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Aardvark' - Tuntematon Sotilas CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.38 | 12 ratings

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3 stars Apparently this Finnish group had been around since the 90's, having recorded a very hard to find album in 2000, ''Nocturnal mammal''.They had a good shot to be known though some years later, when Mellow Records released their second offering ''Tuntematon sotilas'', inspired by the novel of Finnish writer Vaino Linna ''Unknown soldier'', dedicated to 95,000 Finnish people, who died during World War II.The line-up was Ari Naappa on guitar/mandolin, Riku Luostan on keyboards, Juha Sarkioja on bass, Timo Sivula on drums and Tero Arteli on vocals.What is amazing is that the album was recorded individually in different places: Luostan recorded his keyboard parts in his farm in New Zealand, Sivula performed the drums in a studio in Singapore, while the rest of the members were located in their homecountry.

Musically Aardvark seem to have been influenced by the harder side of Progressive Rock, having evident 70's references and sounding very close to Norwegians ADVENTURE, although the symphonic textures are less pronounced and the focus is on the punchier side of progressive music.Still the retro feeling is obvious throughout an album, which is filled with excellent Hammond organ, orchestral Mellotrons and impressive synthesizers.Combine these textures with an energetic guitarist, who seems fond of putting some gears in composition, a solid rhythm section and a raw but expressive vocalist, singing his lines only in Finnish, to get a picture of the band.Very nice music, which contains lots of long, instrumental parts with mascular electric guitars but also some strong keyboard ideas with respect to the analog sound, while the singing parts are also very consistent with good choruses.Aardvark did not forget to add some well-crafted acoustic tunes and decent melodies among their most powerful moments to complete a diverse listening.The rhythmic lines and the background symphonic keyboards are propably the best offerings from this talented band in a bunch of well-composed and energetic tracks.

The long distance between Aaardvark's members was propably the reason the group stopped its activity to this work.A nice, dynamic and passionate example of Retro-drenched Progressive Rock with cool guitar and keyboard ideas.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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