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Höyry-Kone Huono Parturi album cover
4.30 | 168 ratings | 14 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beata Viscera (6:53)
2. Terva-Antti Ku Häihin Lähti (4:02)
3. Karhunkaato (4:21)
4. Lumisaha (4:39)
5. Baksteri (1:57)
6. Huono Parturi (4:52)
7. Ullakon Lelut (2:19)
8. Tottele (2:39)
9. Kala (5:11)
10. Laahustaja (6:21)
11. Laina-Ajalla (5:27)

Total Time: 46:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Tuomas Hänninen / guitar
- Jussi Kärkkäinen / guitar
- Topi Lehtipuu / violin, vocals
- Marko Manninen / cello
- Jarno Sarkula / basses, flute, backing vocals
- Teemu Hänninen / drums

- Peter Nordins / drums (4,8)
- Pasi Kiiski / performer (5)
- Patrik Latvala / performer (5)
- Robert Löflund / performer (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Janne Lehtinen (photo)

CD Ad Perpetuam Memoriam ‎- APM 9720 AT (1997, Sweden)
CD Laskeuma Records ‎- LR666 (2014, Europe) Remastered by Svante Forsbäck

LP Ad Perpetuam Memoriam ‎- APM 9720 AT (1997, Norway)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HÖYRY-KONE Huono Parturi ratings distribution

(168 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

HÖYRY-KONE Huono Parturi reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
5 stars This second album sees HK reduced to a sextet (from the original octet), but believe me, they make as much chaos (if not more) now then back then. Again released on the small Swedish label APM, this means that this album is probably just as rare as their debut in today's market. Graced with a strange artwork featuring what appears to be a hairdresser (the scissors on the second page), the gatefold and back cover presents the group with a full black tie orchestra affair with a strong sense of derision. For those who have seen them live (I am among the lucky ones), this postures presents an integral part of their show, making them quite a wild experience live as well. Again Anekdoten is present in this album in the form of their drummer Nordins adding some drums on two tracks. Although not playing with the group, he was present accompanying HK on their tour for the only concert of them I saw.

A very lengthy intro of almost 7-min with heavenly vocals on a new age soundtrack opens the album is rather unexpected manner, but this is a strange calculation for the crazy Crimsonian (circa Aspic) follow-up three tracks with Topi Letihuu's operatic vocals at the forefront and manninen's cello underlining the whole thing giving a power that rises the dead from their graves. While their music is melancholic, it is not as dark as their debut album (and much less depressing than most of the Scandic fellows) and at times is so weird that it becomes almost funny by derision. I would not say that they are funny in a Zappa fashion, but there is certainly a dimension of Frank included, but mixed with Crimson and X-Legged Sally (but less so than on the debut album, for this effort is less jazzy), even if just as I write this, comes a short full jazz interlude Baksteri, but this is almost it.

The second part of the album is off with the weird title track with a quaint rhythm and almost ridiculous vocal part, but blistering underlying guitar parts just waiting to explode after (and if) the vocals leave the fore front, never really comes to fruition. After a short violin-cello-synth trio (Ullakon), the hardcore-like Tottele, the hard-soft Kala, the album ends with a series of tracks that are sometimes reminiscent of Crimson's best moments (I love the middle section of Laahustaia) and the closer has some dramatic vocals accompanying a desperate music. Grandiose!!! Well, Kone's swan song is a fitting one when thinking of the group's overall originality in sound, and I must say that one of the good thing about bands that record only two or three albums is that they do not end up like the shadow of their previous selves. Hard to say which of the two albums I prefer, but this one appears more even in terms of strength of songs.

Review by hdfisch
5 stars Masterpiece of Finnish Avant-Prog

So now I finally managed to grab this crazy finnish guys after I learnt to love their heirs Alamaailman Vasarat since quite a while. Don't worry Hugues you spelled it correctly. I had always problems with asking somebody whether he knows them. Huono Parturi was their second album and supposed to be their more mature one (haven't listened to their debut unfortunately).

It starts with a gregorian chant where we can admire the awesome tenor vocals of Topi Lehtipuu. Second track comes almost like an explosion with an incredibe heavyness and really fantastic cello and violin. Karhunkaato is a bit weird one, as well rather heavy and with vocals again. The devil's ride through the madhouse continues with the following tracks. Crazy but they manage all the time to keep it still within a listenable and enjoyable frame. Just an awesome mix of different styles like chamber music, Zheul, Crimson, Metal and whatever else. Almost impossible to describe, you have to listen to this stuff. But as Jimbu wrote already, if you're not used to stuff like Alamaailman Vasarat or even tougher, better check it before buying.

