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HÖYRY-KONE

RIO/Avant-Prog • Finland


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Very good band from Finland with an intricate music that ranges over classic prog, jazz, blues, techno, and more. There is intensive use of endless instruments. The compositions make use of a great variety of unpredictable arrangements that make the sound difficult to describe. Extremely creative and insanely courageous. I can't stop recommending this band. Recommended to demending ear listeners.

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HÖYRY-KONE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.79 | 49 ratings
Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa
1995
4.19 | 115 ratings
Huono Parturi
1997

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HÖYRY-KONE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Huono Parturi by HÖYRY-KONE album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.19 | 115 ratings

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Huono Parturi
Höyry-Kone RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by ScorchedFirth

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 material is a lot more memorable as a result.

Much like 70s Finnish proggers Haikara, Höyry-Kone draws inspiration principally from King Crimson (though probably Haikara too), but Höyry-Kone also branched out enough to make it into the Avant-garde. However, more important than sonic similarities, the levels of creativity and willingness to experiment also remind me of KC. There is just such a feeling of freedom about this album, like they were just going to do whatever they wanted. Oh, and it sounds great too; that always helps.

The core sound to this album consists of a raucous blend of harsh guitars and impressive violin/cello, along with pounding complex rhythms and interspersed with occasional booming male vocals and quieter sections. Well, that still doesn't really encapsulate the core sound, but then there are quite a few songs that are nothing like it anyway. For instance the first song, "Beata Viscera", is a serene Latin opera, completely unlike the rest of the album, and goes on for about 7 minutes. Unlike some other reviewers I definitely enjoy this song, but it is a complete misdirect as to what the rest of the album will sound like. It's even in a completely different language (the rest of the vocals are in Finnish).

After the opening, the album launches headlong into madness with "Terva-Antti Ku Häihin Lähti". The first time I listened to this album, I had turned up the volume quite loud to listen to the quieter parts of the first song, so the harsh strike of the opening riff actually made me jump when it caught me completely by surprise. This song is a dramatic string fuelled gallop, where the guitar sounds like it's in pain at times, the way it screeches. Whilst no song on here could be fully representative of such a diverse album, it nonetheless does give a better indication of what the rest of the album will sound like. The next song, "Karhunkaato", also really rocks. The strong male vocals return, and the violin guides complex rhythms that still manage to be strong and driving.

Things don't let up with "Lumisah", another quite heavy song. The percussion really crashes here and the violin floats around sinisterly as it so often does on this album. Weird but headbangable (yes that definitely is a word)! For me, headbanging then turns to a sort of enjoyable bemusement, with the good humoured interlude "Baksteri". It's a Silly little piece of old school jazz that (at less than two minutes) manages to be a fun interjection without outstaying it's welcome. It provides a brief but welcome break before just ending strangely and without much ceremony.

The title track, "Huono Parturi" takes us back to the hard rocking mix of harsh Frippish guitar riffing and slithering violin. Once again Topi Lehtipuu shows great strength with his vocals, and good range too. As with the rest of the album, Höyry-Kone play very well as a unit, often stopping and starting together, or paying intricately across each other without ever getting into a mess. This leads into another two minute interesting little track, which again is completely different to the rest of the album. "Ullakon Lelut" is an atmospheric ethereal piece, that holds attention intensely, and again is just the right length. It also serves as proof Höyry-Kone can be subtle as well as bold.

Once more, just when they've set you into one mood that's when they slam you in the face with the aggressive heavy stuff, in this case "Tottele". I Think I can hear some growling noises in the background at certain points, which is fun. I also like the thick distorted bass soloing on this song, which puts me in mind of John Wetton. "Tottele" is another short song, but heavy and mad this time, so it feels like a hit and run. The album then continues with "Kala" and "Laahustaja", both of which take their time a bit more and move between slower, quieter, calmer sections and more exciting sections, in quite a natural manner (not an easy feat for weird music like this). "Laahustaja" also features some enjoyable guiding contributions from the flute which I liked.

After an exhausting journey, things finally conclude with "Laina-Ajalla". There are some high quality vocals here, Finnish does really accent the delivery in a good way, I think. It does mean I have no idea what the song is going on about, though according to google translate, some sort of photographer. The other songs appear to be about tipping bears, attic toys and fish, so I can only assume all manner of spectacular nonsense is being sung about. There is some more guitar torturing (definite squeals) and the song (and indeed the album) ends with a crescendo of wailing vocals before fading away to some odd noises. Phew!

