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Bjarte K. Helland – ‘Maniae’ EP

Independent Release
Liquid Tension Experiment, Animals as Leaders, Dream Theater,
Release Date
June 18, 2021
Independent Release
Progressive Metal/Rock/Fusion

Norway gives us so much in the way of Metal, we fucking love Norway at Metal Digest. Per Capita only Finland has more Metal. Scandinavia as a whole provides half of the world’s Metal Power, and so many bands essential to the Black, Blackened, Thrash, Metalcore, Grindcore, Grave, Death/Deathcore, etc; so why should you be excited about some ProgMetal/Art Metal project by a drummer from a relatively niche scene hiding away in the corner from all the darkness and screaming?

Bjarte leads the project as one-third of a trio of the finest Metal/Fusion players this side of the Atlantic, and perhaps more importantly they bring a taste of their homeland bounty of Metal to the party. Jarle H. Olsen’s guitar work is as technical and as lyrical As Tosin or Plini, and brings in a subtle taste of Scandinavian magic. Ric Fierabracci has that bass player nous that makes you want to play in a band way more talented than you think you can. Bjarte’s drumming is almost too accurate at times, filling in across bars of time signatures that would have made Tim Smith’s head hurt a little bit.

But for all that; the structure and energy of this four-track debut EP does not dazzle and beguile to the point where the listener feels they are not clever enough to “get” all the technical stuff going on. This is an accessible gem of a Metal/Fusion EP you can enjoy without knowing how to riff from 17/4 to 11/8. Highly recommended.

you can enjoy without knowing how to riff from 17/4 to 11/8

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