Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Kalandra (Norway) – Are you ready? (single/future album track + video)

That’s the most pertinent question I’ve heard get asked all week, including during our endless UK election debates and then during Biden vs. Trump 2.0.

Are you ready indeed, for something that will blow your socks off?

When we reviewed Kalandra previously, right back in Nov-2021 just after we started NMC, itwas identified as an alt-pop band. That tenuous description might have fitted the gentle piece then that was ‘With you’ but ‘Are you ready?’ belongs in a different ballpark altogether.

They say it was “a liberating experience, offering us a much-needed release after spending long winter months locked away in our studio.” Well, we all need to get out more often.

They take on such a different collective persona with this song compared to the previous one that it might be another band altogether.

Not at first though, as it gets underway with the same passive, soothing acoustic guitar. Then right on the minute mark childish things are put away and it rapidly morphs into a solid rocker, aided by neo-metal percussion that increases in intensity in a  until it becomes a battering ram and abetted by what sounds like a legion of guitars.

Amongst all that there is, remarkably, a tune, and a distinct, memorable one at that and delivered amongst precise banshee-like wails; this isn’t mere noise I’ll have you know.

They’ve served up a tasty video to go with it. I haven’t a clue what it all signifies but it starts off with what seems to be a coach trip on a ‘veteran bus’ of vestal virgins to the venue of the erotic party in Eyes Wide Shut, somewhere in the Black Hills of The Blair Witch Project.

Some of them are introduced to the local Amish people. Then it gets all religious; not so much the Last Dinner Party as the Last Supper party, taken on a sustainable table of plant-based food.

They attempt to walk on water and fail but there is John the Baptist to baptise them anyway while at the chessboard, a Pawn is taken by a King, which must symbolise something though Lord knows what it is.

Finally, it turns all gruesomely cinematic in a ‘The Wicker Man’ parody and you get the distinct impression one of the virgins – the nervous looking one, right from the start – is about to get burned at the stake.

Any alternative interpretation is welcome! For now, just get yourself ready.

‘Are You Ready’ will be featured on the forthcoming album ‘A Frame of Mind’, which is set for worldwide release on September 13th, via By Norse Music.

They are in the UK (as headliners, not supporting) between 17 September and 21 September (Birmingham, Nottingham, Glasgow, Manchester, London in that order) and I have every intention of being at the Manchester show.

Oh, and thanks for making the effort. We still need more Nordic bands and artists to follow suit!

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