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Finnforest - Finnforest / Lht Matkalle CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.85 | 26 ratings

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3 stars The band that got me stoked for prog again

Ahhh, Finnforest. The reason I am here. I chose them as my username here because this is the band that rekindled my dormant love of progressive music. After surviving primarily on alt, classic, and punk for the last few years, someone slipped me a copy of Finnforest. From the first blissful notes of Mika Yo (What a night), I knew I was falling in love all over again. I started playing prog again and here I am.

Finnforest is an excellent instrumental prog fusion band from the 70s European scene and they are Finland's greatest gift for my ears. Their first two albums Finnforest and Lahto Matkalle have been lovingly released on one CD making for 73 minutes of wonderful and accessible fusion. Finnforest music is difficult for me to describe. Crisp drumming, outstanding virtuoso guitar solos, and nice but non imposing keyboard work. The songs cover a wide range of moods from the more wistful and weeping to very spirited and glowing. The jamming is tight and fans of great guitar and percussion will have to wipe their chin from drooling after hearing some of these passages.

Their second album ratchets up the sound with additional musicians and is considered more sophisticated and ambitious. Lahto Matkalle (Starting a Voyage) lives up to the title in its grand spirit. The songs are much longer. "Alpha" gives us some jazzy interplay between keys and bass. "Elvin" starts out slow and brooding before the keys and guitar explode reminding me of Lotus a little. The two part title track clocks in at over 19 minutes and is the grand finale. Starting with some strings the piece develops into a wide palate of sonic voyage with all members going for the kill.

Some prefer one album to the other. For me, they compliment each other so well that the combined CD has the effect of just being one long album. The first album is definitely more guitar oriented, perhaps more "fun", but I like them both. I take them as the whole. I think their music would appeal to folks who liked guitar rock and fusion but prefer a bit on the melodic side. Please read Slipperman's review of the first self-titled (individual) release at this site. He has an excellent description of the band's sound.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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