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Höyry-Kone - Huono Parturi CD (album) cover





4.25 | 152 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Everything I've said about Höyry-Kone's debut album can also be applied to their second album: I might only add that I like "Huono Parturi" better, since I find the band's increased refinement more appealing. Anyway, the refinement is not incorporated as an alternative to the band's raw sonic power, but as a more sophisticated strategy to deal with it and translate it into radical progressive music. In fact, I would even say that this album has a more "ordained" feel to it, and I don't mean that Höyry-Kone gives up on their taste for complexity at all: it's only that the compositions convey a more controlled "madness" and the deliveries tend to be a bit less aggressive. This gives room to a more featured presence of the violin and cello appearances. That being said, let's make it clear that, given the fact that "Huono Parturi" has a rockier edge than its predecessor, madness and aggression are still very evident in the band's overall sound - yes, sir! Anyway, the album kicks off in a most un-rocky manner: 'Beata Viscera' is a delightful sort-of-religious chant (though I suspect that the Latin lyrics do not deal with mystic stuff), where violinist Topi Lehtipuu delivers his vocal duties like a majestic emerald that emanates an eerie light across the haze of an autumn evening. His voice is really beautiful, something that doesn't usually show since he's mostly keen on phony operatics and funny modulations. And let's keep in mind that serenity is the weird thing in Höyry-Kone's world: the next three numbers showcase perfectly the Storm-und-Drang essence of the band's musical direction - raw dual guitars, compulsive rhythm patterns, unexpected shifts and twists, complex polyphonic amalgams of guitars, violin and cello. 'Barksteri' is a brief fun fair- meets- Dixieland motif played by a guest wind ensemble - a moment of frivolous relief in the middle of the album's general raw tension. And yes, the relief is only momentary: the title track brings back the band's crazy dissonant vibe, this time with the addition of jazzy nuances and folk- influenced chanting. Track 7 is another brief instrumental interlude, this time focused on the elaboration of Univers Zero-esque somber ambiences: it announces the hard rocking explosion of 'Tottele', which is sort of a near death-metal experience with a slight Crimsonian twist. 'Kala' alternates aggressive passages with other ethereal ones through the use of Arabic-like motifs: the vocal arrangement delivered in this track's middle section is really captivating. 'Laahustaja' goes back to Univers Zero/Present- inspired territory, while the closing track provides an air of introspection under an early Anekdoten-meets-post rock wrap. The latter feels pleasantly eerie during its first section, before the dual electric guitars burst out and the whole ensemble joins them in yet another display of dissonant textures; the initial sung motif is soon retaken while the new level of energy keeps itself effectively increased. Every time I listen to this song I see myself hopelessly drawn by the combination of drama, reflectiveness and tension that is so powerfully reflected in both the instrumentation and the singing. Overall conclusion: Hoyry-Kone's "Huono Parturi" is a disturbing prog masterpiece for the 90s, a classic of our contemporary times. 4.5-5 stars!
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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