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Project / PPRY - Raising the Skeletons of Fire by Hand CD (album) cover

RAISING THE SKELETONS OF FIRE BY HAND

Project / PPRY

Symphonic Prog


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Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This third album - according to their website - of Finnish act PPRY/Project is at times a really interesting escapade.

Their chosen style resides somewhere in between symphonic prog and space rock; with organ and synth layers as dominant elements of their excursions. Rather than dramatic and energetic they opt for a more dreamy approach; often with big soundscapes and rich textures rather than ambient and mellow excursions; and they do tend to mix their space-tinged explorations with themes and passages completely without these elements, resulting in music truly hard to place in terms of progressive rock categories.

The downside of this album are twofold - mix and production leaves a lot to be desired; and the vocal passages even more so. Thankfully the instrumental segments dominates the compositions at hand; and the one long segment where the vocal input does work - the last 8 minutes of the last track - is a stunning effort with grimly spoken words on top of a floating, fluctuating rich synth tapestry that is truly amazing.

Lots of talent and lots of promise here; and with better production and a decent vocalist this would have been a top notch creation.

Report this review (#214685)
Posted Sunday, May 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
Matti
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is a follow-up to the 2005 "PROJECT" album Name Stolen. A bit confusing band history really, and their debut - unfamiliar to me - is altogether missing here. Again, this oddly named album succeeds very well in sounding like obscure psych-oriented, PINK FLOYD influenced Krautrock from the 70's. Even more so this time, since the production is further from modern standards. A devoted Psych fan may take it as a positive thing, but I think the sound is a bit too blurred. The bigger difference concerns the vocals: whereas Name Stolen features both theatrical narration and cool-sounding vocal harmonies, this one's more instruentally oriented and the scarce vocals are strangely hazy, unfocused, colourless, nearly unmelodic as well.

The compositions are mostly lengthy and hurriless, not very melodic, concentrating on the pychedelic haze. Guitars and strong bass dominate, and Hammond hovers in the background, but occasionally a flute or a Moog make refreshing appearances. In that sense the highlights are the VdGG-spirited 'Procession Forms' with its flute parts and 'A Passage to the Court Prevails'. All in all, the 70-minute album feels too directionless for its own good.

The last tack is nearly 26 minutes in total, but in the middle there's a 2+ minute silence, followed by some sort of a hidden track. Actually I find it to be the most intriguing piece, in which a low-key voice of a train passenger half-whispers his dystopian story set in the future, backed by a ghostly synth soundscape. Sure, if you're deeply interested in the more obscure German bands of the 70's (the stuff re-issued on the Garden of Delights label), the Finnish PPRY may offer you an unexpected retro delight. To me however, Name Stolen works clearly better.

Report this review (#1578474)
Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2016 | Review Permalink
3 stars "FROM START TO FINNISH : PART THREE"

PPRY was formed in Riihimäki, Finland 1993 as a medium for its members to perform musical material. In 2000 they released their debut album Project Forest, in 2002 the album Name Stolen under the temporary name Project (in 2005 re-released by the Italian progrock label Mellow Records) and late 2008 PPRY released their third effort entitled Raising The Skeletons Of Fire By Hand. This is a concept album that tells what really happened in Sarajevo in 1914 (when the archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated), according to PPRY department of research and study.

In 2005 I was delighted about their previous album Name Stolen, and dedicated it to Finnish super soccer player Jari Litmanen (who played in Dutch team Ajax and won the World Cup in 1995). So I was very curious to this successor. Well, PPRY their sound on this album is varied and often atmospheric.

Ominous keyboards, twanging acoustic guitar and a final part with a sensitive electric guitar solo in At The Brink Of Madness.

Lots of flowing shifting moods (from folky to psychedelic) and wonderful vintage keyboards (like Hammond organ and clavinet) in The Procession Forms.

From compelling with fiery guitar/lush organ and spacey with synthesizers to a heavy swinging rhythm with flute, synthesizer, Hammond and a fiery (Gilmourian) guitar solo in the alternating For The Presence Of Those Who Are The Sentinel.

Exciting propulsive and heavy climates with inventive work on guitar and keyboards in The Herald And Their Tiran.

And again a varied sound with wonderful synthesizer work in A Passage To The Court Prevails.

The ghost of 1970-1973 Pink Floyd reigns in the long and alternating composition As A Single Word Sets Forth An Ocean Of Souls: interesting changing atmospheres with compelling work on guitar, Hammond and synthesizers.

Although the English vocals are mediocre and in some songs the music sounds a bit too fragmentic or lacks direction, I am pleased with PPRY their adventurous blend of several styles that delivers lots of interesting and sometimes very compelling musical moments.

Report this review (#1952816)
Posted Saturday, July 28, 2018 | Review Permalink

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