[Review] Ring Van Möbius – The 3rd Majesty

Ring Van Möbius is a Progressive Rock band formed in Karmøy, Norway around 2014 that offers a clear 70s sound. The line-up is made up of a trio: keyboards, bass and drums, they themselves define their sound as follows: “Progressive rock straight from 1971, but made today.” They are part of the Apollon Records stable, with which they released their debut “Past The Evening Sun” in 2018 and the second album “The 3rd Majesty.” Released on October 30, 2020 it contains 4 tracks ranging from 5:33 to over 22 minutes in duration, the album is available in LP (Black, Transp. Silver and Gold Marble), CD and Digital. The Progressive proposed by the band, as the lineup suggests, is strongly focused on keyboards, recreating that kind of sound close to the first ELP albums. The individual technique of the three musicians is of the highest level, developing the long, sophisticated and complex themes with quality and maturity like few others. The album opens with the suite “The Seven Movements of the Third Majesty” lasting over 22 minutes, which immediately plunges us into the retro atmospheres that permeate their sound. The juxtapositions to the groups of the past are inevitable, ELP above all, but we also find a bit of Egg, especially in the use of the Hammond in the first part. The vocal is warm and expressive and fits perfectly with the music, a journey in which the keyboards give us a succession of emotions. We pass from the pomposity of the fanfare sounds to the more symphonic openings of synth and moog, to the aggressiveness of the distorted organ like Jon Lord, to the more melodic and clean and airy one. There are all the ingredients that a lover of Progressive music wants to hear when he puts the needle on a record, the tempo changes are precise, the alternation of intricate inserts with other more melodic ones, the singing that counterbalances the music by always entering the field gently. The rhythmic session is another added value and perfectly articulates the various phases of the piece, showing an individual technique on the instruments of a higher level. The evolution and development of the suite in its 7 movements shows an excellent compositional and executive technique, clear ideas and a personal style, although the references to the masters of the genre are evident, everything has been interpreted in an original way. For what is my personal opinion, this song alone is worth the price of the album, 22 minutes of pure enjoyment for those who love Progressive Rock, without ever decreasing in quality and without dispersive moments but using all the minutes to give us a succession of emotions. “Illuminati” is a track full of tempo changes and intricate structure, centered on the bass organ duet, followed by Clavinet and Moog. The vocal and the development of the plots are reminiscent of the sounds of Gentle Giant, with the intensity that increases with the passing of the minutes, especially in the second part. Another technically flawless test, ideas developed with finesse for another 5 and a half minutes of pleasure. “Distant Sphere” begins with a gothic atmosphere given by the violins, creating a pleasant background on which the vocal is always very expressive and full of pathos. After this introductory section, the bass enters with deep and bearing turns to which the keyboards are added remaining on lower tones initially. The drums are very intricate in its textures, and the song as a whole is very elaborate, with the intensity growing with each passing minute. The tempo changes and some heavier and sometimes experimental inserts bring us back to the Prog experiments of the early 70s records. Very sophisticated, it is a piece that gives free rein to all the instruments, which dialogue successfully by weaving complex but very pleasant plots. The album closes with “The Möbius Ring” characterized by a powerful and pulled bass as well as the rhythmic sessioen, while the organ returns as protagonist. The Canterburyan sounds are back with references to Egg, all with that personal touch that now distinguishes them. In the middle of the song it becomes softer, then with a tempo change that takes us to the second part which is more symphonic and less frenetic than the previous one. An excellent conclusion that keeps the level high even in the final stages. I don’t think I’m excessive in saying that this album is to be considered a masterpiece, if it was really released in 1971 we’ll talk about it like that. A band that confirms the good things heard in the first album, showing a mature, original sound with clear ideas. The band’s intent to bring back early 70s sounds has been 100% successful, adding that modern and personal touch that makes them very pleasant to listen to. All lovers of Prog sounds will be pleasantly struck by this band, technically at a very high level, winking at the past and still looking to the future with awareness. A recommended listening, in my opinion by far one of the best releases of recent times and an album that can become a must of the Prog of the 2000s.

Tracklist

01. The Seven Movements of the Third Majesty (22:06) :
– a. Universal
– b. Spectrum
– c. Reaction
– d. Bilateral
– e. Zenith
– f. Strife of the Icons
– g. Altitude over Azimuth
02. Illuminati (5:33)
03. Distant Sphere (11:11)
04. The Möbius Ring (9:01)

Lineup

Thor Erik Helgesen / Hammond L100, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet D6, Moog Satellite, Tubular Bells, Theremin
Håvard Rasmussen / Bass, Effects
Dag Olav Husås / Drums, Timpani, Percussion, Effects

Ring Van Möbius |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Apollon Records |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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