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Thoby Loth - Cauldron of Life CD (album) cover


Thoby Loth


Prog Folk

4.07 | 5 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars THOBY LOTH from Vaasa (in the West coast of Finland) released their debut album in 2009. This follower made by the same quartet line-up - led by the composer-flautist-keyboardist Tobias Tåg - three years later, is musically pretty similar; the differences are primarily elsewhere. First, the titles are now in English instead of the group's mother tongue Swedish. They play melodic and powerful instrumental [hard] rock with elements from traditional and Medieval music. A lot of flute! Musical references such as JETHRO TULL, BLACKMORE's NIGHT, KEBNEKAISE or PIIRPAUKE may help to form a picture of their sound.

Compared to the debut Lägereldarnas Tid (= The Time of Campfires) that was inspired by Northern mythology and forests, Cauldron of Life seems to be slightly less folky and possibly tighter in the rock power. For example, there were some flute dominated moments on the debut that sounded a lot like PIIRPAUKE drawing from the Finnish folk music. On the other hand, I'm well aware how the imagery created by track titles affects on the way the music is felt. Figuratively speaking, the band came out of the ancient wood inhabited by mythological creatures, perhaps losing some of the folklore romanticism along the way. Track titles such as 'The Black Coast', 'Temple of the Stars' and 'Memories in Stone' sound more like a Tolkienesque fantasy drama with high-tech production.

But whatever images you may get, Thoby Loth clearly haven't lost their own Scandinavian-rooted identity on the altar of commercial aspirations. [Carved] stone has taken the place of the wood in the imagery, but in the end that's very appropriate, as the sound is sharper and rockier (Kenethlevine points out the preference of guitar over organ).

By the way, both albums include nine tracks, all fairly good and excellently produced. I'm ashamed to confess that when I was originally handwriting the very positive review on a piece of paper, I was listening to the debut by mistake, having accidentally placed the discs on the wrong covers. (And it had been several months since the last listening.) I felt like an idiot and was angrily frustrated, because I had to withdraw my comments dealing with individual tracks and the possible differences between the albums. Actually now I can only think that the differences are very minimal in music itself. Kenethlevine clearly prefers this one but for me the debut perhaps has a more sincere folky atmosphere while this is undoubtedly better from the hard rock aspect. The same fours stars again, then. Both albums warmly recommended to all listeners of powerful instrumental Folk Rock.

Matti | 4/5 |


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