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FINNFOREST

Finnforest

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Eclipse
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Few bands manage to make an impressive debut album, most of them are still searching for their sound and getting more mature, experienced, and it is quite a challenge to already cause an amazing impression on the first work. Even my beloved PINK FLOYD didn't make a ground-shaking debut (don't get me wrong, "Piper At The Gates Of Down" is a good album, but it has some really weak moments in it - this is not the proper place to discuss them, though), neither GENESIS or YES, bands that are very worthy of the most deserved respect and appreciation until today by the various music lovers around the world. On the other hand, FINNFOREST and KING CRIMSON were two rare cases of an already glorious entrance at the prog world. The latter with their amazing ITCOTKC, and the former with this great self-titled jazz/fusion prog album.

"Finnforest" is sure a remarkable album, and my first experience with the JAZZ/FUSION subgenre. It has many great moments, and gets a bit heavier in some parts, and some few mellow sections. It's not a "beautiful" album, but certainly a very enjoyable and agradable one to listen to.

Being this first experience of mine with Jazz/Fusion such a pleasant one, i now feel like discovering more from this genre and from the short discography of this band from Finland. Strongly recommended (despite the sadly out of place closing track)!

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Send comments to Eclipse (BETA) | Report this review (#39265)
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
slipperman
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.

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Send comments to slipperman (BETA) | Report this review (#72146)
Posted Friday, March 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The core of this 70s Finnish prog band was twoo brothers, Pekka Tegelman (guitars, bass, drums) and Jussi Tegelman (drums). They're joined by keyboardist Jukka Rissanen to record this debut album. As this is a debut album, I am really impressed on how solid the music composition is. It blends the component of jazz and rock beautifully and reminds me to bands like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever, and sometimes Brand X.

Take example of the opening track "Mikä yö!" (5:27) which truly resembles what bands like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever and Brand X do with teir respective albums. Of course the key here is probably on aggressive guitar solo. But when we observe into detailed sounds and notes you would find something structurally progressive like second track "Sanaton laulu" (3:51) which changes in style. While on the third track "Happea" (4:39) takes keyboard work into the next level backed up by a very dynamic drums work followed by guitar solo. Right here I can see that the music is similar with Colosseum II. I really admire how the guitar is performed here, so stunning. Right after the break with "Koin siipesi" (2:52) the music moves up in fast speed jazz rock music with "Paikalliset tuulet" (4:17). The combined work of guitar and keyboard is really stunning!

Overall, I believe this album would really satisfy those of you who love jazz-rock fusion. The composition is tight and all tracks form a cohesive music from opening to end. Highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#179260)
Posted Saturday, August 09, 2008 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
4 stars Tremendeously high skilled finnish band that explored the sound of prog rock by mid 70's...Their eponymous fully instrumental debut album lasts just over half an hour but it's quite enough to leave you a satisfying taste...Despite the presence of legendary jazz-rock bands such as WIGWAM and TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTI in Finland,FINNFOREST don't drow their influences from the finnish scene.They seem heavily insired by the US fusion style of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA,RETURN TO FOREVER and WEATHER REPORT,especially in the guitar and keyboard work...Where the sounds gets slightly symphonic FOCUS come in mind and in the most complex intrerplay parts GENTLE GIANT's progressive rock is what hits me the most...Excellent non-stopping musicianship!...This album was really a pleasant surprise for me,for all the above reasons I highly recommended this one for all the fans of progressive rock without exception...Sorry,but I need to give this piece of music another careful spin!...4 full stars!

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#184689)
Posted Saturday, October 04, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars.This is a short record at just over 32 minutes, but man what an album ! The star of this recording is lead guitarist Pekka Tegelman, and his brother Jussi does a fantastic job on the drums, while Jukka Rissanen rounds out the trio on the organ.

