SOT

Jazz Related Rock • Norway
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SOT consists of musicians from the jazz-, metal- and pop scene in Oslo. The band members studied music in high school in 1992 and formed a quite unusual band. And since then they have played at obscure clubs and birthdays. It was not until later they decided to put all their time and effort in SOT. The music is abrupt and consists of many fragments. When you think you have digested one theme, another one starts. The band enjoys odd time signatures and heavy grooves, sometimes with a dash of childish melodies included. Their distinctive music and live performance gave the band a spot in Rikskonsertene (Norwegian Concerts Institute) 2012 program. They will be touring at schools in South-Trøndelag in the winter of 2012 and after this continue their musical activity throughout the year. SOT is releasing their debut album “Kind of Saltz” on the Sotanic Sounds label this winter.

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SOT Discography

SOT albums / top albums

SOT King Of Saltz album cover 3.99 | 7 ratings
King Of Saltz
Jazz Related Rock 2011
SOT Redwings Nest album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Redwings Nest
Jazz Related Rock 2014
SOT Kogel Mogel album cover 3.62 | 3 ratings
Kogel Mogel
Jazz Related Rock 2016
SOT Monster Master album cover 3.56 | 4 ratings
Monster Master
Jazz Related Rock 2022

SOT EPs & splits

SOT live albums

SOT demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SOT re-issues & compilations

SOT singles (1)

.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
Soma Forms
Jazz Related Rock 2020

SOT movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SOT Reviews

SOT Monster Master

Album · 2022 · Jazz Related Rock
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js
SOT has a rather unusual lineup for a jazzy rock band. The expected guitar and drums are there, but in place of a bassist, SOT features Lars Andreas Haug on tuba. The tuba is no gimmick but instead proves its versatility by covering the bass foundation for the rockin parts, and then moving into the upper register for simulated orchestral sections. SOT is a very eclectic band and the use of the tuba expands the different sound colors and genres they can draw upon. Guitarist Skjalg Reithaug, thankfully avoids that awful digital metalish saturation sound you hear from so many guitarists today, but instead goes for a natural distortion that gives his guitar that rock edge, but still allows every note to be very clear. Skjalg, like his tubist brother, is very versatile, moving from fusion like solos, to sweeping chorused arpeggio ambiance, as well as Indian modes and raga influences. Arild Nyborg is the newcomer on drums who doesn’t ‘miss a beat’ in keeping up with SOT’s often fast changing meters and time signatures.

SOT is an instrumental band, save for the occasional wordless choir effect, and they fall somewhere between prog rock and fusion, but they avoid some of the more heavy handed and overly dramatic tendencies of both those genres, and the lack of pretentious song lyrics and vocals are also a plus. There is an upbeat, sometimes humorous, and always celebratory nature to these jams. SOT is having fun and they do well in sending that message to their audience. Musical styles they cover are broad. One staple they fall back on is quick changing rock guitar riffs that recall Jan Akkerman and Focus. Other sections draw on Indo-fusion in a John McLaughlin style. The lengthy title cut has a long section in which the band goes into a slinky Ellington vamp while an unaccredited bari sax player adds to the jazz noire vibe. Despite all the busy jazz rockin, some of SOT’s best moments come during ambient breaks where the string sounding keyboards and the tuba provide panoramic orchestral soundscapes. Finally, the choral buildup at the end of “Sunship” is a high point on the album. SOT is an excellent band and don’t think that tuba is a cute gimmick, it really works.

SOT Monster Master

Album · 2022 · Jazz Related Rock
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UMUR
"Monster Master" is the fourth full-length studio album by Norwegian avant garde/progressive rock act SOT. The album was released through Sotanic Sounds in October 2022. It´s the successor to "Kogel Mogel" from 2016 although the two full-length studio albums are bridged by the 2020 "Soma Forms" single. There´s been one lineup change since "Kogel Mogel" (2016) as drummer Anders Hunstad has been replaced by Arild Nyborg (who also played on the "Soma Forms" (2020) single).

Six years between albums is a long time even in our days, but SOT sound more or less like they´ve done since day one. Guitars, drums, and tuba (which often functions as the bass does in other music), and the occasional vocal part to spice things up. There´s a strong jazz/fusion influence heard throughout the album, but "Monster Master" is an eclectic release, so that´s just one of the musical influences heard on the album. The tracks are dynamic, shifting between atmospheric parts and wild busy avant garde rock sections. The tracks are also loaded with tempo changes and odd-metered time signatures. It´s quite adventurous music and you never really know where SOT will take you next, which is one of the great assets of the album. It´s highly entertaining and engaging all the way through the 42:50 minutes that it lasts.

The sound production is organic, stripped down, and of a good quality, suiting the material well. And it´s the organic way the music sounds and the organic way it is performed that are the greatest strengths of "Monster Master". Hearing the tuba being an integral part of music like this is pretty interesting too, and it´s quite unique. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

SOT Soma Forms

Single · 2020 · Jazz Related Rock
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UMUR
"Soma Forms" is a single release by Norwegian avant garde/progressive rock act SOT. The single was released through Sotanic Sounds in November 2020. It´s a one-track single bridging the gap between the band´s third and fourth full-length studio albums "Kogel Mogel" (2016) and "Monster Master" (2022). There´s been one lineup change since "Kogel Mogel" (2016) as drummer Anders Hunstad has been replaced by Arild Nyborg.