An absolute MASTERPIECE and MUST-HAVE for any open-minded and adventureous Prog fan!!!!

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Everything I've said about Höyry-Kone's debut album can also be applied to their second album: I might only add that I like "Huono Parturi" better, since I find the band's increased refinement more appealing. Anyway, the refinement is not incorporated as an alternative to the band's raw sonic power, but as a more sophisticated strategy to deal with it and translate it into radical progressive music. In fact, I would even say that this album has a more "ordained" feel to it, and I don't mean that Höyry-Kone gives up on their taste for complexity at all: it's only that the compositions convey a more controlled "madness" and the deliveries tend to be a bit less aggressive. This gives room to a more featured presence of the violin and cello appearances. That being said, let's make it clear that, given the fact that "Huono Parturi" has a rockier edge than its predecessor, madness and aggression are still very evident in the band's overall sound - yes, sir! Anyway, the album kicks off in a most un-rocky manner: 'Beata Viscera' is a delightful sort-of-religious chant (though I suspect that the Latin lyrics do not deal with mystic stuff), where violinist Topi Lehtipuu delivers his vocal duties like a majestic emerald that emanates an eerie light across the haze of an autumn evening. His voice is really beautiful, something that doesn't usually show since he's mostly keen on phony operatics and funny modulations. And let's keep in mind that serenity is the weird thing in Höyry-Kone's world: the next three numbers showcase perfectly the Storm-und-Drang essence of the band's musical direction - raw dual guitars, compulsive rhythm patterns, unexpected shifts and twists, complex polyphonic amalgams of guitars, violin and cello. 'Barksteri' is a brief fun fair- meets- Dixieland motif played by a guest wind ensemble - a moment of frivolous relief in the middle of the album's general raw tension. And yes, the relief is only momentary: the title track brings back the band's crazy dissonant vibe, this time with the addition of jazzy nuances and folk- influenced chanting. Track 7 is another brief instrumental interlude, this time focused on the elaboration of Univers Zero-esque somber ambiences: it announces the hard rocking explosion of 'Tottele', which is sort of a near death-metal experience with a slight Crimsonian twist. 'Kala' alternates aggressive passages with other ethereal ones through the use of Arabic-like motifs: the vocal arrangement delivered in this track's middle section is really captivating. 'Laahustaja' goes back to Univers Zero/Present- inspired territory, while the closing track provides an air of introspection under an early Anekdoten-meets-post rock wrap. The latter feels pleasantly eerie during its first section, before the dual electric guitars burst out and the whole ensemble joins them in yet another display of dissonant textures; the initial sung motif is soon retaken while the new level of energy keeps itself effectively increased. Every time I listen to this song I see myself hopelessly drawn by the combination of drama, reflectiveness and tension that is so powerfully reflected in both the instrumentation and the singing. Overall conclusion: Hoyry-Kone's "Huono Parturi" is a disturbing prog masterpiece for the 90s, a classic of our contemporary times. 4.5-5 stars!
Review by kev rowland
3 stars One thing that can certainly be said about Swedish label APM is that they release music that does not fit the norm. This 1997 CD has only just been given a full release, as the label are once again planning to release new albums in the forthcoming months and this is at the forefront of the APM revival.

I just can't get my head around this album at all. The first song is nearly seven minutes of classical singing. Then when guitars get going and songs start to make some sort of sense, even though there is a cello at work as well, off they go on a totally different tangent altogether. While they are going to be compared with King Crimson and Anekdoten at their most eclectic, this is an album that is a challenge to listen to, to say the least.

The listener comes away somewhat baffled at what he has been listening to yet at the same time glad that he has been through the experience. This is music that will defeat even most progheads and even having played it a few times I am still not sure if I like it. It is strangely compelling, visual yet disturbing.

Feedback #58, May 2000

Review by el böthy
5 stars Avant Garde is a genre, if not THE genre, that holds the medal for most "unknown" masterpieces in Prog. More than any other genre, at least in my eyes, and this, ladys and gentlemen, is one of those masterpieces.

