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Manogurgeil - Unirytmejä CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.04 | 16 ratings

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4 stars Manogurgeil are from Finland and this, Unirytmejä is their first album and what a pleasant surprise it turned out to be. The music is largely a combination of Jazz and Progressive Rock reminding me of a jazzy version of Camel occasionally and is primarily instrumental. The music has a heavy keyboard bias due to the band having 2 keyboard players, electric piano in particular having a strong prescence though still leaving space for the guitar.

Opening track Alue is a bit of an anomaly being somewhat different in style to the rest of the album. It's also the only track to feature vocals by guest Noora Tommila who has an excellent voice. It's a catchy song with a more commercial style than the rest of the album though the underlying vibe of the song still has a jazzy feel.

Sydämesi Suljettu Yrttitarha starting with a jazz feel develops into something more along the lines of Caravan and at almost 12 minutes there's plenty of opportunity to develop these musical stylings whilst not losing sight of a strong melody.

Noursut starts with an ambient synth which fades to the background giving way to jazzy electric piano, guitar and subtle ride cymbal dominated drumming before building into something more powerful with a harsh synth sound coming well to the fore but it's all over in a few minutes. I enjoyed the vibe of this track and it's a shame they didn't develop it further into something longer which it would have easily leant itself to. They do with Vesikävelijät Saltaavat Altaat however on this atmospheric instrumental which keeps up the high standard so far.

As I already mentioned they remind me of Camel at times, none more so than on Poliisien Kesäkoti though lacking Andy Latimer's searing guitar. Häiritsevä Kaktus is one of the longer tracks, once again a strong jazz feel is present with a haunting spacey vibe courtesy of the electric piano.

They get more experimental on Peikkotanssi which strange as it sounds starts off in a more ambient vein almost developing into a ramshackle reggae style..I stress almost. Unfortunately it doesn't really work and ends up being the least satisfying track on the album. Pikkalinnun kuolema, the final track is also an ambient piece though short at only 2 minutes and whilst marginally more interesting than Peikkotanssi is not a great way to end this excellent album.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the album and with reference to the strength of opening track Alue it would have been nice to have vocals featuring on a couple more tracks. A look at their website reveals that a full-time vocalist has now been recruited and listening to a few new songs on their myspace page suggests that Pop influences are more to the fore on their next release though hopefully not losing the Jazz and Prog along the way.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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