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KINGSTON WALL

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Finland


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Kingston Wall picture
Kingston Wall biography
Founded in Helsinki, Finland in 1987 - Disbanded in 1994

This psych-rock trio inspired by the inventive guitar play of Petri Walli was formed in Helsinki in 1987. After a change of drummer, the permanent line-un consisted of Walli on guitar and vocals, new drummer Sami Kuoppamäki and bassist Jukka Jylli. Their influences are noticeably of the LED ZEP/ JIMI HENDRIX kind but they did manage to bring something new to the "stoner rock" sound. Releasing all of their albums on their own label (Trinity), they never really made it big but had a small cult following in Finland and Estonia. By the end of 1994, six months after the release of their third album, it seemed they were on the verge of breaking through when their leader, Walli, committed suicide by jumping off a church tower. That spelled the end for the band.

Their first album is perhaps their rawest whereas "Kingston Wall II", their most accomplished, features broader, more exotic textures, even some acoustic guitar. Also, the instrumental interplay is given freer reign than on the first album, allowing the pieces to stretch out more. It treats the listener to a variety of moods: soaring guitar pieces, quiet violin, LED ZEP-like blues and high-octane jamming. With the album "Tri-Logy", the band somewhat tried to distance themselves from hard-rock. It still features plenty of acid guitar but also includes drum machines; an interesting concept but perhaps not quite as convincing as "KW II". A word of caution: a fourth CD entitled "Freakout Remixes" was released in 2000. Don't expect to hear KW's fine play here: this is a kind of tribute by various artists who did a techno/trance remix of the band's material.

"Kingston Wall II" should appeal to fans of LED ZEPPELIN, PINK FLOYD, JIMI HENDRIX and JEFF BECK.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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KINGSTON WALL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KINGSTON WALL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.29 | 90 ratings
Kingston Wall I
1992
4.14 | 155 ratings
Kingston Wall II
1993
4.06 | 108 ratings
III Tri-Logy
1994

KINGSTON WALL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 21 ratings
Real Live Thing
2005

KINGSTON WALL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.25 | 7 ratings
Kingtime
2015

KINGSTON WALL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.14 | 7 ratings
Freakout Remixes
2000
4.08 | 3 ratings
The Essential
2011
4.50 | 2 ratings
King Size Box
2011

KINGSTON WALL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
The Real Thing Radio Edit
1994

KINGSTON WALL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Essential by KINGSTON WALL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2011
4.08 | 3 ratings

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The Essential
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by tigerfeet

4 stars When writing about and reviewing Kingston Wall one always has to bear in mind the reason the band existed, the history about the lead singer/guitarist (Petri Walli), his vision for the music and songs of the band and how they merged into one another.

While not necessarily a themed or concept album based band, in essence, their third album 'Tri-Logy' did evolve into a concept album. One could go as far to say that there was a lot of deliberation put into the track order and feel on all 3 of their first albums.

Petri Walli had become more centered around mysticism and Scandinavian folk law, as well as far-eastern, and Hindu influences. When visiting India he had become friends with Ior Bock, a Finnish actor, mythologist and eccentric. It was this relationship that had some affect on the third album Tri-Logy and the concept related to it. The details of this relationship actually makes for a very good read and does for sure give some insight into some thoughts, perhaps, of Petri Walli.

It is a right of passage for some of the great musicians to either stay with us in this life or move to the next before their natural time. It is as though they know some secret or have witnessed the beginning of the universe, and wish to hurry and process the finalities of this life's formalities.

Petri Walli was one of those greats, and of course, like millions of undiscovered musicians, not well known in most popular musical spheres. Nevertheless, he is to many, a John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Marc Bolan, Janis Joplin, to name a few.

I am of course an avid fan, but also i feel the need to express certain things when it comes to releasing the 'Best of" kind of albums.

There has been 2 releases from Sony label. This one in 2011, The Essential Kingston Wall, and a in 2014 one called "The Goods'. Both the The Essential Kingston Wall and The Goods have the same tracks in the same order. The difference is that the first was more expensive and the art work was more subdued.

