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Kingston Wall - III Tri-Logy CD (album) cover


Kingston Wall


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.12 | 138 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars On 28 June, 1995, Finnish singer-songwriter Petri Walli climbed to the top of a church tower in Helsinki and jumped to his death. The incredibly talented leader of psychedelic progressive rock band Kingston Wall was 26 years old. To hear Petri's catalogue of songs is truly a religious experience. His little known three piece band sounds as if it was the reincarnation of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, twenty years after Jimi's death. The first Kingston Trio album is a bit raw and show the band (and Petri)'s lack of maturity in all categories--songwriting, playing, and studio recording techniques. The second album, II, came out just a year later but shows extraordinary growth in all areas. This is one jaw-dropping album. The third album, yet another year down the road, was much more studio processed, as opposed to the "plug-in and push record" approach to the previous two albums. Tri-logy thus has a much more experimental sound to its psychedelia--but is no less brilliant. Fellow band members say that they could feel as if Petri was on a mission--that his suicide shortly after made perfect sense with the way he approached the recording of Tri-logy. The lyrics of several of the album's songs even give portend to his choice to leave the planet early, of his own accord. What an amazing talent was lost. Thankfully, we have these three albums as testament to his gifts.

Side One (A continuous suite of songs)" 1. "Another Piece Of Cake" (3:48) amazing guitar and great drumming over a kind of standard song. (9/10) 2. "Welcome to the Mirrorland" (3:46) really an intro to "I'm the King, I'm the Sun", the song opens with a cymbal crash before didgeridoo, jews harp, bagpipes, hand percussion, and far background guitar soloing establish the HENDRIX-like before Petri's voice conspiratorially whispers his lyric to us. By the second half drums, synths, and strumming acoustic guitars have moved forward, forcing Petri to speak more openly, insistently. The song then bleeds directly in the next song. (8.75/10) 3. "I'm the King, I'm the Sun" (4:56) feels very PINK FAIRIES-like with vocals and synths. (8.667/10) 4. "The Key: Will" (1:07) coming out of the "King/Sun", the music reverts to digderidoo and jew's harp as Petri sings his final message in a low monotone. More of an interlude. 5. "Take You to Sweet Harmony" (3:24) opens with spacious spaceyness (coming from the didgeridoo and jew's harp of the previous three songs) like a PINK FLOYD song, but then with the mystical almost-spoken vocal it turns kind of Reggae ? except the guitar. Wow! Can Petri wail! I don't really like the song, but the guitar pyrotechnics are undeniable and so worth listening to! (8.75/10) 6. "Get Rid of Your Fears" (2:56) another song that bleeds over from its predecessor, the blues space wah-guitar solos Hendrix-style over a relatively slow, deep, semi-Reggae rhythm foundation. A bit CAN-like, the odd deep vocal that is spoken ominously over the second minute turns whispery-singing over the final guitar chord strums. I really like the drum/percussion work on this one. (8.667/10) 7. "When Something Old Dies" (1:21) the breakout rocker from the previous song. (4.25/5) 8. "Alt - land - is" (5:12) becomes a vehicle for a fast drive on a country road while Petri autodidacts a continuous story as if he's stream-of-consciousness talking. The drumming, bass playing, and synth work is quite active, quite propelling. In the fourth minute Petri finally breaks out of his conspiratorial whisper and sings Robert Plant-like as his guitar work becomes more filling and active. (8.75/10)

9. "Party Goes On" (4:25) another song that reminds me of PINK FAIRIES. Nice shift at 0:45. Petri's support crew is truly top notch--and so tight! (8.667/10)

10. "Stüldjt Hĺjt" (8:59) very cool psych rock. I hear nods to The Who, Led Zep, AC/DC, even some jazz fusion (in the bass). Petri's vocal performance is very entertaining--as is his searing lead guitar work and the crazed free-jazz bass and drum work. At the four minute mark we fall into another five-chord PINK FAIRIES motif while Petri "narrates" a newscast before falling back into his Hitler-esque repetition of the "Stüldjt hĺjt" march mantra. The message must be quite powerful as the music and performances all seem to be set to 11. The song's decay over the final 70 seconds is quite entertaining and ingenious--almost as if the world is exploding. (18/20)

11. "For All Mankind" (6:17) drone and didgeridoo open this one as amazing lead guitar riffing and Animal-like drumming slowly fade in as if coming from the Underworld or somewhere equally nefarious. (How else could a guitarist be this good, this dynamic, this confident?) Add to this a great vocal with amazing lyrics and you get my favorite song on the album and my favorite Kingston Wall song of all-time (this despite it being rumored to have been Petri's suicide note to the world). (10/10)

12. "Time" (7:07) slow Petri down and he could definitely be the reincarnation of one Jimi Hendrix. Jaw-dropping guitar play on this bluesy Band of Gypsies-like song. (13.25/15)

13. "The Real Thing" (18:02) (34/35) = 9.71

Total Time: 71:38

The Kingston Wall experience is all about hearing, trying to make sense of, the astonishing and mesmerizing guitar play of Petri Walli. Though he committed suicide shortly after the release of this album and the Petri-ordained breakup of the band, Petri is among the greatest guitarists I've ever had the privilege of hearing. Another reason that I am so grateful for the Internet/WorldWideWeb and the music database of ProgArchives: otherwise, I would have never heard of this band or this extraordinary artist.

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of powerful, dextrous, well-composed and well-executed psych rock. What a finale to this short-lived, high-powered band! What a tragic loss!

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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