Downpour by KanaanRelease date: May 5, 2023
Label: Jansen Records
As the engines get revved up and ready to go, you get a sense of a hypnotic journey that’ll ruffle your feathers that Norway has unleashed. With Kanaan, it becomes a stick of dynamite that’s ready to erupt. Five years later, they have brought in that heavy equipment on their latest album, Downpour.
Following up to their Earthbound release, Downpour is quite the trip that Strøm, Vassbø, and Myrvoll, give a furious, brutal, and spared out attack, unfolding in front of your eyes. And having Hedvig Mollestad appear on the album, you know that they’re finally getting down to business.
While there’s the Lemmy-era of Hawkwind that comes to mind, you get a sense of the combinations between CAN and Ash Ra Tempel rolled into one. When you listen to Strøm’s incredible fret work, you don’t think of Jimi Hendrix, but Michael Karoli, Manuel Göttsching, and Reine Fiske.
Then it’s Myrvoll’s turn to lend in a helping hand by laying down the gauntlet to punch in those heavy fuzz tones by adding the Sabbath-sque attitude with Ingvald’s wildly intensive drum work that makes your heart pound like crazy. And if you think they’re going to pull in a romantic ballad, think again!
The title-track is a wah-wah experiment at first. You get to hear the jazzy beats with a hot tamale coming at you. Following the Czukay-sque bass loop, the mellotron comes swooping in as you become part of the experiment, witnessing something marvellous that is expecting you.
Since I’ve mentioned Mollestad, the collaboration between her and Kanaan are a combination like no other. She gets down and fuzzy by playing these Crimson-sque textures on ‘Amazon’. It’s a mountain climb by going up to the top with these ascending riffs and reverbing effects to press the sub-light speed button.
Mollestad is no fluke, she can play a vicious sound, and give the trio, the electric juice they need. ‘Orbit’ is one of their darkest compositions. The first minute and six seconds takes place in a crystallised cave filled with answers, questions, and mysteries that the cave represents.
But just as they began to ask, the flood doors bursts open to emerge a doom metal approach, followed by a late ‘60s tambourine and Electric Wizard nod as Strøm puts his instrument inside a Leslie speaker, sending signals back home to Earth. Then it becomes a Hawkwind-like free-for-all on the hay wiring climax, before going insane like there’s no tomorrow!
The closing two-parter ‘Solaris’ puts you in a trance. At first you think it’s a meditated guidance to ease from the pain and suffering you through in the present. But once the heavy stuff kicks in, the nightmares unfold in front of your very eyes with a Mars Volta twist! The mixtures of ambient turned slithering chugging beats, you can’t go wrong with that.
Downpour will never disappoint you. The trio have brought enough energon cubes to fill up the massive amounts of power they need to embark on another maddening trip beyond our solar system that’s out of this world.