Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen is a guitar heroine for our times. She first picked up her mother’s nylon-strung acoustic guitar at the age of ten and as an exploratory teenager she dug deep into her father’s jazz and rock record collection. Then she was given an electric guitar and amplifier as a confirmation present, and never looked back.
But there’s nothing pious about her music. Her molten, overdriven guitar sound is forged in the same fiery furnace as Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page, then plunged into a steaming vat of free jazz in the Sonny Sharrock/Fred Frith mould. In tracks like “The Rex” and “Lake Acid”, you’ll hear the megalithic riffology of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and “Rock’n’Roll”, but with an agility and intensity peculiar to the dark Northern regions where she and her bandmates were raised. “All Of Them Witches” follows the Trio’s previous Rune Grammofon release, “Shoot!” (2011) and, like labelmates Elephant9 and Grand General, represent a thrilling new progressive wave of Norwegian avant rock/free metal energy. And like the debut, this latest batch of electrifying instrumentals was recorded live in the island environment of Ocean Sound studio, a grass-roofed wooden barn on the edge of the Norwegian Sea fitted with state of the art equipment.
Her debut album received great reviews in places like Mojo, Uncut and New York Times, but this new one is another step up and we simply cannot recommend it enough.