So four years down the line since the release of "Kogel Mogel" (2016), SOT suddenly pop up again with this one-track single. And what a single track it is. Powerful, technical, eclectic avant garde rock, featuring drums, guitars, samples, and something as untraditional as tuba. The tuba is of course not a surprise if you already know the preceding releases by SOT, but it´s still quite interesting to hear tuba used this prominently in rock music. Sometimes the tuba works like the bass does in other rock music, but because of it´s unique timbre, it adds a distinct atmosphere to SOT´s music, that you won´t find in much other music.

"Soma Forms" is a both well produced and well written track going through many different sections and musical styles, and it´s quite intriguing and relatively accessible in the world of avant garde rock. Compared to the relatively stripped down recorded live in the studio material from "Kogel Mogel" (2016), this single features a more layered and polished sound production, and personally I think that´s the right choice for SOT. A 3.5 (70%) rating is deserved.

SOT Kogel Mogel

Album · 2016 · Jazz Related Rock
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UMUR
"Kogel Mogel" is the third full-length studio album by Norwegian avant garde/progressive rock act SOT. The album was released through Sotanic Sounds in November 2016. It´s the successor to "Redwings Nest" from 2014 and features the same trio lineup who recorded the predecessor. All tracks were recorded live in the studio without overdubs during a five day recording session in June 2016 at Mølla Studio, Gjerstad, Norway.

Stylistically the material on "Kogel Mogel" is a continuation of the eclectic avant garde/progressive rock style of the band´s first two albums. The tracks are quite intriguing and relatively complex in structure, shifting atmosphere and musical styles in the matter of seconds. It´s still relatively accessible for an avant garde oriented release, but it´s not easy listening material by any means. In fact I´d say "Kogel Mogel" is SOT´s least accessible release of the first three albums. While the main instruments on the album are tuba (which often works as the bass does in other band´s), drums, and guitar, the album features occasional odd/silly type vocals, and some keyboards too. Some guest musicians also add saxophone and strings to some parts.

The influences are many and there´s for example a strong jazz influence heard throughout the album (especially on the tracks where saxophonist Grzech Piotrowski guests), but this is not as such jazz/fusion...it´s simply too weird and experimental for that. The technical level of playing is through the roof, and this is music which will keep you on your toes. It demands your attention and with the many shifts in style, pace, and dynamics, it´s impossible not to feel greatly entertained.

"Kogel Mogel" features an organic, raw, and detailed sounding production, which to my ears is a slight step down in quality from the sound production of the first two albums, but it´s still overall a good quality production. Upon conclusion "Kogel Mogel" is a both challenging but also immediate avant garde rock album and while I prefer the first two albums to this one, a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved.

SOT Redwings Nest

Album · 2014 · Jazz Related Rock
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UMUR
"Redwings Nest" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Norwegian avant/progressive rock act SOT. The album was released through Sotanic Sounds in June 2014. "Redwings Nest" features the same three-piece lineup who recorded the band´s debut full- length studio album "Kind of Saltz (2011)". Skjalg Reithaug (guitars, vocals), Lars Andreas Haug (tubmarine, trumpet, sounds), Anders Hunstad (drums, piano).

The music on the album continues the adventurous take on jazz rock and progressive/avant garde rock as SOT introduced on "Kind of Saltz (2011)". There is a proud Scandinavian tradition for playing a slightly twisted take on this kind of music, which an artist like Samla Mammas Manna is also an example of (without further comparison). It´s this catagory that SOT also belong in. While there are many nods towards jazz because of the scales and the notes chosen, the fusion drumming, and the use of tuba and trumpet in a rock music format, this is certainly not straight jazz (whatever that is). These guys simply wouldn´t be content with playing within the boundaries of a certain musical style and they make sure to incorporate enough challenging and intriguing genre pushing elemens for that never to happen. They even stretch as far as to incorporate heavy metal sounding riffing to some of their tracks. Examples of that can be found in the title track (a charming avant garde rock beast of a track) and in "Second Row".

So it´s safe to say the listener is met with an adventurous and challenging listen when spinning "Redwings Nest". Fortunately SOT also know how to write a song that sticks. Not necessarily in a mainstream vers/chorus format but still accessible and inviting, even though "regular" commercial radio listeners might not agree with me here (but who cares about them?).

The three guys in the band are greatly skilled and an incredibly well playing unit. Like the case was on the debut album the tuba, which is playing the bass parts, is one of the things in the soundscape that really stands out a lot. Who would have thought that a tuba could sound so amazing and powerful (almost brutal at times) in a jazz rock setting? The rest of the instruments and the sparse vocals (both male and female) also work really well together and the whole thing is packed in a powerful and organic sound production which suits the music perfectly.

This is neither the most complex nor the most demanding jazz rock album in the world (although it´s still pretty challenging), but it´s a damn charming one, that refuses to bow to convention, and that´s always praise worthy. To my ears "Kind of Saltz (2011)" and "Redwings Nest" are pretty equal in quality and also in style and if you enjoy one it´s pretty likely you´ll enjoy the other too. SOT are arguably a class act (whith a charming wacky side) and prove it once again on "Redwings Nest" and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

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