, fiery contemporary jazz-prog quintet led by violinist Ola Kvernberg inevitably draw comparisons to Mahavishnu but also have things that set them apart.
Jazzwise (UK)

Grand General is a new band from the inexhaustible pool of musical creativity in Norway ... The Grand General power packs are stirring, explosive and uncompromising in every way. The optimal synthesis of high-speed jazz rock, heavy metal and prog rock ...
Jazzthing (DE)

The Norwegians present a very crude mixture here. Heavy folk, peppered with crazy guitar riffs, a confused hype of synths and a spinning drum kit - this is not for the faint of heart. There is progressive jazz rock until the rind cracks ... 7/10.
OX fanzine (DE)

Grand General brøler som en stor og sint, men velsmurt maskin. All the vrengte gitarintroen på åpningslåten gir en pekepinn om at Grand General vil gjøre inntrykk. Låten fortsetter med synth, darkening fuzzbass, takstkifter og frenetiske trommer. Lytteren får ikke en pustepause før over tolv minutter senere ... De hardspillende jazzrock-pionerene i Mahavishnu Orchestra, som hadde sin glansperiod tidlig på 1970-tallet, he blitt nevnt som en referanse i forbindelse med Grand General. Selv kan jed tilføye både tidlig King Crimson, Motorpsycho og improvisasjonsmestrene i Supersilent. Spennvidden he med andre ord stor, og selv om det er deadline, blir det for enklet å bruke begreper som jazzrock og progrock om denne kvintetten. The har så mange strict å spille på, både i overført betydning og bokstavelig talt, at dette albumet blir en heidundrende debut. 6/6.
Address notices (NO)

Bak det storslåtte navnet skjuler det seg et knippe av landets stranger progressive utøvere inside jazz og rock, som trommis Kenneth Kapstad (motor psycho), guitarist Even Helte Hermansen (Bushman´s Revenge) og Ola Kvernberg på fele. Musikken he også stor, mektig, med solid røtter i syttitallets prog og jazzrock. It is a powerful driv, a gruved type bass rett i mellomgulvet og intens musisering gjør dette til en rensende musikkoplevelse. The material is bunnsolid and varied, in the final balanse mellom tunge velsmidde reef and åpnere strekk. The folk-inspired åpningen "Antics" avløses av den sterkt melodiske "The Fall Of Troy", en av de fineste melodilinjer jed har hørt på lenge. 5/6.

Riffene sitter løst hos Grand General, og 70-talls jazzrockestetikk leather ties within the territory. Tenk deg at medlemmer fra Mahavishnu Orchestra, Soft Machine og King Crimson hadde starts et nytt band for nøyaktig 40 år siden! The norske cvintetten har gjort historieleksene sine og fått stoffet under huden. The gjør bandet i stand til å skape sitt eget. Fiolinist Ola Kvernberg og guitarist Even Helte Hermansen he grove i, mens keyboardist Erlend Slettevoll he progorientert i sitt. If you come to the kjærlighetserklæring til en stilepoke, you can knapt gjøres mer helstøpt. The instrumental dyktigheten stranger lek og Kreativitet og peker aldri inn mot sleip fusion. 5/6.
Aftenposten (NO)

Kvartetten åpner sin debutplate med bred benstilling og høy gitarføring, og med et lydbilde som henter mye fra 1970-tallets jazzrock og progrockidiomer, slik vi kjenner fra band som Mahavishnu Orchestra og King Crimson ... Hovedåren i uttrykket består av rock med store boksta og all medlemmene imponerer med virtuositet og eksplosiv styrke. The spiller godt together, velvety som hvert grandsons medlem aldri er redd for å stikke seg Fremd. Det fyres av solo i høye turtall fra både gitar (Even Hermansen), keyboard (Erlend Slettevoll) og fiolin (Ola Kvernberg), mens Trond Frønes pumper utrettelig på med et av Norges feteste elbassdriv. Takket være deres grovskårne estetikk, står musikken aldri i fare for å låte smooth. 5/6.

Ola Kvernberg, who became known with his own trio and with Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, has launched a project together with bassist Trond Frønes with GRAND GENERAL in which he can let off steam as a violinist. On the debut album Grand General (RCD 2139) rage alongside Kvernberg and Frønes, who actually comes from Trondheim and otherwise rocks with Blood On Wheels and plays with Goat The Head Death Metal and Sunswitch Doom Metal, as well as Goat The Head and motor psycho - Drummer Kenneth Kapstad, Erlend Slettevoll, experienced in jazz with The Core on the keyboards, and Even Helte Hermansen from Bushman's Revenge rips the guitar. It used to be called the supergroup, which is normal in Norway. In terms of sound, the quintet still reminds us of the superlative times when rocky Greeks besieged and stormed the jazzy Troy. Think of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, think of King Crimson with David Cross, but not only heavy, fast and bulbous, but with a Nordic penchant for melody and harmony, for pathos and berserkery. Sometimes the violin seems to turn into a soprano sax or sing loudly. Her light tone precedes the wild hunt of 'Antics', which then tries to get the hell out of it, with keyboard fingers of the weird variety and a Hermansen that flexes its semi-divine muscles. 'The Fall of Troy' hugs pyromaniac and hymn to Grand Funk Railroad. After that, the dabbed 'Clandestine' appears particularly lyrical and devoted, and 'Tachyon' can again rip into a sing-along rush, Slettevoll organizes for a guitar-intensive climax, which is strangely distant. After a skewed intro, 'Ritual' is a violin round that rolls and sways with great inspiration. The collective harmony, the stamping together are more important than the solo escapades. But 'Red Eye' is again a parade with Kvernberg's summoning of Jerry Goodman's fire head and a relatives visit to Pluto & Co. if the guitar is not a freak for freaks, then it must be Lent.
Bad Alchemy (DE)

The really relaxed start of the 13-minute “antics” is deceptive: here whip instead of carrot is given to at least all those who value virtuosity, but should go to hell, which in this case, as is so often the case, is in the far north: GRAND GENERAL reminiscent of the pioneering days of the fusion movement, when elevator music was still a long way off under this name, but are audibly modern at the same time, especially since the participants are all still full of creative juice, especially Norway's flagship -drummer Ken- Kapstad (motorpsycho), who holds all the strings in his hand. but of course he doesn't deal with extras: violinist ola Kvernberg revives Jerry goodman or the mahavishnu orchestra again, Such a King Crimson Zerrbass can only be placed so tightly on the parquet by an expert, and a layman of old keyboard instruments is certainly not a layman in this field. the e-piano is on fire, polyrhythmic messes occur every second and a dynamic of almost orchestral dimension develops in the course of the almost completely manageable, round compositions of the ensemble. the epic “the Fall of troy” with its almost singable melodies is very close to the “Red eye” finale, which is also over ten minutes long, but apart from that, gRand genEral shows an astonishing and pleasant shortness of breath. “Tachyon” works mathematically and warmly with sparkling harmonies and post-rock adaptations with regard to the swelling volume. the delicate “Clandestine” lives up to its title as does the feverish “ritual”, in which miles davis passes in his storm and penetrated the mind's eye. “Grand general” is not only a must for the sophisticated taste of music due to the rarity of the style celebrated here, but nevertheless a testimony of timeless, informal art and skillful in all respects.
Noisy Neighbors (DE)