The thing with making a best of kind of compilation, it does miss the mark, and does leave out many songs that gave another the album it's purpose. It takes the poetry out of the atmosphere.

I started to write about each song as it appears on this album, but I felt that it took away from the 'feel' of each of the 3 albums they were taken from. Each song does feel out of context on it's own. It is like wearing different shoes, or mismatched clothing. I am certain there is no order these songs could have been listed that would feel like you are really getting into the nitty gritty of what Kingston Wall was about.

Yes, they are all great songs. The best of Some of the songs from a great band.

Would this album make someone who had no knowledge of KW go out and listen to the first 3 full albums?

I am not sure if it would. It feels like a homogenized/abridged 'Best of Pink Floyd' albums, which incidentally, I feel pretty much the same way about.

In short, the best way to understand Kingston Wall is to listen to their 3 albums, and in track order.

The Essential Kingston Wall is really for collectors, or perhaps those who wish to take some of the songs on this album and add them to a play list.

I would rate it an Excellent Addition, however the album 'The Essential Kingston Wall' is not necessarily Essential.

 Kingtime by KINGSTON WALL album cover DVD/Video, 2015
4.25 | 7 ratings

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Kingtime
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by tigerfeet

4 stars I received my Kingston Wall, Kingtime DVD order from Svart Records, Finland last Christmas, and it is indeed a must watch/listen for any Kingston Wall fans out there.

Disc 1 - if you pop it in the DVD player and just press INTRO when the menu system appears, it starts out very well with a live version of 'With My Mind' playing in the inset as you also get to read about the early days and early evolution of the band. This version of With My Mind is one of the best they played and really captures the bands very essence. At this point i was extremely excited for what the rest of disc 1 held in store.

I then went back to main menu, and pressed PLAY ALL. It started a little on the messy side, and if i have been new to Kingston Wall i would have been a little put off at this point as basically, they just split the play list of the band up into sections of live performances year by year and it felt like a little bit confusing.

After a couple of songs I eagerly ejected disc 1 and put in disc 2 and boy, was i glad i did !! (but i will come back to disc 1 in a moment ;-)

Disc 2 seemed to me like the obvious place to start IMO for a any newcomer or indeed longtime KW fan. I pressed the first item on the dvd menu - 'Petri Walli in Memoriam' and was immediately engaged by the way it was presented and edited. It gave me a sense of getting to know Petri and the band through footage from the band live and studio versions of songs. I even felt my eyes welling up when a segment played one of their best known songs, ISTWAN.

I then went back to the menu and watched some of the interview sections, which were very nice and made me feel closer to the band members.

I then watched the Freakout Club sections of KW and pre-KW- Basically what the band really were about, just playing music, and not caring what others thought. They were all musical technicians but had flaws, which made them special.

I then finished up the the EXTRAS section and felt in the mood to go back to disc 1.

Now i was prepared for disc 1 mentally, and watched the entire disc in one sitting. It was excellent and i thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Overall, Kingtime is very well presented and a nice glossy feel to the presentation. The DVDs are well made and labels look as good as anything out there. It came with pull out insert/booklet and they threw in a few small KW mementos in the package.

The 2 DVDs are extensive and time consuming and that makes for a good re-visit from time to time wherein i always seem to find something new or enlightening.

5 stars from me, even though the flow of the content could have been reorganized - but the actual content was amazing. A fun DVD to watch all in all.

 Freakout Remixes  by KINGSTON WALL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
2.14 | 7 ratings

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Freakout Remixes
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Sometimes looking at a cover art gives you an idea of its content. This affirmation is rather true for KINGSTON WALL's studio albums, this time makes no exception either. "Freakout Remixes" is a tribute compilation composed of techno/trance remixes of the band's songs, made by electronic finnish artists.

