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Malady - Toinen Toista CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.93 | 111 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Great to see this Finnish band finally added. If one listened to albums of Malady in a blindfold test, without knowing the band and their music in advance, it would be very easy to think it was a long-lost item of vintage Finnish-language prog from early/mid- 70's, comparable to Haikara, Tabula Rasa, Fantasia and Nimbus. Malady begun as a side project of a Helsinki-based doom/stoner band in 2010, with guitarist Tony Björkman, bass/guitar/piano player Jonni Tanskanen and drummer Juuso Jylhänlehto being the founding members. The original humble goal was to release a prog album before any of the members would be 50. But apparently everything took place faster than they expected; the eponymous debut was released in 2015, and it was warmly greeted in the Finnish music media, which normally doesn't pay a lot of attention to new progressive rock bands.

Malady makes music in a pure retro style with analog keyboards and recording systems. That results as a warm and natural sound, like it was made in the 70's. Even the vocals of Babak Issabeigloo sound a bit hazy like it is quite often the case in vintage Finnish prog. The charmingly melancholic debut was very promising, and the expectations for the follow-up are definitely fulfilled with this album. The title Toinen toista can be translated in several ways; one of them is 'the 2nd day of February' which was the official date of release in 2018.

The nearly 7-minute title track starts with a meditative psychedelic haziness before it turns into melodic instrumental prog. The sparse and moody vocals arrive after the halfway. Listeners of classic prog feel immediately at home with the sound drawing from the same ancient prog well that gave birth to albums such as In the Court of the Crimson King, Mirage or Meddle. The real Mellotron at the end leads seamlessly into the brief instrumental interlude 'Laulu sisaruksille' (= Song for siblings) starring violin. 'Tiedon kehtolaulu' (= Lullaby of knowledge) is a slightly lighter prog song, graced by the guest appearances for flute and Mini-Moog. 'Etsijän elinehto' is equally full of melodic and emotional depth.

The fifth and final track is a side-long epic 'Nurja puoli' (= The adverse side) which guarantees the album's place among the finest Finnish retro-oriented prog releases in my opinion. The piece is not notably differing from the basic style of Malady with the alternation between instrumental and vocal sections, but it proves that the band handles also large structures with similar ease. The metaphysic lyrics written by Jylhänlehto may not come very close to the listener, but they fit very well to the music's atmosphere. I'm enjoying this album enough for full rating, even though I understand that someone might consider the retro approach as a lack of originality. If you're interested in the Finnish-language prog and enjoy the 70's bands I mentioned above, you'll find it very easy to enjoy this relatively mellow and melodic album.

Matti | 5/5 |


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