Huono Parturi, Höyry Kone´s second and (sadly) last album is one of those strokes of genius from start to finish, no weak parts, no flaws, no good parts either... just excellent from the get go. It is true, this album is pretty much perfect, IF we are into Avant music, if not... well, we might enjoy it also, for it is, quite accesible, but something will be lacking, that certain "perfection". Strange indeed, if we take in consideration much of the most adventurous and hard to digest music, pretty much in general, falls under this category. Still, the obvious warning is present: This is not for everybody, you have to be open mindend and bla bla bla... But, as said before, if you aren´t really into Avant, but want to have a taste of it, Höyry Kone might plug you right in.

The line up is pretty much a proghead´s wet dream, for we have two guitars, one bass, drums, flutes, violin, cello and an opera like singer. Pretty damn impressive to see on paper and it sound´s even better, and even though they´ve lost two members (and instruments for that matter) from the previous album, an oboe and synths, there is really no lack of anything here, this record sounds as full as it can possibly get.

The stand outs in this album is the first, the second, the third, the fourth etc... song. In other words, they are all stand outs, they are all equally good, but some mentions must be given to Beata Viscera, the album opener, for it´s atmospheric music and impressive vocal job from Topi Lehtipuu,.. jejeje funny name, and Terva-Antti Ku Häihin Latí, the next song, a great instrumental, which will show how the rest of the album will follow. The rest is, as said before, just as good, but this two are sort to speak the best representatives of this album. One thing that must be mentioned from Hono Parturi is that no song, with the exception of Beata Viscera (6:53) and Laahustaja (6:21), is longer that 5 minutes, yet they manage to put as much music, changes and complexity into each song as humanly possible, which makes me remember Gentle Giant, for they had this ability too... and you know thats always good.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger on 5 stars is that first track. It's the longest and is pretty much these male operatic vocals throughout. Other than that this album smokes man. Their second and last studio record shows them contrasting the heaviness with the more laid back sections to perfection. It's pretty cool that ANEKDOTEN's drummer Peter Nordins helps out on the kit.

"Beata Viscera" is that song I was talking about as we get these laid back operatic vocals and atmosphere throughout. I just can't get into this unfortunately. "Terva-Antti Ku Haihin Lahti" kicks in hard and we get strings too as drums pound. The flute also joins the party. "Karhunkaato" has a fairly solid sound to open then it settles with vocals before a minute. it picks back up a minute later when the vocals stop as contrasts continue. "Lumisaha" is a top three for me. It's uptempo and heavy before it settles back, but it's still heavy here with vocal expressions. Vocals after 2 minutes and it's still heavy as the tempo continues to shift. It's quite intense after 4 minutes. "Baksteri" is a short and somewhat silly instrumental. "Huono Parturi" is heavy to start then it settles with strings. Vocals before a minute.

"Ullakron Lelut" is a short and laid back melancholic instrumental. "Tottele" has an experimental intro then it kicks in hard. We get a very heavy rhythm here. "Kala" is a top three as well. It's fairly heavy early then vocals come in before a minute. It settles back 2 minutes in with strings. Vocal melodies come in as it settles back some more. It's building before 4 minutes then it kicks in. Vocals follow. "Laahustaja" opens with heavy guitar and a beat as strings join in. It settles with flute after 2 minutes. The flute continues but it turns heavy again as contrasts continue. It then kicks in hard after 4 minutes before settling a minute later. "Laina-Ajalla" is the final track and my last top three. Vocals and strings lead early then it turns fuller before kicking in with ripping guitar before 2 1/2 minutes. The vocals are back. Amazing sound !

Review by Warthur
4 stars Höyry-Kone beginning this album with an adaptation of Beata Viscera, a piece of 12th Century music by Pérotin. Giving way from monastic chant into the frenzied Univers Zero-influenced chamber prog of Höyry-Kone may be a shock to the system, but it's hardly the only surprise you'll get listening to the various twists and turns on the album. Take the second track Terva-Antti Ku Häihin Lähti - kicking off with a dark guitar-dominated range reminiscent of Larks' Tongues In Aspic before an invasion of violin takes the lead, with the two battling it out for control over the rest of the composition. If this is the last of Höyry-Kone's studio albums, let us be glad they lasted long enough to give us this.
Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars Things remain wildly unpredictable and utterly bizarre on HUONO PARTURI (Bad Haircut), the second and final album of HÖYRY- KONE's (Steam Engine) ten year run. With an eerie radioactive cover that looks like some sci-fi horror scene from a 60's B-movie, the music contained within however crafts another eleven tracks of true avant-garde weirdness as one of Finland's finest takes a whole bunch of disparate ingredients such as King Crimson-esque prog, heavy alternative metal, chamber rock in opposition, Gregorian chants, gypsy folk with touches of jazz and classical infused throughout and stews it all down into one of the most satisfying musical alchemical experiences in all of experimental rock.

