Norwegian instrumental power trio Kanaan follow up their Norwegian Grammy nominated Earthbound album from 2021 with Downpour, which features more of their scintillating heavy psych rock, blending in traces of Kraut rock and California desert rock. If you’re a fan of music that trips out while it rocks out, then this album is for you.
It must be mentioned that the core trio of players—guitarist Ask Vatn Strom, bassist Eskild Myrvoll and drummer, Ingwald Andre Vassb—are all extremely talented players who seem to have a psychic connection when it comes to making their music. It just flows out of them. While this might be considered more of a guitar album (and Strom shines on here), you can’t underestimate the rhythm section of Vassbo and Myrvoll. Their playing moves the music along, whether it be with more straight forward fuzz rock rhythms, or taking it into more intricate krautrock rhythms. They just help make the music that much better.
Opening track “Black Time Fuzz” starts with a low slung, fuzzed out riff that sounds like it could have come off an early Kyuss recording. It spends a few minutes rocking out in this way, adding a healthy dose of feedback to the proceedings before taking flight on a ripping guitar solo and ending with the same riff it started out with. You see, they like their music to take flight, but they’re quite content to go all caveman with these gutbucket riffs, too.
“Amazon,” which features Norwegian guitar legend Hedvig Mollestad, starts off with a memorable riff; then the music takes off into jazzy, noisier realms with a bunch of guitar solos that have an almost freeform, improvisational flair to them, making it one big freak out before the main riff comes back in and grounding the song in the more earthbound realms of fuzz. The title track is a mixture of trippy, pysch sounds mixed with more aggressive fuzz rock sounds to great effect.
The album closes with the two part epic, “Solaris Pt. 1” and “Solaris Pt. 2”. “Pt. 1” takes you off into the cosmos with its jazzy guitar figures coupled with pulse sounds of synths, which makes for one chill trip to the outer reaches of space. Three quarters of the way through the song, everything starts getting louder; an aggressive Krautrock rhythm starts up, which all leads to a heavier, fuzzed out riff, before ending a bit back more in space. “Pt. 2” continues with more spaced out pysch rock but then puts the metal to the fuzz pedal and rocks out with another heavy, aggressive, fuzzed out riff. A fiery solo springs forth from the muck, and then continues down heavier more agro path before taking detours into kraut rock, shredding pysch sounds, and then back again to a heavy riff before ending. It’s a fitting way to end the album.
Downpour is the kind of album that takes you on a trip. It’s a trip that you will want to take over and over again. Their mastery of all things heavy and trippy is a joy to behold. If you’re a fan of this kind of music, then it would do you right give it a listen. It does not disappoint. You might even have a new favorite band.
Buy the album here.