The big beat remix of "And I Hear You Call" is a bit lazy and does not bring much novelty to the original song. "We Cannot Move" is easily the worst passage of the record. It mainly consists in trance pulses over a speeded up version of the original track. The effect sounds quite ridiculous. "I'm Not the One" has an old-school breakdance beat. The song is just barely recognizable but the music itself is not too bad.

The ambient "With My Mind" is surprisingly nice. Its modern electro/hip-hop beat and hazy atmosphere results in a cool trip-hop remix. The best track of this compilation. On the contrary, "Used to Feel Before - Incoming" is just another irritating trance remix. "Palékastro" is a rather strange messy collage that goes in many directions. Some parts of the original song can be heard, but the overall is quite uneven.

As most people could have expected, "Freakout Remixes" won't please KINGSTON WALL lovers. However, a few remixes should be appreciated by 90's electronic music fans.

 III Tri-Logy by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.06 | 108 ratings

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III Tri-Logy
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Kingston Wall goes electronic

As its cover art suggests, "Tri-Logy" is less middle-eastern and more electronic oriented compared to KINGSTON WALL's previous albums. We can sense the band's will to modernize their sound and to be more on par with the mid-90's standards to reach a larger audience. The Finnishs incorporates new sound effects, techno beats, ambient passages and didgeridoo to reinforce the jungle spacey side of their music. As a result, the atmosphere has some OZRIC TENTACLES touches.

"Another Piece Of Cake" is a powerful space metal opener, and the only track to feature a slight Arabic ambiance. The ambient didgeridoo of "Welcome to the Mirrorland" introduces the pleasant pulsating "I'm the King, I'm the Sun". Again, "The Key: Will" is a short ambient didgeridoo track for the nice soft reggae of "Take You to Sweet Harmony". "Get Rid of Your Fears", "When Something Old Dies" and "Alt - land - is" form an unique song alternating electronic, ambient and rock passages. This composition can occasionally reminds the OZRICs. "Party Goes On" reuses some of previously developed musical themes and contains a very nice solo from Petri Walli.

"Stüldt Håjt" is clearly the weakest song of the record. Its techno beat typical of the mid-90's and lack of variations make this track a bit useless and out of place. On the contrary, "For All Mankind" is one of the best compositions from KINGSTON WALL. A catchy space rock tune and with an efficient sharp riff. The lyrics are sometimes interpreted as Petri Walli's testament, as he committed suicide one year later. The rock song "Time" has an average melody and fails to really lift off. A bit too conventional given the band's standards. The disc finishes with the 18 minutes epic "The Real Thing", the Finnishs' longest track. A hypnotic journey, containing synthesizers, excellent guitar play and saxophone solos.

"Tri-Logy" is an interesting mixture of ethic, ambient, electronics and rock, with top-notch guitar solos. Despite a few weaker moments and compositions maybe less remarkable than on the previous opus, this third and last studio album offers very good passages with a large panel of musical types, while preserving a proper identity. This time, the content is entirely coherent with the cover art: a strange trip into a mystical jungle.

Recommended if you're into psychedelic / space rock and OZRIC TENTACLES.

 Kingston Wall II by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.14 | 155 ratings

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Kingston Wall II
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

5 stars A flying carpet to explore sand temples

Whereas their previous album was promising but still a bit immature and uneven, KINGSTON WALL's second opus shows important improvements on many points. The band reinforces its identity by mixing elements from LED ZEPPELIN, JIMI HENDRIX, PINK FLOYD and middle-eastern music into more structured, more melodic and less improvised compositions. The result is quite progressive and unique in the psychedelic / space rock genre. This disc is also the first one to truly display Petri Walli's great guitaristic talents.

As an opener, the arabic hard prog "We Cannot Move" is efficient and catchy. On the contrary, "Istwan" is a calm pleasant folk instrumental tune that can remind LED ZEP's "III" at the beginning, but differs after. "Could It Be So?" is one of the best passages of the record. Its spacey intro unveils a powerful track with a great guitar solo. The slow melancholic "And It's All Happening" has a floyd-ish introduction and then becomes more nervous. It contains many evolutions and rhythm changes, but also demonstrates the incredible guitar play of Petri Walli. "Love Tonight" possesses a mystical opening and its melody has reminiscences with "We Cannot Move". Another nice moment of the record.

