17 October 2023

ZENON – Arven (2023, LP Sekvens Records)




Label: Sekvens Records

Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition

Release Date: 1 Dec 2023

Zenon (full name: Filip Zenon Ramberg) is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, hailing from Norway, that he released his debut album “Passasje” in 2021, and now returns with his sophomore LP album “Arven”. The press release states: “His music is rooted in early 1970s underground rock, with influences from jazz and traditional folk music. Idiosyncratic and personal, with lyrics on spiritual and philosophical questions. Imagine Ecclesiastes as set to music by a jazzy Scandinavian psych rock group”. Since the debut album “Passasje” in 2021, Ramberg played drums for one year with prog-rockers Tusmørke, but also kept busy learning new music and new instruments, he explains: “I have been experimenting with traditional fiddle tunings on the electric guitar, playing piano for folk dances, and continuing my studies in jazz drumming, all hopefully coming through in the music”…

The Norwegian word arven translates as the heritage, and lyrically the album explores themes of family and tradition; Ramberg adds “There is a long bloodline of musicians in my family, and a particular ”something” which I perceive as a musical and psychological heritage, within which I am trying to find my voice. As I was writing these songs I saw the theme appearing, which further evolved when I discovered I was to become a father”…

“Arven” will be released on vinyl via Ramberg’s own Sekvens label, followed by live dates: “I love working with vinyl and the creative part of an album release. For the live dates, we will be a quartet, with Håkon Oftung of Norwegian prog favorites Jordsjø joining us on guitar”…

“Arven” features vocalist Michelle Uller, and Martin van Houtum on bass, and consists of just 5 tracks. The opener “Vitne” is quite an adventurous track (due to its duration, 10:38min), it starts under a heavy guitar-based motive under a steady beat created by drums and bass and some unreal female wordless vocals that slowly “leaves” the place for some “proper” but torturously slow vocals while there’s a second guitar that desperately tries to lead the track into a dark Psych path, actually, at some point, the track manages to enter a superb late 60s hard Psych environment, but all of a sudden everything is turn to black, to heavy, to doom, and the only antithesis here is that bittersweet female vocals… The guitar is getting heavier than ever, taking the lead, but all of a sudden (AGAIN) there’s a huge dive into somewhere unknown, there’s an ambient-like cold dark piano-based atmosphere that covers everything and ends the track… “Minne Av Et Na” has sweet female vocals under a soft acoustic but dark guitar motive, becoming a fast and glorious progressively Rock anthem, a little classical flirting with an intense mid-70s Pink Floyd-Bass-Sound, though someone can say that the band tries to flirt with Psych-Tropicalia! When “Hav” starts, and at least for the first 15-20 seconds, I can swear that this is an early 70s Wishbone Ash tune! Of course, after a while the track evolves, becoming a cool old-school Prog inspired track with an experimental edge (in the middle section), flirting with some abstract Psych, but there’s that “Wishbone Ash” riff to get the track, back to “order”… “Ingen Laerer” is a dreamy acoustic piece with marvelous kind-of-tropical female vocals, a piano-based proggy tune becoming a Norwegian acoustic Psych anthem with a jazzy edge. The album comes to an end with “Ga I Stjerne”, a distorted and somehow blurry background built by a Psych guitar sound with strong dominant vocals, drenched into melancholy, a little Prog, a little Psych, a little Folkie flirting with a heavy chaotic Proggy middle section while the electric guitar creates a soundscape full of feedback, heaviness, and fuzz, a quite impressive ending of the album! Well, “Arven” it’s not an “easy” album, it’s a different approach to Psych music, with many ingredients mixed together, so give it a try and check if it will penetrate your mind and enter your Psych… TimeLord Michalis  


A1 Vitne 10:38
A2 Minne Av Et Na 6:47
B1 Hav 6:10
B2 Ingen Laerer 3:31
B3 Ga I Stjerne 6:46





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