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Paatos - Timeloss CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.87 | 134 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars I stumbled upon these guys by accident with their ‘Kallocain’ CD, which I picked up only because the artwork and list of instruments (mellotron, harmonium, Hammond organ) seemed to promise progressive, or at least folkish, leaning music. Not quite right on the folkish part, but that’s okay. I also think this debut album isn’t as varied as ‘Kallocain’, but that’s okay too.

Sometimes it can be fun to step away from the progressive classics (as well as their modern clones and reincarnations) and listen to something new. Bands like the Decemberists, Karnataka, Gjallarhorn, Faun Fables, Garmarna, the Smell of Incense and even more mainstream acts like Mostly Autumn, Katalena, Nightwish, and the Gathering have all put out music in this century that blends both the old and the new in interesting and often unpredictable ways. And that’s really what progressive music is all about, even when some of the new sounds being blended include things like trip-hop and sometimes (gasp!) pop. Paatos seems to fit in the same general category as most of those bands, in terms of their mixing of the modern and the classic if not in actual musical styles.

And while this album kicks off with the brisk and slightly heavy keyboard/synth/guitar blast of “Sensor”, the fact is this is really a fairly mellow album, as evidenced by “Hypnotique” and “Téa” which immediately follow the opening track and are far more laid back and focused on instrumentation than the opening track. Overall the first three songs remind me a little of Anekdoten, while “They are Beautiful” is too languid and keyboard-driven for that comparison. That one is also the weakest track on the album, and although it isn’t bad or anything there also doesn’t seem to be any actual cohesive order to the wide range of musical instruments that are employed. Maybe that’s the point, who knows…

But everything I said up above about blending of sounds applies most appropriately to the closing “Quits”, a twelve-minute diatribe that includes doses of trip-hop, pop, sampling and dance-club female vocals along with more traditional prog keyboards in a rather hypnotic composition that seems fairly predictable right up until the horn and rhythm sections appear and go nuts about ten minutes in. After that I’m not sure what the hell is going on, but after a few spins the chaos becomes kind of fun and definitely demonstrates the band’s impressive ability to stay focused on the underlying tempo despite the cacophonic noise going on around them. A pretty solid and promising closing to the band’s debut, although I have to say there isn’t really anything like it on their next two albums.

The first time I listened to ‘Kallocain’ I didn’t take to it much, and felt there was a little too much parroting of some neo-progressive bands that I won’t mention here (listen for yourself and they should be obvious). But eventually I found that album growing on me, and this one has as well. I’m not quite ready to call it a masterpiece or even essential, but if you are one of those people who yearns for something more than another night in front of the turntable spinning ELP records that are practically worn thin, Paatos may offer a fresh and fun alternative, and a better one of going to the dark side of a Britney record or something. Three stars easily, and I may come back and revisit that if this record stays high on my rotation list for longer than a few months.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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