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Paatos - Kallocain CD (album) cover

KALLOCAIN

Paatos

 

Crossover Prog

3.63 | 135 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars The opening track on Paatos’ sophomore album makes the kind of bombastic, stand-up-and-look-you-in- the-eye statement that other 4th generation proggers have used to grab listeners’ attention on otherwise rather understated releases. Mostly Autumn’s “Never the Rainbow” from ‘The Last Bright Light’, Nightwish’s “Wish I Had an Angel” from ‘Once’, the Ayreon tune “Cold Metal” on Ambeon’s only album, Kebnekajse’s “Comanche Spring” and Stream of Passion’s “Out in the Real World” all come to mind when hearing the opening tune “Gasoline” on this album. But like most of those albums (except Nightwish of course), this one takes on a much more subdued tone after the rousing opening.

And that’s okay, because if you were a neo-metal fan you probably wouldn’t be buying this album anyway. The other thing that stands out here is that like the various offshoot projects of Arjen Luccasen, Trent Gardner, Jeff Lynne and Alan Parsons, this album reflects almost totally the character of its producer, in this case Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson. The sonic consistency and digital elaboration on songs like “Absinth Minded”, “Look at Us”, “Reality” and especially “Won't be Coming Back” all bring to mind the overall texture and mood of most of the Porcupine Tree albums I’ve ever heard, even if the music is slightly more poppish and mellow. The band itself hasn’t really changed all that much from their debut album, aside from Wilson’s production tweaks to make them sound a little more dynamic and varied than they really are. This is good if the band takes the experience and uses it to find other ways to expand their sound, but based on their 2006 follow-up ‘Silence of Another Kind’ I’m not convinced that’s going to happen.

There’s been some fuss made about how the band has ‘stretched’ the boundaries of modern prog by combining trip-hop and neo-prog for a unique new sound. Well, they have sort of blended those two sounds; although the trip-hop part is so understated and subtle as to border on laconic at times (check out “Holding On” and the closing “In Time” in particular). But I don’t think even this is completely new, as I’ve heard the same from the Smell of Incense (only better), as well as from Änglagård leader Mattias Olsson’s side project Nanook of the North. But unlike those two acts, these guys seem to still be around, so extra points to them for that.

So despite the sonic blast of the opening “Gasoline”, this is really a pretty laid-back record, although it would definitely make a nice cozy-up soundtrack with your lady some late evening under candlelight, and so far it’s the best and most cohesive work Paatos have managed to put together. It’s still not quite essential, but is easily a three star affair, and will appeal to fans of softer, ambient progressive music. Recommended if you like that sort of thing.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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