HUONO PARTURI finds the band returning with the same core members of Jussi Kärkkäinen, Hänninen, Jarno Sarkula (bass), Tuomas Hänninen (guitar), Topi Lehtipuu (vocals, violin), Jukka Hannukainen (vocals and keys) and Marko Manninen (cello) but with a whole new set of supporting characters conjuring up one strange eclectic mix of prog gymnastics. Despite the new crew on board, this second offering very much continues the unique sound that HÖYRY-KONE set forth on the debut however this time around it all sounds a little more streamlined and less frenetic without the incessant zigzagging but be assured that this is by no means even remotely close to being considered an accessible album.

This album starts off very strangely with a track that is completely out of place with the rest, namely a modern day interpretation of "Beata VIscera" which was composed all the way back in the 12th century by Pérotin. After this unusual opening chorus of Gregorian chants, the album jumps straight into a heavier rock and metal format with jittery guitar angularities reminiscent of the King Crimson "Red" era, however as with the debut album finds classically infused chamber prog a la Univers Zero that weaves into the heavier rock which creates a larger than life dynamism especially as the rhythmic stomps tend to gravitate towards gypsy folk and polka music.

"Baksteri" sounds like a form of progressive klezmer actually and even though no musicians are credited there are various horn sounds such as a tuba as well as what sounds like a clarinet. The title track delivers a hefty metallic intro with stomping angry guitars but then morphs into an avant-garde gypsy folk sound with Topi Lehtipuu's operatic vocal style that reminds me most of the passionate romantic vocalists of the 70s Italian prog scene. For the most part HÖYRY-KONE continues the dual lead guitar with the violin and cello creating bizarre counterpoints with the vocals. It's almost as if different sections of the band created separate composiitons and then they sort of found a way to make them all do nasty things together. Not an easy task but HÖYRY-KONE makes it all sound so effortless.

Once again highly technical workouts are teased into playful bouts of surprise but never supplanting any sort of melodic development that while avant in nature, always dominates the soundscapes. While described by many as the Finnish version of King Crimson, the truth is HÖYRY-KONE has a sound completely their own and is distinct even from the band Alamaailman Vasarat which was the next step for many of the members after this band broke up in 2002. From tender Gregorian chants to the angry metal stomps of "Tottele" and "Laahustaja," HÖYRY-KONE didn't disappoint and suffered no sophomore slump. Very few bands have mastered the skill to mix so many disparate influences and make it sound so natural.

HUONO PARTURI may have resulted in some bad haircuts but it certainly didn't affect the creativity or instrumental interplay of the musicians involved. This music is utterly fascinating in how cleverly crafted it all is and how the band can effortlessly fuse heavy metal with avant-prog, chamber rock and more folk oriented genres. This band is one of the true under the radar gems out there and perhaps the strangest beast ever to emerge from the Finnish prog scene. For my money i prefer the debut album just a smidge over this one but there is no denying that HUONO PARTURI is not as brilliant and demanding as its predecessor despite it being the slightly more accessible and significantly heavier of the two.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Possessed by both the craziness and virtuosic genius of both King Crimson and Frank Zappa, this Finnish band provided the 1990s with two superb albums of heavy chamber prog. I agree with other reviewers that this album, the band's second, is better than their debut because it is less dark and, more, because it shows a more polished, better engineered version of their virtuosic skills as composers and musicians.

1. "Beata Viscera" (6:53) opens with low drone and lone mediæval monk Topi Lehtipuu singing in Latin. Amazing! In the third minute the low-end drone is doubled (tripled) by other instruments as the vocalist continues with increased passion. Things soften again at 3:45 until 5:30 when Topi stops and the drones and overtone-chanting takes over. (15/15)

2. "Terva-Antti Ku Häihin Lähti" (4:02) like King Crimson and Frank Zappa at their craziest and most polished and complex--only performed with chamber instruments alongside the rock electric one. (9.5/10)

3. "Karhunkaato" (4:21) this one opens with more of a heavy prog feel/sound but then takes a 222 degree turn left and oblique into Romany or Slavic rock opera. (9/10)

