Kanaan, the Norwegian power trio which consists of Ask Vatn Strøm(Electric and acoustic guitars), Ingvald André Vassbø(Drums, percussion and organ), and Eskild Myrvoll(Bass, synths, electric and acoustic guitars) have had a busy couple of years. Blowing minds at the end of 2018 with their El Paraiso Records debut Windborne, the group played shows for most of 2019 honing their fusion-meets-progressive-meets-pysch vibes to stunned audiences. Then earlier this year the band released a collaborative album with Causa Sui’s Jonas Munk titled Odense Sessions. A much looser and improvisational record than Windborne, it saw the band stretching its psych muscles and letting nature take its course in the studio.
Now, only a couple months later Kanaan are back with their proper follow-up to Windborne. Double Sun gets the band back on course with a 6-track suite of grand rock and roll statements. Continuing the melodic instincts and jazz-inflected touches they started in 2018, the three-piece expand their sonic palate by adding new colors to their tasteful musical journeys. Touches of post-rock, Krautrock, and psychedelia are scattered about Double Sun as the band turns in their best album yet.
“Worlds Together” opens the album with an almost Yes sound. The Leslie-colored acoustic guitar gives the song an aged vibe, as if it had been stored away in a London studio for 50 years and unearthed for the world to hear. There’s always a folks-y sound with Kanaan’s work, as if you could hear their songs played on all acoustic instruments and they’d still come off as equally striking. But this is just an entrance into the mammoth “Mountain”. All powerful drums and fuzzed-out guitar, “Mountain” is an epic 12-minutes of molten riffage. Kanaan hinted at these big riffs on Windborne, but they now come into full fruition here. Even when toying with Sabbath heaviness there’s always an air of elegance to Kanaan’s work, and that holds true here. Towards the end the song shifts from Black Sabbath weight to almost King Crimson angular vibes. It’s stunning. Lead single “Öresund” has a jazzy rhythm to it, churning the track into an epic psych swing manifesto. When the track gets smoking Kanaan start to sound like label mates Papir. That’s not a bad thing. Not at all.
One of the heaviest tracks here is the scorcher “Worlds Apart”. On this three-minute barn burner of a track the Kanaan fellas just let their freak flags fly at full mast, turning in something that resembles Blue Cheer jamming with Electric Miles on the Isle of Wight stage circa 1970. An all-out mind melter. The final two tracks are a suite of sorts, as “Double Sun pt. 1” and “Double Sun pt. 2” fill out the final ten minutes of Double Sun with mind-expanding glee and spaced-out grooves. They’re joined by Bjørn Klakegg on these two all-out jams where he adds tasteful lead guitar. We begin floating in space and end the journey with some chugging Krautrock vibes.
Double Sun shows these young lads from Norway are expanding their sonic palate and musicianship in very big ways. It’s an album of elegant melodies, fuzzed-out riffage, and epic soundscapes that take you out of the current and blast you into the ether.
8.2 out of 10
Double Sun is on 4/24. You can order from El Paraiso Records.