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Hidria Spacefolk - Symetria CD (album) cover


Hidria Spacefolk

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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4 stars Hidria Spacerock

Much more harder and rockier than its predecessors, the third release from HIDRIA SPACEFOLK clearly marks a change. No flutes, no marimbas here, the finnish band decided to trade its folk and soft trippy music for a more "classical" heavy synth space rock, in the likes of HAWKWIND, the OZRICs, sometimes PORCUPINE TREE and even RUSH. Less innovative, but nonetheless quite inspired and powerful.

The change of direction can be heard from the HALLUCINOGEN-esque introduction of the title track. The rock melody that follows confirms the fact by emphasizing on the guitar work. "Futur Ixiom" has some DREAM THEATER moods. Wait... are they the same musicians that recorded "Symbiosis" ? Yes, seem to be. The track is in fact top-notch space metal. The next song, "322", ventures more in the direction of stoner rock, to finish with funk trumpets and cot-cot guitars. Dancing planets! "Flora/Fauna" is maybe the least interesting moment of the record. The tune tries to re-create a POPOL VUH ballad (post-72), but fails to really keep attention. Fortunetaly, a new ambiance appears at the end of the song, much more powerful and original with its aquatic synthetizers. Back to space with the ELOY-ish "Radien" which will launch you into the universe and its unexplored places... where live terrible creatures put in music in the last song, "Sine", the heavier moment of the disc ! Oscillating between SABBATH and HAWKIND, the track has many changes and sounds very dark and mysterious.

If you're familiar with HIDRIA SPACEFOLK, you'll be surprised at listening "Symetria". However, if you're into space rock, this album, with its various influences, will please you for sure.

Report this review (#125468)
Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars After the exuberance of Live at 11am we have a studio album from the Finnish spaceproggers. Hot on its heels is the Live at Heart release recorded at the Burg Yerzberg festival which presents us with live versions of 4 of the tracks from this new album (only 322 and Flora/Fauna are ommitted)

While this is a "heavier" album it is also one which introduces cello, accordion, trumpet, trombone and harmonium (not your usual equipment list for a rocking night out). Hidria have pushed the envelope more in this album than I expected. There is the same weaving of themes within a track but there are more grand sweeps, significant control and contrast of mood.

This the "proggest" offering yet (if such a word has any meaning).

The title track has an unmistakable Hidria opening but there is a more accomplished balance and harmony between the elements that existed in the earlier albums. There is now clear blue water between the Spacefolk and Ozric Tentacles to whom they are invariably compared. Some of the guitar work towards the end of the track reminds me of early Steve Rothery.

Futur Ixiom is a quantum leap from previous albums. The opening couple of minutes are accomplished spacerock, with the emphasis on rock. 322 opens like a Led Zep number but the le Hidria synth appears and all seems to be heading for satisfying conclusion, when, Hey! hold on, breakdown, funky drum beat and brass section: it's Starsky & Hutch. Groovy Baby! You just could not see that one coming: excellent.

Floar/Fauna is an interesting change of mood, accordion included. I enjoyed the slower, measured feel, and the heavier end was interesting.

Radien is a classic. This is quintessential Hidria. Driving bass, bubbles, tight drums welded to that bass and the guitar picking out a simple distinctive riff. No sign of the Vai/Wynne soloing. The changes of tempo and rhythm are smoother and the mood can be a little darker. Excellent

The first few bars of Sine could be early Sabbath (waiting for Ozzy to come in ... "Generals gathered in ....) but the tempo rises. The modd is brought right down to an ambient hypntoic level. So much more control and patience here than I expected. Guitar is measured and sound & tone spot on. A range of influences abound: Sabbath (with quite a few Ward-esque rolls) at times there's a hint of Hawkwind and even Rush.

With a wave of the hand we are definitely back in Hidria territory:

but boy has this territory expanded.

Best yet ...

Report this review (#126769)
Posted Monday, June 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is the first release I’ve become acquainted with from these Finnish space-rockers, and I must admit they work for me better than OZRICs or related bands. Nothing too “out there” or experimental here, but a huge dose of classy HEAVY Space-Rock a-la HAWKWIND plus some folky tunes thrown here and there. It’s relatively short and easy to enjoy (it simply ends where it should begin to bore you :) ). “Radien”, “Sine” and “322” are among my favourite tracks here, they’re pretty varied and groovy without being too complex or over-arranged. I liked what these folks proposed here and I’m already interested in their previous efforts. If I chance to get them, I’ll definitely leave some CDs for my collection ;) Recommended!
Report this review (#138835)
Posted Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first time I listened to it I was a bit disappointed. Then, after a few more listenings, I thought this is maybe the best Hidria album yet. But now, after too many listenings I'm a bit tired of it. It's sounds a bit different from the others, not as psychedelic, but a heavier and "colder" sound, sometimes even like metal. Actually I don't appreciate these heavier parts very much. It may sound like I don't like this album, but I do. It's a very good album. Hidria is one of my absolute favourite bands, but I miss the more psychedelic and cosy sound of their earlier works. The greatest tracks are 322 and Radien.
Report this review (#149694)
Posted Friday, November 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow, this album was a very pleasant surprise!! I´ve been a Hidria Fan since their EP "HDRSF-1", and have spent a lot of effort and money on getting all their releases from down here on Uruguay, and i think "Symetria" represents easily their best effort since the aforementioned debut. Don´t get me wrong i LOVED "Symbiosis" and "Balansia" as much as any selfrespecting Spacefarer would do, and really enjoyed the electronic techno beat dominating the latter, but i felt that it lacked a certain organic feeling present in the debut EP, i always say that it is the most danceable Space Rock album of all time, and at last, with "Symetria" we´re getting the groove back on this Spacefolk!! As other reviewers had commented the Hawkwind influence is very strong in this one, and IMHO that can only mean space rock heaven. Here is an album with a lot of range to it, we have the classic Hidria sound present in the tracks "Symetria" and the absolutely mindbending "Radien", their harder, more rockier edge is also present in "Futur Ixiom", "322" and "Sine" with his Sabbathy grooviness, and last but not least the folky and serene "Flora-Fauna" and its accordion driven charm.

