We all know that progressive rock bands especially enjoy science fiction/fantasy books so much that they go as far as naming themselves after key characters. Well this is no exception with new band Norwegian band Gargamel. I believe this is the first band to take it even further by using a smurf name.
Formed in the spring 2001, originally comprised of Jon Edmund Hansen (guitar), Bjørn Viggo Andersen (keyboards), Geir Tornes (bass), Morten Tornes (drums, vocals) and Tom Uglebakken (guitar, vocals, flute). According to sources, the band released Water EP and then expanded their sound by adding cellist Leif Erlend Hjelmen to the line-up. They returned to the studio and composed other songs combined with the EP songs on the now released as debut album Watch The Umbles.
Their sound is basically a flawless hybrid of Starless-era King Crimson with Van Der Graaf Generator along with nods to Camel (mostly in the flute). The band truly sounds of the era that explores music much in the same way the 70s bands first did. The bands shows much promise and I’m sure would be a success at any of the popular progressive rock festivals world wide. Gargamel is the band to watch out for in the near future. They’re not breaking new ground , but they are bridging the gap between then and now in a almost flawless seam.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on March 28th, 2006