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Symphonic Prog • Norway

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Adventure biography
ADVENTURE is the brainchild of the Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Odd Roae Bakken who had 23 years of experience in Rock bands playing Guitar, Mandolins and vocals in groups as TAMMATOYS and NORDAGUST until 1990 when he meets Nils Larsen (Bass) and Torkel Aune (drums) and a little bit later the talented guitar player Terje Flessen. They start working together each time getting closer to the Symphonic sound they pretended to reach.

But they still had a problem, they were not able to find a vocalist that could fit perfectly in the style of music they pretended to play until 1995 when they meet Verbjorn Moen, with Flessen in the band, Odd Roar Bakken mostly sticks to the keyboards with a style clearly influenced by Rick Wakeman but with a hard edge and a touch of Folk

In 1996 they decide to self produce and released their debut CD in Skansen Studios, Trondhein - Norway, the work takes from June of that year until November 1999 and it's released in the year 2000.

The self titled album also known as same is a great expression of Symphonic Prog inspired mostly in camel but with a hard rock influence from bands as AYREON and the legendary URIAH HEEP.

The lineup of their debut album is consists of Odd-Roar Bakken (Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals), Terje Flessen (Lead Guitars, Rhythm Guitars, Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars), Vebjorn Moen (Lead Vocals and Backing Vocals) with some guests like Elisabeth Nilssen and Stine Mostervik in the flutes and Steil Egil Bratland on drums and backing vocals.

ADVENTURE is one of the rare examples of bands that didn't played Progressive Rock by nature, they planned to play our beloved genre and performed the classic Symphonic style of the pioneers with the addition of Norwegian Hard Rock inspired in the Byron & Thain Uriah Heep lineup.

According to their official site updated in February 2006, they are working in a second release in the same vein but with a more mature sound and with a new member the described as outstanding drummer Magnus Forsberg.

We only have to wait and hope it's at least as good as the first one and that would be enough.

Ivn Melgar Morey - Per

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ADVENTURE discography

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ADVENTURE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.90 | 24 ratings
3.40 | 27 ratings
Beacon of Light
3.91 | 35 ratings
Caught In The Web

ADVENTURE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Caught In The Web by ADVENTURE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.91 | 35 ratings

Caught In The Web
Adventure Symphonic Prog

Review by PH

5 stars The third album from Norwegian ADVENTURE is a real treat. Stylistically, 'Caught in the Web' sounds like a mesh of Uriah Heep (circa 'Firefly'), old Deep Purple, mid - 70's Alice Cooper, Jethro Tull, Camel and Pink Floyd. Total content holds the territory between classic rock and symphonic prog with a folk flair. Such kind of approach allows the material to give changes of pace and flow. Each composition effortlessly segues into its successor, giving the album a good feel of continuity... Having played together for more than 17 years, the core members Terje Flessen (guitars) and Odd-Roar Bakken (analogue keyboards) enlisted the help of several recruits: Terje Craig (bass, vocals), Elen Catherine Hopen Furunes (vocals) and Kristian Resell (drums). They are underpinned here by a superb singer Roar Nygard who's reminiscent of John Lawton - with the same tone, timbre and similar dramatic power. Two guest flutists, Lars Hyldmo and Tone Dahl, contribute their tinge to keep atmosphere over four tracks. Piano player Knut Erik Jensen gives an additional sense of variety to keep interest over the long haul. Adventure delivers a solid-catchy performance full of diversity and skill, nice on some quieter songs, yet mighty when the band rock out. Expertly sculpted in retro fashion, 'Caught In The Web' is dominated by vintage keyboards (Hammond, Moog). The orchestral grandeur from Odd-Roar Bakken reminds of Ken Hensley - although without sense of imitation. The guitar expert Terje Flessen has a wonderful ability to combine hard rock hooks and subtle melodies. A plodding rhythm section seems ready to burst at any moment, while flutes extend the musical horizon for listening pleasure. The beautiful female voice is simply haunting. Overall, an excellent stylized release. A solid step forward for Adventure, one that should get them the attention they deserve. This CD is beautifully packaged with a 16 page booklet featuring nice artwork, band photos and defined lyrics. For more information about the band check out the band's official website.
 Adventure by ADVENTURE album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.90 | 24 ratings

Adventure Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars With a history dating back in 1990, Adventure from Trondheim, Norway, are led by guitarist Terje Flessen and keyboardist Odd-Roar Bakken.The early years find the band recording several demos but always having problems at the vocalist's position.A bried split up took place in 1995, but in 1996 the Adventure duo returns with new singer Verbjorn Moen.New material along with older reworkings resulted to the first self-produced self-titled CD by the band in 2000.

