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Misty Mountain Foundation biography
Founded in Kouvola, Finland in 1998

MISTY MOUNTAIN FOUNDATION is a four-piece hailing from Kouvola, a small town from Southern-Eastern Finland, consisting of Kari Mitikka (bass and vocals), keyboard player Esa Rantanen, guitarist Marko Lehto and drummer Sami Laakso. The group originally started in 1998 as a King Crimson tribute band. After some changes on guitar and drums the present line-up stabilized in 2008.

Demo sessions and gigs were followed by the decision to make an album of self-written material, preferably in the good old vinyl format. Since it was obvious that the music didn't have much commercial potential, it turned out to be a self-published effort. The eponymous debut was released as a vinyl in the late 2013.

Being influenced mainly by the late sixties / early seventies rock, MISTY MOUNTAIN FOUNDATION plays retro-style progressive heavy psychedelic rock with nice Hammond and Mellotron attendance, sounding like an Astra and Moonwagon joint venture in some way. In the spring of 2014 the group is already working on their second album.

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3.96 | 4 ratings
Misty Mountain Foundation
3.00 | 1 ratings
Cosmic Crossroads

MISTY MOUNTAIN FOUNDATION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)


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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cosmic Crossroads by MISTY MOUNTAIN FOUNDATION album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.00 | 1 ratings

Cosmic Crossroads
Misty Mountain Foundation Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is finally the second album by the Finnish four-piece that plays psychedelic heavy prog much in the spirit of the early seventies. The eponymous, self-budgeted debut was released in 2013 only on a vinyl format. Sadly I'm still the only one who has reviewed it here.... The follow-up was several years in the making. The gatefold (I would have preferred something else, such as lyrics, on the inner sleeve than a close-up of the musicians) of the vinyl contains also the album on a CD, with no printing on its paper container. I'm sure the band didn't save its effort and it must have cost a lot of money to release the album this way. Even if the reception remains modest, you guys should feel proud of what you've done. I feel a bit sorry to rate this one lower than its predecessor, which contained notable highlights -- the longer and more progressive tracks -- and therefor in my opinion showed greater 'growth potential' in the songwriting than what is heard here after the long wait.

The opener 'EXP II' is four minutes of sonic, atonal experimentalism. Ambient meets Krautrock. One can recognize the howling of the seldom heard theremin from the ghostly soundscape. 'Brave New World' is a typical MMF song: the vintage heavy prog sound is dynamic and exciting, the biggest thank you going undisputedly to Esa Rantanen's colourful use of Hammond organ, synths and Mellotron. Now, I'm not sure if it's just the certain stuffiness of Kari Mitikka's vocals, or is the recording of them rather poor. This very same thing bothered me already with the debut. The third track 'Rare Wind' is half shorter and also more boring as a composition. The mighty Hammond la Deep Purple or Uriah Heep is clearly the best feature in it. The downhill carries on to the hard rock song 'Blessed and Possessed' and a totally unnecessary, demo-like reprise of 'Rare Wind'.

The second side of the vinyl contains two long tracks. 'Starchild' gets the honour of being the highlight, which practically isn't a huge achievement at this point. The instrumental intro allows the listener to concentrate on the delicate sounds of Mellotron and other instruments, while the soon arriving vocals represent the rootsier rock approach on this track too. The slower part later on adds the progressive dynamics effectively. 'EXP I' (12:57) returns to the Krautrockish ambience of the opener. The early era of TANGERINE DREAM serves as a reference, but the piece can be hailed as a well-done and deeply inspired excercise on the spacey and psychedelic Kosmische Muzik, instead of being mere mockery.

I think it's respectable to see a band stretching their heavy rock based expression so boldly into the instrumental experimentalism, whether it is something to please the keen listener of the rock side. So, maybe this feature is exactly where the band took time to mature during the last few years. As a whole however, the album feels a little short of strong song material, since three of the five tracks with vocals are rather average.

 Misty Mountain Foundation by MISTY MOUNTAIN FOUNDATION album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 4 ratings

Misty Mountain Foundation
Misty Mountain Foundation Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A small Finnish town of Kouvola has something special to give into the prog scene, but I'm afraid there won't be many reviews to come here, as the band is not very good at promoting themselves. It probably doesn't make things much easier that this debut, recorded already during 2011, came out as a vinyl (plus mp3 download) instead of a CD. But that traditional format suits them well, as their style is very retro, and the cover art by Esa Mark is a perfect companion to the music!

Right from the first seconds it becomes very clear that they rock hard and use a lot of Hammond organ (compare early URIAH HEEP). Also the Mellotron sound - created by synths instead of the real thing - is present on the album (the group started in the late 90's as a King Crimson tribute band, and my guess is that they concentrated on KC's early phase). The first three tracks are roughly five minutes long and the least proggy portion of the album.

To me personally the negative side in their powerful sound are the vocals that operate very firmly in the hard rock attitude and taste sort of pushed and cruel. One reference could be the late Petri Walli of KINGSTON WALL. However the A side improves enormously with 'Cosmic Echoes (from the Modern Stone Age)' in which the deeply psychedelic, at times almost Krautrockish, keyboard-oriented playing leaves the vocals behind, though I also like the beginning featuring vocals and the Hammond-heavy march beat.

The B side has three tracks, the first one being in the same rocky field with the opening songs, and the two 8-9 minute tracks offering the gorgeous highlights alongside with 'Cosmic Echoes'. 'Garmish Park' gets also very spacey and dreamy as the tempo slows down. Wow! Equally strong and progressive 'Sleeping Prophet' finishes the album in high mark, leaving a good overall taste and lots of promises for their forthcoming second album. Even though I'm not too fond of their hardest-rocking songs and the vocals, I think their personal take on vintage psychedelic/hard rock deserves a good rating. Also the production by the band themselves is fine.

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

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