"Mika Yo" opens with organ and gentle guitar, quite pastoral. Drums and a full sound arrive 1 1/2 minutes in and it really sounds great. It's actually a little dark with the guitar crying out. The background organ sounds just right. A calm 4 minutes in before it kicks back in to end it. What a start ! "Sanaton Laulu" opens again with organ with a full sound arriving a minute in. The organ and drums create the base while the guitar comes in playing over top. Beautiful sounding music. The tempo picks up 2 minutes in. More great guitar after 3 minutes as it settles back down to original melody. "Happea" shines after a minute when it kicks in with pounding drums and ripping guitar. It lightens up after 2 minutes with organ leading the way. Guitar is back to end it.

"Koin Siipesi" is a pastoral song, my least favourite but it's the shortest. "Paikalliset Tuulet" features some energetic guitar playing with drums, then the organ comes in. A drum solo 2 1/2 minutes in. The guitar returns with organ a minute later. "Aallon Vaihto" opens with a nice jazzy sound. Organ comes in and is more prominant before 1 1/2 minutes. Piano follows then the tempo picks up 2 1/2 minutes in. Guitar solo a minute later is restrained. "Kunnes" is fairly laid back for the first 2 minutes. Then the guitar comes in and the rest of the song is outstanding. The piano is beautiful after 3 minutes. "P.S." features outbusts of sound in this the final instrumental display on the album. The keys, drums and aggressive guitar recall MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA for me.

I just really like the mood that is set by these Finns, and the lead guitar and Hammond organ doesn't hurt either.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#186205)
Posted Friday, October 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Finnforest is a great guy who's contributed a lot to the site, particularly through his work with the RPI team, and his avatar is like a Star Trek person who...

Oh, wait, this is for reviewing the *album* Finnforest, not the reviewer. Sorry.

Finnforest play in a light airy jazz-rock fusion style reminiscent of Canterbury scene bands such as Gilgamesh, late-period Soft Machine, or Egg as they appeared on The Civil Surface. Pekka Tegelman's guitar work is the main attraction of the album, though Jukka Rissanen's contributions on keyboards and synths are also worth a mention. Whilst I wouldn't say they were a particularly groundbreaking act, they do a more than competent job of producing an enjoyable album in this particular style, one which will probably give pleasure to anyone keen on second-tier late-period Canterbury groups.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#547886)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

A band that found its origins in Kuopio (in the centre of Finland) among the taiga lakes and forests that abound in the region (hence the group's name), the group's origins are made from the Jussi and Pekka Tegelman twin brothers (drums and guitars respectively) who then met classically-trained keyboardist Rissanen and bass player Hiekkala and a vocalist. But by the time of their debut album's recording, they were down to an instrumental trio, with the guitarist handling the bass. Graced with a parachute artwork, recorded in Stockholm in just four days and released on Finland's main label, Love Records, the debut album fluctuates between some organ-led symphonic prog and some fiery jazz-rock in a mix that can recall Focus' style.

Opening on the soft and slow Mika Yo, the album finds a typically Scandinavian melancholic organ-drenched mood, one that follows on Sanaton Lolou, although it slowly picks up speed and energy. Generally you can say that the album's A-side is rather symphonically-gentle and smooth, while the flipside is much more fiery and energetic. Tegelman's guitar takes on fiery edges of a master like McLaughlin, and it is rather obvious that the band had heard of the fusion of Mahavishnu Orchestra before. Indeed if one can hear some of the Lizst influences (due to Rissanen's Hungarian studies), one can also detect some Mahavishnuian-deformed Stravinsky ambiances as well. The closing fusionesque PS (post-scriptum) is a good indication of what to come in the near future

Apparently well-received by the critics, the band only played a few gigs as keyboardist Rissanen returned to his musical studies (yup, in Hungary!!), so this relatively short album is the only testimony of that line-up, but it's a very interesting one, and probably the easiest for symphonic-minded progheads. Note that I've reviewed this first album through the excellent Laser's Edge 2on1 CD release, though.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#643419)
Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 | Review Permalink

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