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Thoby Loth - Lagereldarnas Tid CD (album) cover


Thoby Loth


Prog Folk

3.59 | 6 ratings

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4 stars THOBY LOTH is a Swedish-speaking quartet from Vaasa, Finland, who have released two albums this far, plus one live DVD (also from 2009, consisting almost entirely of the debut's material). All music is composed by flute/keyboard player Tobias Tåg. The title of this debut means The Era of Campfires. That and the titles in general have references to Scandinavian pagan rites and mythology, the nature and especially wild, dark forests being the place where the listener's imagination is directed to. Although the instrumental music doesn't attempt to sound medieval, nor do the band wear such fancy clothes (actually these guys could be mistaken for a metal band for their looks with long hair), the idea is fairly successfully captured in the music, even with a lot of energetic, electrified rock approach in it.

'Faundans' is a perfect opener and gives a good picture of the band's style. The lively, folky melody is mostly led by flute, accompanied by powerful guitar chords, organ and a rhythm section, that quite certainly gives us associations to JETHRO TULL. The flute and its melodies are clearly more Nordic and folky in nature than Ian Anderson's, perhaps influenced by Sakari kukko's flutework in the Finnish ethnic jazz legend PIIRPAUKE. Indeed, decrease the jazziness and world music elements and increase rock, and one could consider PIIRPAUKE as some kind of a forefather to this band too. On the whole it's perhaps easier to find bands with similar approach from continental Europe, Sweden and the U.K. than from Finland. 'Rus' is slightly harder rocking tune. Peter Enroth uses both acoustic and electric guitars and bouzouki very effectively. 'Näcken' (= a mythological creature living in lakes) has slower tempo, and the softly played flute weaves an exciting atmosphere. Maybe the track could have gone deeper into that delicate and gloomy atmosphere, and minimized the rock aspect for change. But not bad at all anyway.

The next three tracks form a 'Trilogi', starting with the title track. By now the band's stylistic repertoire has become quite familiar already, and those expecting more progressivity and variety may feel a bit disappointed. But hopefully the certain degree of narrowness in composing and performance is compensated by the fresh and solid Prog Folk sound. I believe this music will please the ears of those who enjoy the folkiest elements of JETHRO TULL and bands such as KEBNEKAJSE and why not also BLACKMORE'S NIGHT, as they might sound without the sweet vocals of Candice Night and with more flute. So, there may be nothing new under the sun, but THOBY LOTH do what they do with great skill and taste. A very convincing debut worth of 3½ stars.

Matti | 4/5 |


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