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Alamaailman Vasarat - Maahan CD (album) cover


Alamaailman Vasarat



3.90 | 101 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Alamaailman Vasarat ( = Hammers of the Underworld) is an instrumental descendant of the 90's legendary Finnish RIO group HÖYRY-KONE, which featured the internationally established tenor Topi Lehtipuu as their vocalist. The strange, loonie music of AV is well described here by much more advanced listeners of RIO/Avant Prog than me. In fact I'm now listening to this band for the first time. I know some of you don't give much value to first impressions, but you're free to ignore my review; there are better ones on this and other albums by this band, I guarantee.

The instrumentation is very unconventional: a couple of cellos (or is the plural form celli?), piano, pump organ, melodica, trombone, slide trumpet, saxes and other wind instruments, and percussion. No guitars, not even bass guitar, nor synths. This is like an idiot bastard son of Klezmer (the Zappa pun intended). The tempo is often high and the atmosphere circus-like, but that's not the whole story. There are a lot of odd time signatures, and the dynamics between instruments are variating heavily even within tracks. To me it's exactly those slower, less frenzy moments approaching chamber music that save this music from being an exhausting listening experience; when the brass is silenced and perhaps the grand piano takes the attention.

In addition to Klezmer, circus/ revue music and chamber music, this brave mix includes also elements of heavy rock and jazz. Track titles, as well as the music itself, are filled with humorous aspect. Of newer Finnish artists I have met similar spirit in the two albums of UTOPIANISTI (which is more clearly in the Fusion genre). Translation attempts wouldn't do any justice to titles with witty wordplay such as 'Katkorapu' or 'Kyyhylly'. The latter would literally mean a viper shelf, but it naturally is a twist from kuuhullu, moonstruck.

I can't (yet) evaluate this album against AV's other output, but it's obvious that if you're good friends with hilariously crazy instrumental stuff drawing influence from several genres, ALAMAAILMAN VASARAT is worth checking out.

Matti | 3/5 |


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