The album is characterized by its two long tracks (''Motherland'' and ''Seasons''), each divided in 8 and 11 shorter parts respectively, resulting to some captivating, often old-school but always highly energetic musicianship.The final offering is close to the likes of MAGIC PIE or CRYPTIC VISION, diverse modern Progressive Rock with big time retro influences and powerful compositions.The listener can enjoy arrangements with strong KANSAS, YES, GENESIS, CAMEL, URIAH HEEP and RUSH inspiration, most of them have a certain symphonic structure with occasional flute deliveries, Soft acoustic textures, interesting guitar solos and bursting Hard Rock references.Excellent work by Bakken on keyboards, who offers plenty of magnificent synth leads and organ waves.The new singer has a dynamic, passionate and clean voice, surrounding nicely the bombastic musicianship.Do not expect of course Adventure to break any new grounds, but everything is well-crafted and arranged on this album.

Great modern Symphonic Progressive Rock with Hard Rock and Folk references, which is sure to satisfy any fan of both modern and vintage Progressive Rock, as played by the legends of the 70's.The CD has been reissued by MALS and it is quite easy to find.Warmly recommended.

 Beacon of Light by ADVENTURE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.40 | 27 ratings

Beacon of Light
Adventure Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars This should be down my alley. It is not. But I am going to make this review short and sweet. At least less than seventy-two minutes long.

This seventy-two minutes long epic reminds me alot about The Flower Kings and some Neo-Prog bands. Other influences are their fellow countrymen Magic Pie. So far, so good.

I like epic long songs. I live for them, no less. But long epics needs some contents. They need something to grasp my imagination. Beacon Of Light does not do that. Neither the title track or the other epics here. The opening epic Something to Believe In is good with it's nods to Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, Kaipa, Magic Pie and The Flower Kings. The melody lines are good and gets my attention. The rest of the album tends to run on empty. There are some good details here and there, but some of it is, sorry to say this, a waste of time (minutes). The title track is good too, but nothing special.

The music is keyboards based and the male/female vocals are OK. The drums and bass does the intended job. The guitars are in the neo-prog mould. So is the keyboards too. The music has some interesting details throughout. The music is more AOR than classical music inspired.

I have given this album at least twelve hours of my life. I simply does not get more out of it that it is a nice album. I am hovering between two or three stars. But I like Something to Believe In and I therefore lands on three stars.

3 stars

 Beacon of Light by ADVENTURE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.40 | 27 ratings

Beacon of Light
Adventure Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A new and very nice Adventure!

Again, and I am not tired of saying this, thanks to a site like this and of course it?s members we can listen to more and more music every day, I am saying this because once again I am reviewing an album thanks to one of PA member?s word.

So here I am once more, trying to write a decent review for a band who was unknown to me until a month ago, this Norwegian group called Adventure is here in the realm of prog with very good music, though I don?t know their debut album, I can say they are a talented band. This is their second album which was released this 2009, whose title Is ?Beacon of Light , it features 13 songs, well actually those might be reduced to 7 since there are various themes which are divided in different parts, the album?s length runs around 72 minutes.

And it kicks off with ?Something to Believe? (the first of the divided themes, I mean, there are first, second, and third part?. The first part is the shortest; it is like the album?s intro so we can hear just like a soft piano moment, but immediately after that minute, Something to Believe Part II begins with a very bombastic sound guided by the keyboards making a heavy but symphonic sound, this second part on the other hand is the longest one, reaching almost 13 minutes. The first two minutes are the same, but then vocals enter with a peculiar style reminding me in some moments like if it was featured in an epic film or something like that, some minutes later the music returns as it began, those great keyboards, strong drums and guitars, and great bass lines. Overall, the song has it?s comes and go?s producing in moments a great sensation on me, as I said in the first paragraphs, they are talented musicians, so the music is very good, you will notice when the song turns into a darker one just in order to return again to the heavy symphonic style, I believe I must say that personally, I would prefer an almost instrumental song here, since the vocals are not very impressive or unique.

The third part, after all the bombastic moments, is a very soft and calm song where an acoustic guitar makes you feel more comfortable, you know, after the storm comes the calm. This is a nice short melody but I have to say that when the chorus ?we all need something to believe in? appears, it really reminds me to TFK, after a couple of minutes there is a nice guitar solo.

