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CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE

Neo-Prog • Finland


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Contemporary Dead Finnish Music Ensemble biography
Finnish project CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE is a musical community that was formed in 2000, consisting of seasoned musicians with a shared vision: To revive the art of creating and releasing sophisticated, progressive music of the kind that went underground and disappeared from the charts and music press in the 1980's and 90's.

So far this has lead to the release of two albums: Ideal Standards Vol. 1 in 2004 and Land of Hope in 2009.

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Dark MattersDark Matters
CD Baby 2014
Audio CD$7.94
$21.59 (used)
Ideal Standards 1Ideal Standards 1
CD Baby 2005
Audio CD$6.76
$16.32 (used)
Land of HopeLand of Hope
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$6.76
$16.86 (used)
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CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.09 | 7 ratings
Ideal Standards Vol. 1
2004
3.28 | 9 ratings
Land of Hope
2009
3.87 | 15 ratings
Dark Matters
2014

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CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ideal Standards Vol. 1 by CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.09 | 7 ratings

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Ideal Standards Vol. 1
Contemporary Dead Finnish Music Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars I've read that this debut took four years to make, and that the group - with quite a difficult name! - was founded to bring the progressive rock genre (the complex core essence of it) back to life after the dormant 80's and 90's. Of course they weren't alone in that attempt, nor among the very first ones, but it's true that Finnish prog releases of those decades were much more often Psychedelic Space Rock, or something else, than "hardcore" prog so to speak. CDFmE's categorizing into Neo Prog is accurate enough, but they're not half as typical Neo as especially AGENESS had been. A bit later the more Eclectic Finnish prog bands such as DISCORDIA appeared, but CDFmE is stylistically somewhere in between.

The group's mastermind Antti Pesonen is responsible of the lion's share in the whole recording process, both in writing the music (collaborating with other members to some degree) and in producing it. He handles guitars, synths, vocoder, programming and sound manipulation, plus bass on two tracks. The main bassist is Rami Talja, a.k.a. Qumma [see QUMMA CONNECTION], and the bass really can be heard loud and clear on this album. An important part of the sound is the musically educated main vocalist Katja Sirkiä who has a wide range in her voice. She resembles TOYAH, both for the voice itself and for the theatrical, at times even loonie singing style.

The music is mostly built on guitars and keyboards equally, and it gets quite heavy at times. Especially the first half of the album has a nice spirit of brave, crazy creativity but towards the end that spirit is replaced by more typical (less original) Neo Prog approach. 'The Probe' could be Landmarq as Sirkiä sounds a bit like Tracy Hitchings. The 10-minute closing track 'Stop the Machine!' is doubtlessly the most ambitious composition, but higher level of exciting originality is heard earlier on the album.

A truly noteworthy debut of pure progressive rock, even if slightly uncoherent as a whole. The leaflet tells the listener to "Look forward to Volume 2 in the near future!", but their next album came in 2009, entitled Land of Hope.

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 Dark Matters by CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.87 | 15 ratings

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Dark Matters
Contemporary Dead Finnish Music Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars This album sounds really British, not like recorded by a nordic band - not at all. Except the dark melancholic vibe maybe, which is quite typical for such teams though. Well, what really is conspicious ... the band name, so much the more the music, appears in no way mainstream, which implies that they are convinced with a special niche by nature, but what a comfortable one! Here we have an unconventional, rather eclectic progressive rock production, while covering several styles, for instance symphonic keys, a cool jazzy saxophone and a proper psychedelic touch due to synths and guitars similar to Jeff Hamel's project Majestic for example.

Now this should be handled like an epic, hopping around from one track to the other is strictly forbidden ... eh, okay, at least it's not recommended ... because this simply will ruin the flow, the atmosphere. Wonderful expressive vocals (predominantly female) are to state, what reminds me of the Frequency Drift approach a bit. Seemingly presented as a concept album, which is related to the human beings' dark and mysterious matters, this is a secret, a mystery, may not start a fire initially, but really thrives after several listening sessions. Three songs out of five are clocking way more than ten minutes, are guaranteeing empathy, variety. And that's what I like, they deliberately take the time to let the music evolve, yeah!

You see, I consequently omit to emphasize any song in particular. Katja Sirki''s voice, opera trained I'm sure, plays an important role here The groovy rocking parts are dominated by heavily riffing and psychedelic touched guitars including solos. The rhythm branch leads the band through the (partially) complex compositions with ease as well as power. where the keyboard work is offered with diversitiy and inspiration. Some rare dissonant impressions are bringing them close to King Crimson or Gentle Giant within. 'Dark Matters' is something to appreciate, to sum it up - definitely a highlight in 2014 - 4.5 stars.

