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Finnforest - Finnforest CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.87 | 52 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars [4.5 stars. Definitely]

There are few instrumental prog albums from the '70s better than this. You can put it right up there with Camel's 'The Snow Goose' and any Finch album in terms of recording quality, instrumental dexterity and general atmosphere. But still, 'Finnforest' doesn't sound like any other thing I've ever heard.

The recording quality exudes the things I love so much about '70s prog recordings: everything earthy, warm, organic, natural. You can almost hear the 1/4" thick analog tape zooming along the reels. The transfer from analog to digital seems not to have hurt the atmosphere of this album either. (I have the Love Records CD version, which also includes the 2nd album.)

Instrumental dexterity? Yeah, they've got it. Amidst a bed of rich and sumptuous keyboards, the dynamic center can be found between guitarist and drummer. Who, apparently, are brothers, which can certainly help the chemistry and tension, two crucial ingredients for great music-making. Pekka Tegelman's guitar work is especially noteworthy. A player both talented and intuitive, he spirals around each song's framework like a wizard, dispensing line after magic line. It's not the most insanely rapid, bizarre or virtuoso stuff either: it's how he plays what he plays. The melodies he chooses are often not obvious ones, but they work so well and manage to make this album hugely memorable long after the actual listening.

If you've shied away from non-vocal prog, worried that the anchor of human vocals makes the music seem empty (a criticism of instrumental rock music I've heard voiced several times), this album could change your mind. There's nothing weightier, more compelling or more familiar than the rich melodies and dynamic interplay that Finnforest's first album offers. Oh, and play it loud. This is jazzy instrumental progrock that actually rocks.

slipperman | 4/5 |


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