Late 90s Finland might not be an obvious place to look for imaginative and exciting Avant-Prog, but this album really impressed me, and you should definitely check it out. It's full of ideas, and great inventive musicianship from all instruments. Even the percussion has some odd sounds (e.g. metal clinks). The mix of shorter pieces and heavy bombardment, along with the variety of music on offer make this a brilliant album to get into. It's such a shame Höyry-Kone ended things here; goodness knows where they would have gone next!

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 Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa by HÖYRY-KONE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.79 | 49 ratings

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Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa
Höyry-Kone RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by ScorchedFirth

3 stars (7/10)

Well the Finnish certainly can be an odd bunch, can't they? Höyry-Kone ('steam-engine' to us English-speakers) popped up in the nineties with an odd mixture of sounds that has rightfully earned them a place in the RIO/Avant-Prog subgenre. On their first album, "Hyönteisiä Voi Rakastaa", you can hear quite a lot of things. You can hear bits of jazz, in the instrumentation and in the approach. You can hear the influence of other eclectic prog bands, especially King Crimson, and not just the 70s stuff either (a lot of the interwoven rhythmic riffs call to mind KC's 80s classic "Discipline"). You can hear classical, and even some dance/techno-like segments, plus a large number of other ingredients, all thrown together in an intentionally eccentric bundle.

Does it work? Well, mostly, but not entirely. Despite the variety of influences, a lot of the songs actually end up feeling quite similar, and on top of that not every experimental idea is successful. I'm not overly keen on the more electronic/techno influenced sections, though they are luckily not that common. Also, some of the instruments can occasionally be a bit cheap-sounding, which gets a little distracting from time to time.

However there are some strong, memorable moments on this album. There are some really evocative passages of violin, and plenty of engaging odd rhythms to enjoy. The vocals in particular are a real draw, one of the more interesting things about Höyry-Kone. Often powerfully booming in a semi-operatic manner (just one of the many ways that Höyry-Kone call to mind fellow Finnish proggers Haikara), sometimes delicate, but always effective. I sometimes find myself singing small portions of the Finnish lyrics to myself, so it has even managed to cross the language divide, albeit anybody from Finland would probably find my butchering of their mother tongue quite laughable.

"Hyönteisiä Voi Rakastaa" is a decent collections of songs, songs which are usually short, complex, quirky, and can change quite quickly (which can sometimes be a good or bad thing). Not everything works, but this is definitely an interesting release, though somewhat overshadowed by Höyry-Kone's next album, "Huono Parturi". If nothing else, the band should be commended on their desire to try something new, because they have certainly achieved that.

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 Huono Parturi by HÖYRY-KONE album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.19 | 115 ratings

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Huono Parturi
Höyry-Kone RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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 !

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 Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa by HÖYRY-KONE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.79 | 49 ratings

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Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa
Höyry-Kone RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars HOYRY-KONE were a Finnish band who released two albums in the mid-nineties. These guys are legendary in the Avant-Garde community. It doesn't hurt of course that these records are out of print and almost impossible to find. Also the band has indicated they won't be re-issued. Three of the members of this band went on to be part of ALAMAAILMAN VASARAT. That would be the drummer, cello player and flute / bass player. This is a highly entertaining and adventerous release with some humour too.

And speaking of humour the opening track makes me laugh. It's called "Om" and has an uptempo beat with these deep vocal melodies that come and go. At one point other vocal melodies trade off with the deep ones. Crazy stuff. A calm with vocals follow then operatic vocals are next then that beat returns and those deep vocal melodiies to end it. "Raskaana" has these lazy vocals and a beat. Guitar too. Things get chaotic for a while then back to the opening soundscape. "Hamaran Joutomaa" opens with angular guitar, crisp drumming and chunky bass. A change 1 1/2 minutes in then the drums return followed by vocals a minute later. It kicks in hard after 5 minutes and we get some excellent guitar too. "Pannuhuoneesta" is a short spoken word piece with weird sounds in the background. "Luottamus" has this pulsating sound with cello and a beat then vocals and aboe join in. A dreamy calm 3 minutes in.

