“With otherworldly lyrical content and narration to fit, VIRUS feels every bit like the musical equivalent of a seemingly barren planet that is secretly teeming with life just below the surface.” – Noisey
Norwegian avant-garde prog oddballs, VIRUS, will untether the otherworldly fruits of their Memento Collider full-length this Friday via Karisma Records. In advance of its release, Vice’s music portal, Noisey, is streaming the confounding recording in full alongside an interview with vocalist/guitarist Carl “Czral” Michael Eide.
“Since their formation in 2000, the band’s angular, jazz-infused take on heavy progressive music has carried the urgency of bands like Voivod while trading some of the metallic leanings in favor of sparse and spacey sounds,” issues the blog, furthering of Memento Collider, the band’s first musical output since 2011’s The Agent That Shapes The Desert, “ It’s an album filled with the same jagged song structures and vastness fans have come to expect, yet it feels bolder and more musically defined… The strange soundscapes the band crafts are all woven together by peculiar lyrics delivered in a half-spoken, half-sung bellow from frontman and guitarist Czral. With otherworldly lyrical content and narration to fit, VIRUS feels every bit like the musical equivalent of a seemingly barren planet that is secretly teeming with life just below the surface.”
Experience the sounds of Memento Collider, courtesy of Noisey at THIS LOCATION.
You can also sample the video accompaniment to the track “Rogue Fossil,” initially premiered via Stereogum, below.
Set for release on Karisma Records on the 3rd of June, Memento Collider was recorded at the Amper Tone Studios in Oslo and includes a guest appearance from Voivod’s Dan Mongrain. It is, without a doubt, an album that demonstrates the true essence of progressive rock. To preorder Momento Collider on CD go HERE or vinyl go HERE. For digital orders, go HERE.
In a 9/10 score, Metal Storm notes, “this is a virus that you actually want to catch, as the grooves, the silly, Lewis Carrollish lyrics, and multifaceted songwriting take command of your body, ultimately healing it for the better.” “I’m not sure if you even can adequately prepare someone for VIRUS, any more than you can verbally explain the experience of seeing the Grand Canyon in person for the first time,” offers Stereogum in their premiere of the band’s “Rogue Fossil,” video, adding of that track specifically, “Its nervous shuffle and up-the-ribcage guitar clatter will immediately inform you that you are now in unfamiliar country, and Costin Chioreanu’s nightmare-fuel storybook of a music video deepens the impression. But even Czral’s deadpan croon somehow does not stop ‘Rogue Fossil’ from immediately registering as a song – not a ‘piece’ or ‘suite’ whatever, but a song – and a damn fun one at that. VIRUS‘ music often evokes dreamy introspection, but ‘Rogue Fossil’ showcases their springy, sardonic side. It is highly unusual for music this weird to offer such immediate delights.” In a 4/5 review Toilet Ov Hell gushes, “Czral is less a vocalist than an orator. With a deranged sense of melodrama, bullhorn in hand, he reads aloud to us from what might as well be a book of poems written by a vagabond living in the shadow of Chernobyl… his lyrics are undeniably vivid and disturbed. His guitar tone is all his own as well: it sounds like he’s playing on pieces of an incinerated motorcycle strung with rusty piano wire; one imagines the dense and unlikely chords he conjures from this contraption as the results of complex geometrical proofs. His long-time co-pilot Einz is more of a pocket drummer than a virtuoso–and yet there are so many moving parts to his beats that you cannot tune him out. He is a master of syncopation, switching up rectilinear grooves like clockwork. And for the bass nerds among you, just lay down and die as Plenum rides that bass like he’s speeding through walking jazz lines on an upright.”
For over a decade now, VIRUS has maintained their status as one of the most unique bands to have emerged from Norway’s burgeoning progressive music scene. Memento Collider sees the band returning to their original three-piece lineup of Czral on guitars and vocals, Petter “Plenum” Berntsen on bass, and Einar “Einz” Sjursø on drums. Their otherworldly sound, replete with flowing bass lines, experimental riffs, and groovy rhythms, is still the epitome of all that is contained in the definition of “progressive” and “experimental,” and with this, their fourth full-length release, VIRUS have come storming back with an album that is also catchy and melodic.
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