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Groovector - Ultramarine CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.55 | 29 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Finnish Groovector caught my attention in the "Kalevala Prog Epic" where their instrumental track stood comparison extremely well to the Italian, Swedish or American contemporaries. Now I have listened their debut and can say that it's indeed a band deserving an international audience. They are firmly rooted in the symphonic instrumental progressive rock and the music could be mistaken to come from the seventies. Yet I wasn't totally taken in their music, as ambitious as it is. As a small side notion, the cover art with water tabs does its best to 'water down' the impression (strangely stupid choice for the cover because the leaflet has several better pictures inside), and the nonsense titles such as 'Krawagna' or 'Selangor' really don't help to digest the long-tracked album. Also, I missed some vocals here and there to give the album some variety and spine. I think a female (or male) guest vocalist on couple of tracks would have done miracles.

I was perhaps expecting a more mellow, classically toned album but - maybe this is goodnews for most of you - there is a lot of progressive rock edge and sudden turns in the compositions. I would have left the old-fashioned vibrating organ out. Other thing that was a mild disappointment was the flute which I find somewhat cold here. Flute is usually one of my favourite instruments if it has a certain soft, not-too-high sound. At least the recorder only makes the music worse to me. Nevertheless FOCUS is one of the names to compare Groovector to, here and there also Mike Oldfield (70's) came to mind (I tried to describe Finnish UZVA's album quite the same way). CAMEL, yeah, but not in the same level in enjoyment, not so many majestic melodies in the Camel style. I wish the guitars were more up front.

This album needs many listenings to learn the tracks enough to separate them from each other; all don't have a solid character that would remain in the listener's mind. For me the highlight is the final part, a beautiful short 'Berceuse' is directly followed by a 16,5-minute 'Elegie' which is a gorgeous 24-carat prog composition. Just when the listener thinks "wow, this was pretty good", the track continues with another peak. And another.

This may not be the best album I've heard for a long time, but I'm very pleased to hear this kind of serious and ambitious music in these times of Idols and other stupidities in pop/rock world, and that there still are gifted groups in my country to keep the spirit of the classic prog alive. A shame how unknown they are bound to remain!

Matti | 4/5 |


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