Despite, its synthesizer beginning, "Two of a Kind" sounds more like a grunge song but is nonetheless pleasant. Although a bit out of place, the cover of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" is quite rocky and fun. "Shine On Me" is a sweet melancholic ballad reminding HENDRIX's "Little Wing", but incorporating a saxophone. The 10 minutes mini epic "You" is the longest and the most progressive track of the record. It features various ambiances and rhythms and alternates calm and aggressive moments. To prettily conclude the disc, the instrumental "Palékastro" can be described as a strong middle-eastern space metal track with cosmic guitar, and will become a classic at the band's concerts.

Although the arabic theme is - once again - half-respected, this flawless second album is KINGSTON WALL's most personal. No weak track or abrupt changes here, the flow remains good while the compositions are varied. Quite unique in the psychedelic genre, "II" is a mastered interesting mixture of early hard rock, space rock and middle- eastern music, with top-notch guitar play from Petri Walli, as well as their most progressive and varied opus. The band has created its own identity.

KINGSTON WALL's best studio album. Highly recommended, you'll travel on a magic carpet to discover a new continent with its hidden treasures...

 Kingston Wall I by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.29 | 90 ratings

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Kingston Wall I
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars

KINGSTON WALL's debut album shows a band in search of its identity. On the basis of 70's hard rock, like LED ZEPPELIN, the music incorporates middle-eastern and psychedelic / space rock touches. This first opus is the least progressive of the finnishs. It already contains some original elements, but they still need to be matured.

The seventies' hard rock "With My Mind" is an efficient opener. It has a cool psychedelic guitar solo but you can also hear grunge touches in it, proving that the finnishs brought something new to scene. "Used to Feel Before" is a direct poppy rocky song, while "I'm Not the One" is rather average and loud. The cover of JIMI HENDRIX's "Fire" is not bad but does not bring much novelty. It just makes you want to listen to the original version. The proggy "Waste of Time" is a varied but unequal song, with a chaotic psychedelic guitar solo.

The middle-eastern-ish melodies are more present on the second half of the disc. God examples are the nice and energic "And I Hear You Call" and "Nepal", they sometimes remind late 70's HAWKWIND, whereas the instrumental "Tanya" is slower. The 21 minutes "Mushrooms" is the most progressive passage of the record. Not very structured, this composition is rather a collage of various songs with different ambiances: mysterious, grunge, psychedelic rock in the style of GONG or freak 'n'roll jam. Lacking consistency, this suite is a bit odd and too long.

The middle-eastern theme suggested by the cover art is only half-respected (or maybe it's fully respected after all, because it pictures musicians just arriving to an unknown land on a magic carpet). However, despite a musical identity not enough matured, this first effort is refreshing and very promising. Needless to say that, during the early 90's and the explosion of grunge, rap and techno, it was not an easy task for a young band playing this type of music to emerge. That's a pity, because KINGSTON WALL is an underrated and lesser-known formation.

This album is definitely not the one to start with, but is nonetheless recommended to space and 70's hard rock fans.

 Kingston Wall I by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.29 | 90 ratings

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Kingston Wall I
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This band cannot be ignored when dealing with the history of Finnish prog, as they were very popular and also some kind of pioneers in the early nineties, after the entire extremely anti- prog decade (if you thought prog was a rude word in Britain in the 80's, you should have seen what was it like in Finland!). After releasing a trilogy of albums the band came to a tragic end as their leader Petri Walli committed suicide by jumping down from a church tower (BTW, his biography was released this spring, only in Finnish, of course).

Anyway, this debut is quite single-mindedly considered as their least important album by prog listeners. There's an unquestionable psychedelic vibe especially in the 8-part suite 'Mushrooms', but this music is primarily HARD rock with a breathtaking drive and virtuotic intensity. KW were a power trio of guitarist-vocalist Walli, bassist Jukka Jylli and drummer Sami Kuoppamäki. The guitar style is fierce, descending from Jimi Hendrix and heavy rock legends and soaked in trippy psychedelia, and the rhythm section is equally sharp and powerful.