Well, if you enjoy Hidria Spacefolk or any incarnation of the cosmic sounds of the Space Rock genre, you will absolutely LOVE this album, i really think it´s their most mature outing to date, taking all that which made great their previous albums and keeping it exiting and fresh.

Spacefarer out.

Report this review (#151607)
Posted Sunday, November 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars really. I like Hidria Spacefolk. I really do. I have all their studio LPs and if another one comes out, I will more than likely pick it up. They are consistently good. I never come across a weak track. But then, I also rarely come across an amazing track either. They are very enjoyable to listen to, but the music all has a certain sameness to it. I find I really enjoy them in small doses mixed in with other albums, but if I listen to HS for an hour straight I get easily bored. This is instrumental fast moving space rock sort of half-way between Hawkwind and Ozric Tentacles. Enjoyable but not distinctive enough for a 4 from me.
Report this review (#219822)
Posted Thursday, June 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars Fine, if this is direction, where Space prog escalated, then it's a(w)right. What is so spacy about it after all ? Maybe the sounds, maybe the concept, structure, but mostly, sounds. One simply can feel it, uplifting, co(s)mic winds that blows through prog galaxy, not careful about where they go, because it does blow fast and hard.

And also in cycles, as it can be seen as repetitive music by some. Like wise and mighty wikipedia says, "some argue" (which mostly shows opinion of writer of this addition to text, but wrapped in fancy words so it does not look like his opinion, but as opinion of "many"). And yeah, some argue that this music is masterpiece of all albums, or at least one of the best, while others don't know what the hell is going on here and why everyone's making fuss about it.

Who knows, I myself am not sure. I don't feel that it's bad enough to give 3 & lower, but not feeling for proper four star rating too.

3(+), music that doesn't surprise, but also doesn't offend. And should please you, if you weren't expecting too much. Cacophony at times. Too weary at times, promising (at times, you know the drill)

Report this review (#262879)
Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is the latest studio album from HIDRIA SPACEFOLK called "Symetria". Their debut called "Symbiosis" is one I hold in high esteem when it comes to this genre.The one that followed and this their third studio album just don't measure up to it be honest. Sure they're both good albums but I feel spoiled after hearing their debut first. As someone else mentioned this one is maybe more straightforward and less innovative.The bottom line for me is that it had few moments that I really enjoyed. In that sense I feel that out of their three studio albums this is my least favourite.

"Symetria" opens with pounding drums and bass as the guitar and synths play over top. It's heavier before 1 1/2 minutes.Some good guitar before 2 minutes and after 4 minutes on this one. "Futur Lxiom" has a catchy rhythm early on. It settles before 2 1/2 minutes. Processed words come and go.It kicks back in around 4 minutes.This is good.The guitar sounds great 7 minutes in. "322" is my favourite, but even this one lets me down towards the end. Strummed guitar to open as the heaviness joins in quickly.This all sounds really good until it changes before 5 minutes.

"Flora / Fauna" has some guest accordion and a mellow soundscape early on. It gets fuller then settles back. Contrasts continue until a change for the better 3 minutes in as the tempo picks up. Guitar after 4 minutes, then the accordion returns 5 1/2 minutes in. Great track ! "Radien" builds until we get this catchy beat.The guitar is prominant 2 1/2 minutes in. It settles 5 minutes in but not for long. Great sound 7 minutes in. The OZRICS come to mind here. "Sine" has a darker than usual sound to start. It picks up before a minute then settles back 2 1/2 minutes in with spacey synths. Very psychedelic and I love it. It picks up 6 1/2 minutes in. A calm 10 minutes in to the end.

3 stars.

Report this review (#300370)
Posted Friday, September 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars On Hidria Spacefolk's latest studio album the band finally emerge from the shadow of Ozric Tentacles and establish their own sound. The fast-paced guitar-centred soundscapes on Symetria recall the textures of the faster and less languid post-rock bands, so the end result is an interesting fusion - space rock flavoured with post-rock, emerging at around the same time that the underrated Maserati were experimenting with post-rock tempered with space rock. With a harder edge to it and slightly more metal influence than Hidria's previous albums (and the Ozrics' own work), this is an intriguing, muscular space rock album which updates the genre admirably.
Report this review (#726139)
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 | Review Permalink

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