"Kaivoonkatsoja" has a nice heavy undercurrant with guitar. Cello joins in. It's even heavier then it settles before 1 1/2 minutes. Kicks back in before 2 minutes and it's heavier a minute later. "Kosto" has these laid back vocals and a mellow sound. Things change 2 minutes in as it kicks in. Powerful vocal melodies follow. A calm before 3 minutes with cello then huge bass lines join in. It kicks back in before 5 minutes. Nice. "Hata" has these riffs that come in quickly. It does settle some but the bass and drums are still strong. It then picks back up. "Myrskynmuslikkia" is the longest track at almost 7 minutes. It has a heavy intro before settling with vocals. It kicks in at 3 minutes when the vocals stop. These contrasts continue. "Hyonteiset" is fairly uptempo with vocals and it turns heavy quickly.

Without question 4 stars and the next one is even better. Thanks Todd !

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 Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa by HÖYRY-KONE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.79 | 49 ratings

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Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa
Höyry-Kone RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars What a great album this is. The debut of Finnish band Hoyry-Kone. I prefer this one to the slightly more popular Huono Parturi. These guys sing in Finnish, and all the song titles are in Finnish, so apologies for not being able to put umlauts over almost every vowel. This album reminds me of Mr. Bungle, although the music here doesn't jump all over the place like it has a short attention span, like Bungle.

"Orn" starts almost funky with operatic vocals. Then some Crimson style guitar interplay before backwards effects. Later a more mellow section. Then some strong bass before it goes back to the funky opera part. "Hamaran Joutomaa" begins with Crimson like interlocking guitars. Later a nice melody on some instrument...a synth I guess. Singing starts. Later on goes into a different section thats more harder before some more Crimson style interlocking guitars. "Pannuhuoneesta" sounds like Bungle of the time. Very techno sounding.

"Luottamus" is a loungy jazz type of song. Nice melodic playing on violin and oboe. Good singing. Gets more orchestral with some acoustic guitar. "Kaivoonkatsoja" is an instrumental with metal riffing and symphonic violins. "Kosto" starts with acoustic upright bass, oboe, cello and vocals. Later almost slap style electric bass playing and drums. Gets more rocking with guitar near the end. Then just electric bass and cello.

"Hata" is another instrumental. Generally rocking, it changes throughout the song. I like the sound of the bass at the end. "Myrskynmusiikkia" starts out more rocking then goes into a part with vocals and tremolo guitar. Later bass, drums and violin. After some weird vocals. Goes back to vocals and tremolo guitar. Then full band again. "Hyonteiset" has a jazzy rhythm and acoustic guitar with vocals and violin/cello. The song ends and after a moment of silence some cacophony with tape speed altering.

This is great progressive rock from 1995. Although this is technically avant-prog, it's not very dissonant or atonal at all. Highly recommended. 4 stars.

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 Huono Parturi by HÖYRY-KONE album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.19 | 115 ratings

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Huono Parturi
Höyry-Kone RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Diego I

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 violins. Although it does not have much recorded music, this album perfectly reflects the full potential of these sweden guys, but not too experienced at least their record is not a disappointment, au contrarie, this album sounds very balanced, aggressive and sometimes why no, melodic... bravo for the Huono parturi. 8.5 of 10

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 Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa by HÖYRY-KONE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.79 | 49 ratings

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Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa
Höyry-Kone RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa is the debut album from avant garde rock act Höyry-Kone from Finland. This album has been a hard one for me to get into. I knew right away that I was fascinated by the music but I couldn´t label it and I had a hard time with the change of style between every song. I´ve come to realise that the album is cohesive even though it´s as diverse as it is though and that Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa is a great unique album.

The music takes it´s influences from many genres and I hear both avant garde, enthnic folk and jazz in the music while there is an occasional touch of opera in the vocals. The songs are very energetic but there are time for some more emotional and beautiful moments in songs like Hämärän joutomaa and Luottamus. There are lots of challenging and complex time signatures but generally the music comes out being very memorable and pretty easy to digest avant garde rock. The lyrics are in Finish but don´t worry the vocals sound great anyway.

The musicianship is excellent. This is an eight piece band and during the playing time of this album we´re presented with lots of different instruments. I personally love the sporadic keyboards but both the guitar playing and especially the bass playing are also excellent. Fortunately the band has also put emphasis on more organinc instruments like Oboe, Violin and Cello.

The production is very good. A real joy. Listen to the bass sound it´s just fantastic.

