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Sammal - Myrskyvaroitus CD (album) cover

MYRSKYVAROITUS

Sammal

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.91 | 4 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Sammal from Turku, Finland, strongly favours 70's-like retro sounds in their progressive, organ-oriented hard rock. I'm not saying they've been placed in a wrong subgenre here, but clear psychedelic/space rock elements aren't very present. Think of early heavy [prog] bands such as Uriah Heep and Deep Purple with a Finnish/Scandinavian classic prog rock flair, and why not some gritty, Hawkwind-like psychedelic feel thrown in. Their style is honestly their own instead of being an imitation of any band. Between the eponymous debut and this album they released a five-song EP titled No 2. The group's music is written by themselves, with the exception of 'Peilin taikaa' on No 2, originally a rare late 60's Aphrodite's Child song 'Magic Mirrors'.

Myrskyvaroitus (= Storm Warning) was recorded in March 2014. The opening track is 'Stormvarning' -- no, there's no misspelling: this is the only Sammal song NOT sung in Finnish, but it's Swedish. Jan-Erik Kiviniemi's tight vocals bend excellently into Swedish, and the song is among their most memorable. I've seen them once on stage, and I remember 'Stormvarning' better than the rest of the set. 'Järjen ohimarssi' (= March-past of sanity) contains a bit longer instrumental section and some slight tempo changes, but the energetic hard-rocking groove is never lost. Roaring Hammond and a biting, suitably distorted electric guitar make sure of that. The third song 'Samaan arkeen' sounds very much like an early 70's song from the heavier end of Finnish prog.

'Kohtaaminen yön vyöllä' (= Rendezvous at the belt of night) is a 2½-minute instrumental rocker full of mighty organ. Stylistic variety isn't very notable on the course of the album, but that's not a problem, and at the very end there will come more. The seventh track 'Sulle haavan tein' (= I wounded you) has a slightly slower tempo and more emotional atmosphere, and the instrumental part increases the prog sensibility of the composition. 'Kohti pintaa' (= Towards the surface) is a very brief instrumental centering on acoustic guitar. It's directly followed by a 10-minute meandering instrumental 'Herätkää! (= Wake up!). It contains surprising elements - including some bar noises briefly at one point - and wide dymanic changes. If the hard-rocking Hammond was almost too central earlier on the album, here you get also pretty delicate moments for various instruments. If there had been also guest musicians on flute for example, this would be a wonderful prog instrumental.

A little more of that eclectic approach concerning the whole album would be most welcome, but all in all Sammal is superb in their chosen retro style. The band's name, meaning moss, suits them really well, depicting earth and simple but mysterious powers of nature. 3½ stars rounded up for fine cover graphics drawn by Kiviniemi and bassist Lasse Ilano.

Matti | 4/5 |

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