Sivert Hoyem may not be a name you are immediately familiar with, however the 34-year-old is a household name in his native Norway. Having fronted rock band Madrugada since the mid 90s and released solo albums in his mother tongue, Hoyem has finally decided it is time to go global. Following the premature death of Madrugada’s guitarist Robert Buras in 2007, Hoyem struggled to find his voice. Alognside bassist Frode Jacobsen, he finished the album they were working on at the time and after it’s release called closing time on the group. Shortly afterwards he lost his father. Hoyem didn’t know whether to continue or not, but he couldn’t escape his real passion. Music called him back and he decided to seek a new type of acclaim. Entitling his new collection Moon Landing to symbolise his passion for success, with the sky being the limit, Hoyem is determined to use his music to overcome former sadness.
For those familiar with Madrugada’s work, Moon Landing will seem like a natural progression. Always at the centre of Madrugada’s work was Hoyem’s defining harrowing and rich vocal, which naturally forms the crux of Moon Landing. Staying in the safe rock terrain, but with a gritty determination, Hoyem is on fine form. Opening with the album defining “Belorado”, Hoyem entices his listener with the a nearly nine-minute musical epic. From it’s twisting and turning guitar opening through to its charismatic colourful vocal, Hoyem proves that this is a journey you want to be on.
“Moon Landing” wreaks of Hoyem’s ambitions and is addictively unforgettable.
The rest of Moon Landing is not set to such epic proportions and Hoyem occasionally steps out of place. The dirge of “Lost At Sea” sees a gravelly Hoyem on self destruct and “What You Doin’ With Him?” is just baffling. But for all the mistakes, there are the gems. “Moon Landing” wreaks of Hoyem’s ambitions and is addictively unforgettable. The broodingly honest “Empty House” a depressing reminder of the sadness Hoyem has experienced.
Ending on the optimistic “Arcadian Wives” proves a wise decision, with Moon Landing at times an emotionally challenging experience Moon Landing has clearly not been an easy journey for Hoyem, but the ups-and-downs have left him wanting more. With his resounding ambition and unquestionable talent, Hoyem might just reach that highest star.