The next track is called ?The Swan? and it sounds like if it continued the previous song, I mean it could?ve been Something to Believe Part IV, this is a longer track that in my humble opinion could be better if they have reduced it to a 5 minute song, though there are a good instrumentation and nice solos, the first part is kind of boring to me, maybe unnecessary.

Then we have ?A Crack in the Ice? (another song divided in parts, this has only parts I and II). The first one starts with a heavier style that reminds me a bit to some of their fellow Norwegians metal bands, I am not saying that Adventure is playing metal, not at all. That heavy style predominates in the first two minutes before it calms down a little bit, while listening to a nice keyboard background and the guitar playing here and there, at the last minute of this part the vocals enter and then the second part starts, you will notice it when that slow down moment ends and a heavier style appears again. It is obvious that this is the same song, but I believe there was no need of a division, it could have been a 10 minute A Crack in the Ice and that?s it.

Next there is another short song called ?Emilie?s Piece? which is a nice acoustic instrumental song, like an album?s intermission, there is a beautiful flute sound on it.

Following this short song we have ?Fragile Frame? that continues the acoustic guitar style of the previous one, but this time since the first seconds the vocals enters with a more melodic sound, I do not really know if it is the same singer of the first tracks, It sounds a bit different. After that soft first moment, the track becomes a bit heavier just in order to return to the soft style this time accompanied by a flute. A very nice song.

?Joybringer? is another short and acoustic track, the guitar sound is very pure and beautifully accompanied by the flute again.

The last song of this album has to be the title track, and it is divided but this time in four parts. The first one which happens to be the introduction and has a beautiful atmosphere created by synth and flute and after one minute the show begins. Second part starts again with a heavier symphonic style, some spoken words and a great instrumental passage, then the vocals enter again, I love vocals in music, so I believe I should mention again that these vocals are not really my cup of tea. During the songs we will listen to some mood changes, but the style keeps being the same, I mean there is a heavy feeling almost always. The song is well structured and it?s changes have been well received by my ears, so I believe this song in particular is the best of the album, well ?Beacon of Light Part II? I mean. There are some female backing vocals which put something extra to the song, in some parts we can hear to a more emotional band, like if they are really feeling and transmitting what they feel at the moment. Also you cannot miss the guitar solos during the track, they are pretty good. In the last minutes of this part, the song becomes a piano/synth/spoken word track, just before a nice keyboard and soft drumming appear, but wait, they have to end like their style says, with a heavier style. And yes, all of a sudden part III of Beacon of Light begins again with the same predominant style, this time it sounds like a victory music, I hope you understand what I mean, this is an instrumental song. And finishing the album we have Part IV, which is another short piece this time led by a delicate piano sound, along with some electric guitar notes over there, a nice ending.

This is a very nice album by a promising band, there are some moments that I consider unnecessary and maybe plain, but overall their effort is worth listening, though I believe that they can improve in the future.

Final grade 3 stars.

Enjoy it!

 Beacon of Light by ADVENTURE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.40 | 27 ratings

Beacon of Light
Adventure Symphonic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A nice piece of heavy progressive rock from this Norwegian outfit on their sophomore production.

Drawn out heavy riffs and slow riff patterns form the foundation on most tunes on this venture. Synths and organ swirls behind in the soundscape, and the vocalist has a powerful voice, verging on operatic at time. Rich textures sonic tapestries are woven, with an emphasis on the creation of majestic moods. And the overall mood of this creation is markedly tinged with a 70's feel.

It's a charming acquaintance, not innovative as such but exploring a style of music popular amongst many - in this case with at times really strong resemblance to Uriah Heep as they were in their heyday, albeit heavier and with a few early Kansas-inspired elements thrown in for good measure. A few mellow mood pieces and folk-tinged segments adds variation, adding a slight Camel tinge to the compositions. But first and foremost this disc takes on the sound of Heep and adds a few degrees of heavy flavours to it, and should be of interest to fans of that band in particular.

 Beacon of Light by ADVENTURE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.40 | 27 ratings

Beacon of Light
Adventure Symphonic Prog

Review by debrewguy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Having originally written a 10 paragraph review, I thought it a good idea to try to follow the advice that I give to Adventure - edit, review, tighten up the loose ends, excise the fat and cut out the needless repetition.

