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Magyar Posse - Random Avenger CD (album) cover

RANDOM AVENGER

Magyar Posse

 

Post Rock/Math rock

4.31 | 84 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
5 stars On RANDOM AVENGER, the third and final album from the Pori, Finland based MAGYAR POSSE, the band made some substantial changes which makes this album sound completely different from the previous two which were more in the same camp although "Kings Of Time" did give some clues as to how the sound would lead to this third grand finale. RANDOM AVENGER sees violinist Sandra Mahlamäki become a permanent member and contribute more than a mere two tracks as she did as a guest musician on the previous album. While the band grew from a quintet to a sextet, the number of guest musicians was paired down to include only Noora Tommila on vocals and cellist Ilari Autio on a couple tracks.

RANDOM AVENGER is a much more energetic affair than much of the slow drifting atmospheric drenched segments of the band's two previous albums. While the general post-rock paradigm is in full swing with long overarching cyclical grooves that ratchet up the intensity to climactic crescendocore frenzies, the intricacies of every single moment are augmented as the Ennio Morricone soundtrack based melodies find new ways to express themselves in the vast seas of sound. Comparisons to neighboring Norway's Jaga Jazzist's 2005 "What We Must" have been made as MAGYAR POSSE treads the similar ground of mixing rock, loungy jazz and electronica laced with not only nonchalant marching tempos that blithely free float through space but also dish out some more off- kilter time signature workouts.

In fact, due to Mahlamäki's expanded role on violin and the addition of select moments of cello, the band often sounds more like a chamber orchestra as the repetitive post-rock riffs get buried beneath layers of twin guitar riffing, violin sweeps, piano runs and the independent bass grooves. The instruments are more dynamic this time around as they provide more sophisticated counterpoints and while more energized, they unite to create a lush display of overlapping sounds and intertwined sound layers that find a multitude of variations on how to express the melancholic musical journey. The opener "Whirlpool of Terror and Tension" has been lauded as one of the best Finnish songs in the 21st century and RANDOM AVENGER found great success in their native Finland but also created greater ripples in the ever growing post-rock world having mustered up enough creative force to stand out amongst the pack.

Once again MAGYAR POSSE deliver all the emotional tugs that their soundtrack inspired melodies always have but on RANDOM AVENGER everything is teased out into ever greater complexities and there is very little down time save the scant moment where a piano melody laments with a weeping violin. For the most part a complex interchange of rock infused energy and atmospheric rivers conspire to create a series of unexpected twists and turns without sacrificing the greater arching construct that ties the seven tracks together. While mostly instrumental, RANDOM AVENGER continues the trend of including wordless vocals with the opener providing an almost Swingle Singer inspired series of jazzy skat utterances. While the clear influences of Mogwai, Godspeed! You Black Emperor and Sigur Ros are fully on board, MAGYAR POSSE merge them so tightly and add their own elements that the band takes on its own identity way beyond the limiting factors of the first two albums.

Of the three MAGYAR POSSE studio albums which include "We Will Carry You Over the Mountains," "Kings Of Time" and RANDOM AVENGER, it is this last chapter in the band's short run that really pushed the boundaries of the whole post-rock world and displayed perfectly that beautiful uplifting complex melodies could co-exist side by side with highly tortured soundscapes. The beauty of this album is how it alternates between the serene passages and the bombast of the more aggressive parts and while the cyclical grooves provide repetition to serve as an anchor of stability, the ever changing variations around them make this album quite animated and far richer than its predecessors in terms of breadth and scope of conveying a larger sonic palette of possibilities. It's too bad that MAGYAR POSSE didn't record another album since they existed up to 2012 but at least they went out on an extremely high note. This is one of the pinnacles of post-rock perfection.

siLLy puPPy | 5/5 |

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