I had to listen to this album many, many times before reviewing it because it´s so diverse and every time I reached the end there was something I felt I had missed. I´ve come to a conclusion now though and I think Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa deserves 4 stars. It´s a very original and unique album. There is just such a great will to experiment on the album and you can´t give musicians enough credit for that. After all that´s what progressive music is all about now isn´t it ? This album is recommended to people who wants to hear something they have never heard before. I dare you: Challenge yourself !

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 Huono Parturi by HÖYRY-KONE album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.19 | 115 ratings

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Huono Parturi
Höyry-Kone RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Pnoom!

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 rating, but still not feel that it has truly earned such status. Overall, however, this approach has allowed me to achieve a level of selectivity that I take pride in. When an album earns a high rating from me, I know that it deserves all of it.

Hoyry-Kone's Huono Parturi (A Bad Haircut) is one of those albums where there is no doubt whatsoever about how I should rank it. From start to finish, it is one of the most complete albums I have ever heard. It is, in a word, special. What makes it so undeniably special? Perhaps it's their variety. In their music, Hoyry-Kone (Steam Engine) play a strange and enchanting hybrid of hard rock, metal, avant-garde, Gregorian chants, zeuhl, chamber prog, and everything in between. Some people will refer to them as the Finnish King Crimson, but this comparison doesn't do the band justice. The stunning variety that King Crimson needed four or five different phases and line-ups to achieve (and which they never quite perfected) is here accomplished by Hoyry-Kone in one album, and accomplished to perfection (and they don't sound like King Crimson anyway). Or perhaps what makes Hoyry-Kone so special is their uniqueness. Let's face it. Despite comparisons to King Crimson and Hoyry-Kone's good friends Anekdoten (you may have heard of them), Hoyry-Kone are really the only band that, well, sounds like Hoyry-Kone. Even Alamaailman Vasarat (Hammers of the Underworld), the follow-up band to Hoyry-Kone, doesn't sound like Hoyry-Kone.

The most noticeable aspects of the band's sound are the dual lead of guitar and violin/cello and the vocals. It is an otherworldly experience hearing a soaring violin line over a stupendous metallic riff, but that is exactly what Hoyry-Kone achieve (with apparent ease) all across this record. Don't think this makes them formulaic, however; let's not forget all I said about their variety. That amazing duo isn't enough, however, for Hoyry-Kone. Instead, they throw Topi Lehtipuu's incredible vocals into the mix. Combining inhuman technical skill and precision (Lehtipuu is currently enjoying a successful career in the highly selective world of opera) with all-too-human passion, Lehtipuu raises the songs to a whole new level. Still, this isn't enough for these Finnish perfectionists. Behind this is absolutely incredible drum/percussion work, particularly on the song "Karhunkaato." To top things off are one or two extra layers, giving the music a complex feel which fails completely in keeping these songs from being insanely catchy.

As I mentioned earlier, this is a complete album. From start to finish, there is not a weak moment on here, let alone a weak song. Starting with the Gregorian chant of "Beata Viscera," which shows us just how heavenly Topi Lehtipuu's voice is. This doesn't give any indication of what the rest of the album will sound like, but if you doubted what I've written so far about Lehtipuu's voice, this song will disabuse you of such foolish notions. And, of course, in what must be the band's wry sense of humor, the next track on the album is an instrumental, but what an instrumental it is. "Terva-Antti Ku Haihin" opens with screeching guitar and pounding drums, a stark contrast to the previous song, which was reasonably gentle. After that intro, the aforementioned guitar riff/violin line comes and teaches you what's what.

I don't want to turn this into a tedious track by track review, so I'll now only mention the highlights (or songs of particular notice), starting with the mindblowing "Karhunkaato." This song is a contender for my top ten songs of all time. Another perfect example of the guitar/violin lead dual, this time with the best vocal performance Lehtipuu ever gave with the band to back it up, "Karhunkaato" (We Killed the Bear) embodies everything that Hoyry-Kone is, namely: excellent. Two songs later, however, and we are entirely different territory with the quirky "Baksteri." This track contains only instruments played with the mouth (particularly brass instruments) and is nothing if not a bundle of fun. That's really all there is to say about it.

