Although the PR blurb claims this Norwegian band's music is "suited for the big stage", the debut album in English by Faulk (pronounced Fork) reveals this statement to be wish fulfillment on an epic scale.
To cut to the chase, it gives me no pleasure to say that this is a dreadful mess of a record. This is mostly down to the lyrics which are consistently awful and drag the unsuspecting listener into a parallel world of fantasy and fable.
If I were generous, I'd hazard that Per Johannessen's words, printed in glossy art booklet, are lost in translation. But surely someone in the band's entourage could have found a mother-tongue English speaker to advise against singing lines like "The truth you seek does not exist, we coexist in common mist" (Wizard) or "I'm a mindless bobblehead, I'm a pudding head" (Bobblehead).
The worst examples are in the slow ballad Dance in which a woman's hair is likened to a "hillside of snowdrop and primrose" and she is invited to share the dubious pleasure of a "A carefree tight tango in timelessness meadow."
None of this hokum is redeemed by the uninspiring 'progressive' folk rock arrangements that merely add another level of pomposity to proceedings.
Buried deep within the gibberish is a serious message that men struggle to meet impossible standards when seeking to win over the female of the species. In Man, the nearest thing to a title track, the four intrepid Nordic males try to be both sensitive and hard for the women in their lives. Johannessen sings of being resigned to playing the macho role of "a Viking wolf on speed" when deep down he's just a big softy.
I suspect that he was aiming for some tongue-in-cheek humour but unfortunately he just raises laughs for the wrong reasons.
Ultimately, there is nothing here to engage or inspire, a sad truth summed up in the prophetic words of Power Of Now: "Substance of emptiness. Let me be met."