4. "Lumisaha" (4:39) lots of hand and stick-hit percussives (makes me think of P-We YOSHIMI's tribal rhythms on her OOIOO project's albums). The whispered vocals also remind me of OOIOO, but the operatic vocalise in the background and heavy, odd-tempoed Crimson-like foundational music say otherwise (more like Zeuhl bands RUINS or UNIT WAIL). Topi's vocals come full operatic (á la That Joe Payne) before the song reaches its finish. (9/10)

5. "Baksteri" (1:57) a kind of carnival-public orchestral interlude with a horn/winds quartet. (4.5/5)

6. "Huono Parturi" (4:52) abrasive, angular notes and chords open this one before cello takes over with drums, bass, and saw-like guitar accompanying. A switch as Topi enters with a very dramatic cabaret-like voice. I feel as if I'm watching an outdoor performance of some Punch and Judy puppet show on a side-street of some old bricked road in an old mediæval inner city of a European city. Not my favorite; more repetitive than most other H-K songs. (8.5/10)

7. "Ullakon Lelut" (2:19) pipe organ sounding arpeggi opens before cello and then volume-controlled electric guitar and hand drums join in. Very cool and unusual sound palette. (4.5/5)

8. "Tottele" (2:39) pure feedback/special Fx noises opens this before a 70s Red-era King Crimson groove and palette take over. Could verily have come out of the Red sessions. (10/10)

9. "Kala" (5:11) opens with a spy-detective film soundtrack feel, which only gets amplified and enhanced as the full band joins in. When it comes time to add vocals, Topi and background vocalists put together an awesome weave against a much more sparsely filled foundation. Strings interlude after the second verse and brief return to KC heaviness then turns mystical/angelic as Topi performs some beautiful wordless vocalise within the chamber weave of bass, drums, electric guitar, cello, and, gradually, multiple other harmonizing vocals. Weird but awesome song! (9.75/10)

10. "Laahustaja" (6:21) opens like an old rocker from 1970 before electric guitar is joined by drums and cello. More virtuosic twists and turns of heaviness and light are performed on this song's interesting journey. Flute paired with heavily distorted guitar and power chords is very interesting. A few too many turns on this one just got me lost, or bored. Vocals could have helped.(8.75/10)

11. "Laina-Ajalla" (5:27) cello and violin support Topi as he heads back into monastic operatica. (I am very much reminded of That Joe Payne.) Acoustic and electric guitars join the weave in the second minute as do drums and bass. The chamber weave is awesome--very ANEKDOTEN-like (which is purely a coincidence since Anekdoten drummer Peter Nordins was sitting in on a couple of songs on this album). It's so difficult rating this songs as they are so unlike any that I've ever heard before in my life. (9.5/10)

Total Time: 46:24

A/five stars; a full-out masterpiece of ingenious and refreshing progressive rock music from a group of very creative and virtuosic Finns.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Huono Parturi is the second studio album by Finnish progressive /avantgarde rock band Höyry-Kone. The title of the album means "Bad barber", just look at the album artwork... The album featuring 11 tracks is about 49 minutes long, at least my copy. I have the one relasesed by Nordic Notes in 20 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1737578) | Posted by Norbert | Sunday, June 25, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars (8/10) Things didn't get any less bizarre on Höyry-Kone's second album, "Huono Parturi". In fact, they took a lot of the ideas and approach from "Hyönteisiä Voi Rakastaa", added a bunch more, and pushed it to another level. This time around, the band seems a lot more together too, and the materia ... (read more)

Report this review (#979784) | Posted by ScorchedFirth | Monday, June 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars At first it seems to be just another fundamental RIO album, but over the minutes, you're coming to fall in that Hoyry Kone it´s just not another band, the music is very radical, frenetic, soft and melodic, the corus and the soprano voice is contrasted by the density of the guitars, the bass and viol ... (read more)

Report this review (#251061) | Posted by Diego I | Monday, November 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rating: A+ If you've ever been a student, you've probably heard a teacher say, "I don't give grades, you earn them." That is how I approach music. There are times where this creates some confusion, especially when it comes to five star albums. I may like an album enough to give it a masterpiece ... (read more)

Report this review (#163505) | Posted by Pnoom! | Saturday, March 8, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It pains me to give any album five stars because that means I obviously think there are no better albums. However, to give anything less than five stars to Höyry-kone's second and last album Huono parturi would do great injustice to the finest prog-band that ever has come from Finland. To begi ... (read more)

Report this review (#113116) | Posted by OT Räihälä | Thursday, February 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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