The world of hard rock - especially the Finnish one - has never been close to me. So it's no surprise that I am left mostly untouched by this album. But I really can't deny the extreme power in it. Approximately after the four earliest tracks, which are fast and rather similar to each other ('Fire' being a Hendrix cover), the psychedelic flavour starts to affect the listener. Nearly 9- minute 'Nepal' is effective, clearly one of the highlights. 'And I Hear You Call' has some Oriental (Turkish/Arabian) kind of melodies at first, like occasionally throughout the album, but hardly as much as the cover art would suggest.

It's the 21-minute 'Mushrooms' suite that crowns this hour-long album. What is perhaps lost in the adrenalin power, is gained in the depth of a proggier, epic-like songwriting. But don't expect too much of it, in fact here and there it feels a bit lost and pointlessly stretched. Speaking of the whole album, if this site was about hard rock instead of prog rock, I might give one star more.

 Kingston Wall II by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.14 | 155 ratings

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Kingston Wall II
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Sometimes a band comes along which gets lavished with praise but, when you come along to see what all the fuss is about, they just plain fail to win you over. That's how Kingston Wall are for me. I guess they're good at lifting motifs and techniques from Pink Floyd and the Ozric Tentacles, but what results are bland Ozrics-esques jams littered with Floydisms learned by rote. I guess if you are hopelessly addicted to Floyd-derived space rock this could tickle that itch, but for me there's simply nothing exciting to write home about here. Not incompetent, but hardly essential either, I'd say this deserves two and a half stars (tack on a half star if you're a Floyd fan).
 Kingston Wall II by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.14 | 155 ratings

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Kingston Wall II
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by PolarWolf

5 stars As their debut album already proved, Kingston Wall was at their best in long songs full of jamming. And their second album is full of those. The exceptionally good guitar- (Petri Walli) and drumwork (Sami Kuoppamäki) are the reasons why this album takes you to the higher grounds.

The album starts with the wonderful hard-rocking rush of "We Cannot Move" and continues to beautiful instrumental sweep of "Istwan", both songs full of eastern influences. "Shine on Me" later on the album is arguably Kingston Wall's definite masterpiece. It's a haunting song where Walli's guitar-playing and singing is backed magnificently with saxophone. The 10-minute epic, "You", is almost as good. Worth a mention is also the Donna Summer(!) -cover "I Feel Love", a disco-hit turned into psychedelic, hypnotizing progressive rock.

A truly wonderful album and strongly recommended for the lovers of guitar-based psychedelic rock.

 Kingston Wall I by KINGSTON WALL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.29 | 90 ratings

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Kingston Wall I
Kingston Wall Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by PolarWolf

4 stars As the cover art expresses the Eastern influence is very strong on this album (and other Kingston Wall albums as well). The music can be categorized as psychedelic progressive rock and has influences from Zeppelin, Hawkwind, Hendrix, and some Pink Floyd can be heard as well. Still I think the overall sound and atmosphere is very unique, created mostly by shamanic and intense guitarwork of Petri Walli and decorative, improvisational drumming of Sami Kuoppamäki. The actual songs are not as interesting, they're more like frames for the exceptional playing and psychedelia. Which doesn't mean that the album would be only to show off their skills - it is a very good psychedelic rock album to dive into.

The best songs of the album are "With My Mind", Hendrix-cover "Fire", "Waste of Time" and "Nepal". Also the trippy and a bit silly Mushrooms-suite is worth mentioning, though it's not very strong as a whole. It seems that Kingston Wall is at their best in long, epic songs with much room to improvise. The vocal melodies are not particularly good, maybe due to Petri Walli's limited singing skills. Still they work well enough at least in the aforementioned four songs.

A very promising debut album and is not much weaker than their best work, (the next album: "II").

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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