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From Grotto - From Grotto CD (album) cover


From Grotto


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.95 | 2 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Hailing from Helsinki, Finland the band FROM GROTTO derive their inspiration from the most unlikely of sources. The band took their name from the spelunking activities of their local cave explorations and found that when fire was lit within the walls of the caverns that the ancient wisdom of those who had lived so long ago seemed to have infected them in strange ways. The band has gained quite the local reputation of putting on stellar live psychedelic shows in which they weave their musical might with the flickering psychedelic effects as inspired by the flames on cave walls. The band released their EP debut "Mython" in 2015 and have at long last issued a proper follow-up in the form of this eponymously titled full-length debut. While the four original members remain in the lineup with the usual guitar, bass, drum and vocals, this debut full-length differs significantly from the debut EP in that there are two more musicians on board with Antti Vauhkonen joining the band to add sultry saxophones and flirtatious flutes as well as Joonaten Juvonen contributing even more percussive sounds in the party. Likewise the band's sound is just bigger and has more room to play around with the inclusion of an expanded use of keyboards.

FROM GROTTO have crafted some very distinct psychedelic rock in their wake as they have taken the basic blueprints of blues-inspired hard rock by such greats as Jimi Hendrix and added many progressive elements that take liberties in lengthy compositional structures as well as interesting time signature changes that incorporate many jazz and electronic elements into the mix as well. The beauty of it all is how well they mix all these elements together in order to create a much more interesting sum of these parts. The overall sound is extremely psychedelic as the guitar effects often echo and reverberate into the ionosphere and beyond. When the band members play heavy, they are a super-tight unit but when they enter space cadet mode they can flitter off into their own respective universes and create some of the coolest spaced out rock just dripping with atmospheric appurtenances and create the most satisfying of heady floating tripped out experiences.

What i love about this band is that every member has a firm control of the music at hand. All the instruments are played with the utmost precision and the tunes are crafted in a very artistic way with strong melodic developments always leading the way but psychedelic drifting liberties always allowed to play out when its appropriate to see them through. One of the highlights of listening to FROM GROTTO is the strong and charismatic vocal performances of Joonas Turner whose passionate vocal phrasings are the real deal and exactly what a rock singer is supposed to sound like as he takes control of the musical developments and reels you in until you're hooked. While much of the album contains vocals, there are also long segments that cater to instrumental detachments and allow the time to simply float through the music.

One track, "The Floating Head" makes a reprise from the debut EP but all the others are totally new. One of my favorites is the didjeridoo opening sequence of "The One That Watches" and how the strong wall of percussion builds and builds as a jazzy piano slowly slinks into the energetic march of the drum circle creating an interesting contrast that finds resolution as it evolves into a trippy jazz-rock type of track with excellent vocals and syncopated guitars, bass and keys that offer a totally cool wild ride. On top of the brilliantly composed tracks is also the mixing and production of the album as every instrument is perfectly placed in relation to the other courtesy of the sound technician Niilo Takalainen. FROM GROTTO is simply impressive as they range from being a super tight band to independently existing in their own soundscapes. One of the best psychedelic bands i've heard in a while and looking forward to hearing what comes next.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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