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Paatos - Breathing CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.72 | 106 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This new 2011 release from Swedish band Paatos is my first taste of the band, but will not be my last, for this is a pleasing album. If, like me, you have a particular taste for rich female vocals, a well produced work, and a clever ear for mood swings, then this album might well be for you.

It starts of with a mighty statement of intent on Gone, a very clever pop/rock track which also creates a wonderful wall of sound. I particularly enjoy Ivarsson's bass work, and there is definitely enough clever musicianship abound in this track to keep most prog fans happy.

Fading Out follows, which is a single length track which brings to mind, for me, Bjork in her Post era in the vocals and music at the start, but then a more traditional prog sound with Banks like keyboards takes over, prior to a reprise of the opening bars at the denouement. This is a nice short track with lots going on.

Shells is a fine piece of music, combining some lovely vocals, pastoral keyboards and orchestration. Perhaps the highlight of the album for me, it is melancholic and almost yearning.

If that, however, was melancholic, things turn quite a shade darker on In That Room, with many passages reminding me of the extremely clever, and haunting, movements on the two Lunatic Soul offerings. Another very clever, and very good piece of music.

Andrum is a short piece with some good woodwind and brass and ethereal chanting, and, especially, more very clever bass work between the orchestrals. This takes us into No more Rollercoaster, which takes the mood elsewhere again, and is, essentially, a post modern rock track. It's good enough, but I, for one, would have far preferred the band to have developed Andrum more as an extended piece of music, simply because it was more interesting.

The title track is the longest on the album, coming in at just short of six minutes, and is a return to form. Again, I hear quite a lot of influences at play here, and I am sure that the band have listened to some of Gabriel's more ethnic influenced stuff in addition to the aforementioned Lunatic Soul. This is another darker track, with Nettermalm's vocals losing any sense of innocence, and combined with understated guitar, a thumping rhythm section, and cello, it creates a rather doom laden pastiche very effectively.

Smartan continues the theme with mournful cello, piano, and effects linking with some more extremely fragile vocals. It is, again, extremely well executed, but you do, at this stage, however, begin to look for a somewhat lighter touch in the mood, and this is brought to us by Surrounded, which is a very good pop/rock song with delicate prog sensibilities and reminds me a bit of some of Magenta's lighter moments. It is, however, very welcome as taking us back to the mood of the opening tracks before the gloom totally took over.

I have no idea what Ploing, My Friend is all about, except to say that it is just short of one minute of percussive noodling and plinking. Perhaps it was Petronella's tea break, I don't know, but, whatever, when things return to normal with Precious, it is welcome. This is a very good commercial track that will have prog purists running for cover, I suppose, but I like it in much the same way as I still enjoy the better indie music that is out there. I especially like the keyboard work on this track.

The album closes with Over & Out, which is rather like its predecessor in terms of impact and influence, excepting it's not as good.

This is a good album, and I would recommend it to those who enjoy intelligent, modern rock music, without necessarily having to have prog in every note or passage. I especially like Nettermalm's vocals - she is a real talent, and, overall, the band are a very tight and effective unit.

Three stars for this. A very good album that is not remotely essential in terms of a prog collection.

lazland | 3/5 |


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