Later on the album, Hoyry-Kone again show their ability to lull you to sleep and then whack you back into reality (as seen in the first two tracks), this time with the duo of "Ullakon Lelut" and "Tottele." Just as you are really starting to feel the sense of peace that comes from the soft, gentle "Ullakon Lelut," WHAM! Out of nowhere comes "Tottele," by far the heaviest song on the album. Whereas the other songs made their point through a tasteful combination of layers, this song takes the equally effective approach of trying it's best to knock half your teeth out. And, after a few more songs, it's time for the closer, "Laina-Ajalla," upon whose end you will be left wondering where the last fifty minutes of your life went. And, in an effort to find out, you will listen to this album again, and again, and again. And, every time, the time will just melt away thanks to this stunning example of perfection. Get this album and immerse yourself in the blissful joy you will feel as you let the perfection emanating from this album seep into your every pore. Nothing but ESSENTIAL!

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 Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa by HÖYRY-KONE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.79 | 49 ratings

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Hyönteisiä voi Rakastaa
Höyry-Kone RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Pnoom!

4 stars Rating: A-

If you are a progressive rock fan, there's a pretty good chance you think that good music did not exist in the 80s and 90s. I'd like to prove you wrong.

I present the song "Orn" from Hoyry-Kone's debut CD, Hyonteisia Voi Rakastaa (It Is Possible to Love Insects) as all the proof I need. That one song brushes away most everything done in the 1970s with select few exceptions. It's catchy, uptempo, and, need I point it, complex, intelligent, and clearly prog. It has amazing vocals from Topi Lehtipuu, who is currently a successful lyrical tenor. Or, if I were to reduce all of that to just one word, I could just pick "awesome." Because that's what this song is, pure and simple.

As a matter of fact, that's pretty much what Hoyry-Kone (Steam Engine) is in general. They rock hard enough to please the metal-heads out there, they're quirky and "out there" enough for the avant-heads, and they're catchy enough for everyone else. On their second album, Huono Parturi (A Bad Haircut), they managed to find the perfect combination of these elements, and, as a result, they left us with one of the greatest albums ever released.

On Hyonteisia Voi Rakastaa, however, we are not quite so fortunate. While still awesome in every respect I've mentioned (and quite a few more), I find I must disagree with those who would argue that this CD is on the same level as its follow-up. It has some trademark features of a debut album: a mild lack of cohesiveness and some weaker songs. It's still plenty cohesive and has no bad songs, but it doesn't flow and not every song feels essential. This album is actually more diverse in terms of styles covered than their next CD, but their genre-skipping doesn't quite hold up between songs. For an example of a weaker song, "Luottamus" is a beautiful song, but it doesn't really do anything new or noteworthy (and it drags on a bit long). These songs are rare, and are even good songs, but their presence is noticeable, especially given their utter absence on Huono Parturi.

Don't let me trick you into thinking this album is somehow less than essential, however. When Hyonteisia voi Rakastaa hits its highs, it really hits its highs. "Hamaran Joutomaa" is what I imagine Philip Glass mixed with Steve Reich placed in a hard rock band with a vocalist trained in classical music. Or, more precisely, it's the sound of Heaven. "Pannuhuoneesta," which follows, is almost trance with strange vocals. "Kaivoonkotsoja," on the other hand, looks ahead to their masterpiece, but uses more atmospheric violin (whereas on Huono Parturi the violin is in all-out rock mode most of the time). And so on from there.

Hoyry-Kone is often compared to King Crimson (and sometimes also to Iron Maiden), but I think people must be getting them confused with Anekdoten, a Swedish band with whom they were good friends. Anekdoten is clearly heavily inspired by King Crimson. Hoyry-Kone, on the other hand, pull from so many areas that individual influences (including King Crimson) get obscured and their individuality shines through. As for what they actually sound like, accurately capturing their sound is difficult. At their core, they are a hard progressive rock band in the vein King Crimson pioneered (as I said, King Crimson influenced them to an extent), but they throw in classical nods with the violin. Every so often, they will throw in a metal (or at least metallic) riff (on "Hata" and "Myrskynmusiikkia," for example). That defines their main sound; the rest of what they play consists of their interpretations of various musical whims they've had.

So there you have it, a fantastic debut from a fantastic band. Their second is even better, but this one is an incredible start.

If you like these guys, check out their follow-up band, the (almost) equally awesome Alamaailman Vasarat (Hammers of the Underworld). I'd recommend their album Kaarmelautakunta.

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 Huono Parturi by HÖYRY-KONE album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.19 | 115 ratings

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Huono Parturi
Höyry-Kone RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by el böthy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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