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Rikk Eccent - Owlawol CD (album) cover


Rikk Eccent


Crossover Prog

3.45 | 6 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The Finnish rock musician Kimmo Salmela alias RIKK ECCENT has made his second album, three years since the debut The Garden of Delights. Personally I wasn't deeply impressed by it, and it's more or less the same with this one, but I think the production is more pleasant now. More flowing and organic, like the artist himself says in the promotional interview. The album title looks confusing; notice the capital letters AWOL, which is an abbreviation for "absence without leaving". Salmela explains the theme: "It's about the classic story of madness and sanity and the wavering line between them." The lyrics don't become very central in my listening, so I don't deal with them.

Again Salmela must be thanked for crafting a full-bred and balanced sound all by himself in the studio (except for additional drums that are credited to Rikk Cent, whoever he is). The electric guitar dominates in a rather ballsy, Jeff Beck -like manner, while the overall sound is perhaps few degrees warmer and less metallic than on the debut. The feature I'm the least fond of is the voice that sounds stuffy and hoarse. Think of Ray Wilson (of late-90's Genesis) who's caught a cold. This, however, is a pure matter of taste: someone else may think he's a wonderful, distinctive rock vocalist.

At least early on the album the music is for me too close to the wide grey area of 'street-credible', slightly depressed, guitar-oriented, non-progressive rock (from the nineties onwards) that just leaves me cold personally. By the way, 'Prog On' is a cover of 'Rock On' by David Essex. 'Fare Well' is a pretty cool song in its restrained, dark emotion and tonal spaceyness. The guitar solo in the middle is powerful. On 'Higher Ground', another slightly creepy and effectively dynamic song, Sanna Emilia adds her wordless backing vocals. Gradually the prog/art-rock flavour becomes more evident, even if the music never gets self-indulgently complex. The final track 'Tomorrow Is Slow to Come' is my favourite. All in all, I believe this well-produced album gets better on repeated listenings. Solid three stars for good musicianship (guitars especially) and for three powerful songs above the average.

Matti | 3/5 |


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