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Höyry-Kone - Huono Parturi CD (album) cover





4.26 | 152 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
5 stars This second album sees HK reduced to a sextet (from the original octet), but believe me, they make as much chaos (if not more) now then back then. Again released on the small Swedish label APM, this means that this album is probably just as rare as their debut in today's market. Graced with a strange artwork featuring what appears to be a hairdresser (the scissors on the second page), the gatefold and back cover presents the group with a full black tie orchestra affair with a strong sense of derision. For those who have seen them live (I am among the lucky ones), this postures presents an integral part of their show, making them quite a wild experience live as well. Again Anekdoten is present in this album in the form of their drummer Nordins adding some drums on two tracks. Although not playing with the group, he was present accompanying HK on their tour for the only concert of them I saw.

A very lengthy intro of almost 7-min with heavenly vocals on a new age soundtrack opens the album is rather unexpected manner, but this is a strange calculation for the crazy Crimsonian (circa Aspic) follow-up three tracks with Topi Letihuu's operatic vocals at the forefront and manninen's cello underlining the whole thing giving a power that rises the dead from their graves. While their music is melancholic, it is not as dark as their debut album (and much less depressing than most of the Scandic fellows) and at times is so weird that it becomes almost funny by derision. I would not say that they are funny in a Zappa fashion, but there is certainly a dimension of Frank included, but mixed with Crimson and X-Legged Sally (but less so than on the debut album, for this effort is less jazzy), even if just as I write this, comes a short full jazz interlude Baksteri, but this is almost it.

The second part of the album is off with the weird title track with a quaint rhythm and almost ridiculous vocal part, but blistering underlying guitar parts just waiting to explode after (and if) the vocals leave the fore front, never really comes to fruition. After a short violin-cello-synth trio (Ullakon), the hardcore-like Tottele, the hard-soft Kala, the album ends with a series of tracks that are sometimes reminiscent of Crimson's best moments (I love the middle section of Laahustaia) and the closer has some dramatic vocals accompanying a desperate music. Grandiose!!! Well, Kone's swan song is a fitting one when thinking of the group's overall originality in sound, and I must say that one of the good thing about bands that record only two or three albums is that they do not end up like the shadow of their previous selves. Hard to say which of the two albums I prefer, but this one appears more even in terms of strength of songs.

Sean Trane | 5/5 |


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