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Alamaailman Vasarat - Maahan CD (album) cover

MAAHAN

Alamaailman Vasarat

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.90 | 101 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

After the temporary collaboration with local folk hero Tuomari Nurinio, AV resumes their discography with their third album, which finds a Silence label release (it wasn't so with that collaboration), but this time, not in digipack and with very bright red colours showing the right ear of each of the six members. So aside the unusual package (there s a wink on the back cover to Kaarmelautakunta with what's become AV's double hammer logo), the least we can say about Maahan is: back to business as usual.

Out of nowhere we get this now familiar Jazz Manouche (Gypsy Jazz) so close to Eastern European folklore mixed with these amazing cellos that try to reiterate what they had done on Kaarmelautakunta, but only partly succeeding so. So we get nothing new under the sun out of this latest AV album, but at least we get in large amount and impeccably played. The two wind players Saarkula and Haukala are their usual selves, blowing their lungs out, crying out Eastern European Jewish and Gypsy painful memories and joys. The cello duet of Helminen and Maninnen is still the base, the heartbeat and much of the rhythm of the group, but often offering the most poignant and gloomy moments in AV's soundscapes. Too bad they're not a little more present on this album. As for Huttunen on keys and Haninen on drums, they are often the star of the show, especially the latter and his manic frantic playing.

So if you liked their first two albums, and less their collaborative effort with Nurinio, the good news is that AV's third album should please you a lot. The lesser good news is that they fail to match the absolute craziness of the second Kaarmelautakunka album, but Maahan remains a worthy album. On the downside, I was hoping they would progress experimentally a little more with this one, but hopefully this will happen with their next one.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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