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Krokofant - Krokofant II

  by Keith How

published: 21 / 2 / 2016

Krokofant - Krokofant II
Label: Rune Grammofon
Format: CD


Abrasive and exciting second album from Nordic power trio Krokofant whose music merges jazz and rock

This second album from Nordic power trio Krokofant kicks off like a swarm of angry hornets provoked by a big stick. 'C.O.T.A.' features a fiery sax. It riffs away at a speed driven by a pounding bass drum and stupendous percussion, before breaking down into an inventive guitar solo over machine gun drumming. Phew! This is a really inventive collection of material. While appearing to be improvised, these compositions combine clever and invigorating free jazz with added rock. 'Sail Ahead' follows on from the opening track and grooves to a twisted riff, which is highlighted by a great guitar line. Clever use of dynamics finds saxophonist Jorgen Mathisen entering Coltrane territory in what might be considered a quieter moment. This is a hard –boiled disciplined set that stretches beyond, say, 70's jazz funk or the progressive jazz feel of King Crimson or Colosseum but there are echoes of the past here as the trio snap and bite at your heels. Drummer Axel Skalstad reminds me of Billy Cobham as he roughs up his kit on 'Snakedog', but whatever the tempo this trio seem bonded together. Tom Hasslan does a passable McLaughlin, his soloing fast and fluid but always restrained. Krokofant are difficult to categorise. Perhaps too rock for jazz afficiandos and while not really fitting into a standard prog rock pair of shoes, they are truly an exciting and progressive outfit. As if to make the point 'Watchtower' is a monstrous pounding animal running wild. The band weave and duck like boxers in the ring, trading blows before the album ends as dramatically as it began. Not for the faint of heart I would say but well worth investigating!

Track Listing:-
1 C.O.T.A.
2 Sail Ahead
3 Nieu
4 The Ship
5 Snakedog
6 Watchtower

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