Reviews RCD2177

Krokofant's second album confirms that, if you want to find the true successors to the pioneering spirit that animated 1970s jazz and progressive music, Scandinavia's the place to be. Perhaps it's because the young Nordic jazzers don't have the insecurities of their European counterparts, who've been drip-fed anti-prog rhetoric. Rather than finding prog or jazz rock fusion something to feel awkward or ashamed about, Tom Hasslan (guitars), Axel Skalstad (drums) and Jørgen Mathisen (saxophone) never got that memo. Instead, they enthusiastically grab at incendiary elements of King Crimson, Back Door and VdGG with which to flavor their own potent brew. And, like their eponymous 2014 debut, galloping vitality surges through every second of this album. Amid explosive squalls, blood-curdling metal-edged shredding, guttural excursions and steamroller riffs, the trio maintain their cool, exercising a sure-handed degree of control over the stormy forces they unleash. To witness such mastery in a group so young, as they hyper-jump from such unalloyed abandonment into detailed, tessellating themes and intricate ensemble readings, is truly something to celebrate.
Prog (UK)

If the self-titled debut from this incendiary power trio careered like a bolt from the muzzle of a deep blue Mauser and noodled you between the eyes with its concussive clout then you better get your protective wraparounds fixed on and quick. This sophomore suite reels out the readies on a conveyor belt of ostinato riffs (no cuddly toy), propelled by a drum and guitar section with an evident love for prime tech-metal tactics. The sax is pushed further to the fore this time (and only at the slight expense of Hasslan's heavy staccato strings), the trio now broaching the feral garage swing of The Thing or even the raucous post-Klezmer din dished out by Daniel Zamir's Satlah, especially when Mathisen starts tooting Talmudic hellfire on the soprano. There's no recourse to a calming ballad either, as was the case with the first album ' s meditative 'Castaway' closer. No, this is supercharged and surly, from bellicose beginning to yowling end. And, believe me, you won't mind one bit.
Jazzwise (UK)

The Krokofant moniker implies an unwieldy character spirited from Lewis Carroll animal splicings, shiny of tooth and lumpy of gait. It doesn't do justice to the full-pelt 21st century jazz group blasting forth nimble of breath and limb, fire tickling its swinging underbelly. Axel Skalstad scatters and blasts apart his drum patterns with delicate ferocity, kindred spirit to a young Chris Corsano. Mathisen's saxophone and Tom Hasslan's guitar lick and spit around each other in steely-eyed angular exchanges which never seem to quite leave melody behind despite sudden pressure escalations into full-tilt free blow and grind. Ignore that slightly annoying name, Krokofant are clearly plugged into the mains and tapping the source. Rock-a-Rolla (UK)

Guitar / sax / drums trio KROKOFANT follow their head-turning self-titled debut with their second offering Krokofant II (Rune Grammofon), a molten, high adrenaline collision of blazing jazz improv and visceral prog-rock.
Record Collector (UK)

Krokofant II from Krokofant provides madcap jazz rock with divergent melodies that seem to be hanging on to the emerging chaos. Hi-Fi World (UK)

"Krokofant II" he or she is a hybrid of crocodile and elephant, music and music har fått det til å koke på alle scener. Vi snakkar stadig om gitaristen Tom Hasslan og den jungeltrommeslagaren Axel Skalstad som møttest i ei gitarsjappe på Kongsberg. The fekk med seg the saksofonisten Jørgen Mathisen (The Core m fl.) I studio, the dei opnar i the same forrykande style som på den første. “COTA” he the cryptic opningstittelen, “Sail Ahead” cheerfully oppfølgjaren, heal tida med same drive. Låtmaterialet er rett på sak, musikken tett, men stivnar aldri i klisjear. 22 år gamle Axel Skalstad he ikkje blyg for alderen, men medverkar sterkt til eit driv i bandet the musikarane jagar kvarandre mot nye høgder med sterke soloinnslag. Eg har høyrt dei live meir enn a gong, og public appeals he enormous. Med "The Ship",
Dagsavisen (NO)

Norway is home to a number of bands that produce a fusion of free jazz, avant-garde rock and prog metal. Krokofant is such a band. This power trio, consisting of Tom Hasslan (g), Jørgen Mathisen (s) and Axel Skalstad (dr), gives the listener a wild roller coaster ride on his second CD, which should definitely be buckled up. His style is shaped by musicians and bands such as King Crimson, Henry Cow, Peter Brötzmann and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. A heartfelt head-to-head duel between furious guitar riffs and dynamic saxophone bursts. The whole thing is held together by the drums, excellently the drummer Skalstad, which is reminiscent of the legendary Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, with his massive play that made the listeners' guts vibrate. The saxophonist Mathisen plays at a frenzied pace with the fervor of a Pharoah Sander ("Nieu"). Guitarist Hasslan cuts through the six tracks composed by the band with metallic hardness (you can hear "Watchtower" in particular). It is like standing on a platform in front of a track and an express train races by without braking. 4/5.
Jazz´n´More (DE)

Play button, right in the middle. Well warmed up, extraordinarily cheerful rock fusion jazz is already firing from all the pipes and tubes - as if you had missed the beginning of a concert. The central strategy is the interplay between hearty and complex riffs, in which the trio forms a closed phalanx, and passages in which an instrument breaks out of the formation, while the rest holds its position and drives the rhythm. It is almost always the saxophone that unlocks itself. From time to time the guitar can also show how many notes fit in a bar or that it can turn the page: improvisation in landscape format. The crocodile squad comes from the ambush with a lot of boom and noise, but then moves largely in a marked area. The six seven-minute minutes seem unconventional in a rather conventional way. The quiet suspicion of the constructed stands in the room and reduces the mood for partying. Of course there are happy moments in which you hide this lousy Peter and it is really left out. And there is a very happy one.
Bad Alchemy (DE)