SOT — Monster Master (review)

SOT — Monster Master album cover Album · 2022 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
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 There´s been one lineup change since "Kogel Mogel" (2016) as drummer Anders Hunstad has been replaced by Arild Nyborg (who also played on the "Soma Forms" (2020) single).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.
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