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 Dark Matters by CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.87 | 15 ratings

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Dark Matters
Contemporary Dead Finnish Music Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars - First Review Of This Album -

I have the music, or most of it, of CDFME's preceding album Land of Hope (2009) on my shelf, but I have hardly ever listened to it. Now being given their new release I'm happily reminded of this talented Finnish prog band. I believe this CD will gain more spins! If the former album perhaps had some uncoherence - and a bit too much of harder parts to my taste, if I remeber correctly - , this is an ambitious concept album that's being played mostly without any pauses. From the inside cover: "Dark Matters is about particular human beings whose normal personalities have also something extra, something dark & undisclosed. They want from life more than it can deliver. They don't settle for the mediocre, instead they want something from the stars... And remember: everyone has a secret!". The section titled 'Black Monk' is based on a Chekov short story.

This very dynamic work is divided into Prologue, Scenes I-III and Epilogue, each of the Scenes being approximately 14 minutes. It's not easy to "stay on map" since not all of the rather sparse lyrics seem to be printed, and since the epicness is so large-scaled, almost in the TRANSATLANTIC style. The album demands a lot from the listener to fully "get" it, but it can be listened to simply as good prog rock too. The female vocalist Katja Sirkiä is very powerful, almost operatic singer, and some supporting vocals are from both sexes.

The atmosphere is, unsurprisingly, quite dark and deep. The band is equally capable of creating gradually increasing tension with ambient-approaching delicacy and of bursting into more soaring action. Keyboards are used colourfully. Tenor saxophone has not been given very much space, unfortunately. Not that there wouldn't be gorgeous soloings for several instruments too, but mostly the band works as a tight unit. Complexity in rhythms and song structures doesn't get too self-poignant. The guitar is often played with a heavy-ish bite, which is the main reason why this music is not perfectly up to my taste, but it has also melodic strength. This is one of the most ambitious and most progressive Finnish albums recently, and I hope it will gain more reviews/rating in the Archives as it surely would deserve.

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 Ideal Standards Vol. 1 by CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.09 | 7 ratings

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Ideal Standards Vol. 1
Contemporary Dead Finnish Music Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Contemporary Dead Finnish Music Ensemble is a group of seasoned Finnish musicians, formed in 2000, with an aim to revive the good proggy stuff from the 80's and 90's.Among the members we find ex-Stratovarius drummer Tuomo Lassila, Alamaailman Vasarat's and Höyry- kone's drummer Teemu Hänninen, bassist Rami Talja from Qumma Connection and also female singer Katja Sirkiä, multi-instrumentalist/composer Antti Pesonen and keyboardist Matti Jalava.The material for the band's debut was recorded and engineered between summer 2000 until summer 2004 and at Mellvox Studios and at the Finnish National Opera Studio and it was finally released in 2004 with the title ''Ideal Standards Vol. 1''.

The album brings to mind the spacey and grandiose approach of AYREON or the bombastic/melodic sound of EXPLORER'S CLUB and comes like an interesting mix of Space Rock, Heavy Prog and modern Neo Prog, where the tracks are carefully measured but at the same time quite demanding.The music relies heavily upon Sirkiä's crystalline vocals, Antti Pesonen's nice rhythm guitars and intricate solos and Jalava's diverse keyboard parts.''Ideal Standards Vol. 1'' is extremely lyrical, but it contains also plenty of good instrumental ideas with spacey synthesizers, bombastic tunes and melodic textures.The tracks are not particularly long but all of them are characterized by a fine balance between vocal moments and proggy shifting moods with heavier guitar passages leaving their place to atmospheric synth/organ-based arrangements, which have both a spacey and symphonic sound.Even a couple of them are totally instrumental with plenty of atmospheric soundscapes and occasional bits of technique.Overall the music follows a rather low tempo with a quasi-dark, intense atmosphere but the proggier material reveals some strong interplays and breaks.

The band partly succeeded in producing a strong modern Progressive Rock album with both melancholic and melodic music themes.Of course this is far from a masterpiece but on the other hand I hardly believe that a prog fan won't find something to like in this effort.Recommended.

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 Land of Hope by CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.28 | 9 ratings

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Land of Hope
Contemporary Dead Finnish Music Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Behind this misleading band name, there is a jewel. Sort off....

It is pretty obvious that this band has gone back to the classics in the symponic prog, neo prog and prog metal to come up with their sound. Take a dash of Marillion, Yes, Genesis and Dream Theater = this album. Then add female vocals and some grammes of local flavor and you get Land Of Hope. Or as I want to rename it to; Album Of Hope. Hope is exactly what this band gives me. Hope of a real earth shattering killer album next time around.

The music is in other words clean and based on the classics. The quality is very good throughout. There is no real killer tracks here and even some great tracks is missing here. But my overall impression of this album is very favorable. The songs has some Scandinavian flavor with enchanting darkness and mysticism. The female vocals are excellent and so is the musicianship. The sound too is excellent. Which makes this album a very elegant album.

In my view, this is not a great album. But it is still a jewel and almost essential for those who likes a mix of Marillion and Dream Theater with excellent female vocals. But I am not one of them, though.

3.5 stars

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