44.1kHz/24-bit FLAC, Ozella Music (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Authentically Norwegian as Torvik and trio may be, Tranquil Fjord commences just as you might fear, the opening title track plinking a New Age path into a gentle guitar-led arrangement, meandering slowly through shallows rather regimented in their quantisation, and underlain by an intrusively full-width soundstage granted to the percussion of Hermund Nygård – close-miked snare brushes lent distracting prominence. These two qualities, forward percussion and ‘swinglessness’, continue even on speedier pieces such as ‘Kryssande’ and ‘Land Veg Helm’, bass and guitar each lacking a fully resolved space in either soundstage or equalisation, all three performers instead firing from the same place. When Torvik gives his guitar synth a few directionless refrains at the close of ‘Endelaus Veg’, it encapsulates the general meaninglessness of it all. JF

Sound Quality: 70%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Unlike the ‘96kHz’ Mike Oldfield: Five Miles Out download (reviewed here) the limited ~20kHz bandwidth of this 24-bit recording is perfectly in keeping with its claimed 44.1kHz sample rate. Peak recorded levels are quite high here though. PM