SO here goes the summarized version. Obvious influences are there - Flower Kings, Uriah Heep, some of today's heavier Neo. And there are many occurrences of "prog by the numbers". Unlike the Flower Kings, Adventure are not at a point where multi-part suites extending for 15-20 minutes work. They are decent instrumentalists, but not dazzling soloists.

Something to Believe In is hampered by a few things - 1) Moen's vocals are a distraction to the music, and sounding as if it was taken from a musical or operetta. Please, next album, if you have one, use Henning Mjen . His voice really adds to the Uriah Heep vibe that comes up from time to time; 2) this is the first place where Adventure could have used a sharp pair of outside ears to trim this suite down. There are good melodies, good playing, but mostly in PT I & PT III. In these two sections, I hear the Flower Kings, and these are two pieces that show the promise that the group may have. Unfortunately, PT II quickly descends into a Spinal Tap version of Symphonic prog. It almost seems the group was unable to decide what & where they wanted to go with this song and just jammed it out and recorded it; 3) as English is not their mother tongue, I would suggest some help with the lyrics as they are trite enough in some places to once more merit Bhikku's comment about being formulaic.

Beacon of Light PT I & IV are excellent mellow melodic songs that would not be out of place on many of today's top Symphonic prog albums, and serve well as intro & outro for this suite. PT II slowly & beautifully builds in intensity & morphs into a fine Uriah Heep mid period prog rocker at about the 5 minute mark, and then slows down to a Return to Fantasy like melody. So far, so good ... this is the potential fulfilled that I have heard here & there in the first few songs on this album. But they go on to play uninspired & meandering music from the 9 minute mark onward , and then the whole of PT III. It's not that these 10 minutes are complete crap, just that the group could well have cut this section down to a few minutes by using the best of it, sharpening the lyrics and bring the album to a close that equals the music in PT IV.

Tracks 5 & 6 - A Crack in the Ice PT I & II bring to mind something like Pallas's debut. Arrive Alive , but not quite. Here I find if the main melodic idea from the first part had been kept, and the first half of PT II omitted that the group would have a very good mid album song that would provide a lead in to the finale.

Emilie's place & Joybringer are this albums acoustic numbers and work fine as filler or as interludes. Anthony Philips & Tull do these well, and Adventure pull them off O.K.

The other two songs - The Swan & Fragile Frame are decent filler. Both are afflicted with Adventure's weakness - a seeming reluctance to edit out the mediocre. So instead of coming out with two good 4-5 minute songs, they turn out two interminable 7 plus minute songs. Indeed, Fragile Frame brings back the early Uriah Heep sound ... acoustic guitar and David Byron like vocals from Henning Mjen. The lyrics are decent. The choruses that are heavy with the guitars and organ seguing back in to the calm of the acoustic verse. This song, of all the compositions herein, is one that would have needed the least work in tightening it up. Shorten the outro, and work on improving the chorus' hook.

So how do I feel about the album as a whole ? The good stuff is good. Once upon a time, the music buff in me would have been open to checking out their next album. But to a music fan that knows that there is more great music out there than is possible to listen to, ... well ... I would be very hesitant, unless I knew that they aimed for a consistent 45 minutes of music instead of a roller coaster ride between enjoyable & unbearable listening experiences, no matter how epic it may sound to them.

And the best remedy might be that independant pair of ears. Barely a three, and kindly so on the high points I've mentioned. Before buying, best to sample. The two MP3s available here represent the negative, and I would have chosen other samples than those on their site . Maybe they can be persuaded to authorize some of the songs I've enjoyed ...

 Adventure by ADVENTURE album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.90 | 24 ratings

Adventure Symphonic Prog

Review by bhikkhu
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Team

2 stars This album is actually rather funny. It's as if a group of relatively talented musicians got together and said, "Hey, let's record an epic prog album." So, they went through every classic group in the collection, and threw this together. It's not exactly bad, but it's not all that good either. This is as derivative as it gets. There are times when something fresh begins to emerge, but it is soon washed away by a tremendous amount of cheese. The lyrics are especially trite, and sung in a very heavy accent.

The moments that show promise are when they get into a more folky style. If the whole album had been built around that, something very good may have happened. Unfortunately, we are left with what almost seems like a prog parody. If you find it for a buck or two, it might be worth it for a laugh. Otherwise, don't waste your time.

H.T. Riekels

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Ivan_Melgar_M for the last updates

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