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Kimmo Pörsti - Wayfarer CD (album) cover

WAYFARER

Kimmo Pörsti

 

Crossover Prog

4.00 | 8 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Wayfarer is a solo album by the Finnish drummer and producer Kimmo P'rsti, who's perhaps best known from THE SAMURAI OF PROG (hopefully some of you are also aware of the jazzier instrumental act MIST SEASON and the poppier prog band PAIDARION). His first solo effort was released as Maahinen in 1997, but it's not exactly a prog album. Wayfarer is a fine continuation of all things Kimmo has done with TSOP and his other bands. I think the best comparison would be Two Worlds Encounter (2016) which was credited to "Paidarion Finlandia Project" and featured several international guests such as vocalists Jenny Darren and Kev Moore who appear also here. And the large international cast of prog-oriented musicians on this album is of course a logical continuation of the marvelous TSOP tradition, if on a slightly smaller scale, obviously.

The 73-minute, beautifully packaged album starts with 'Arrival', one of Kimmo's own compositions. 'Heaven's Gate' is a gorgeous, slightly Camel-like instrumental written by Jose Manuel Medina from Spain. 'Creer Crecer' and 'Cruz del Sur' composed by Jaime Rosas and sung by Rodrigo Codoy were originally made for the Colossus' conceptual sets Decameron II and Paradiso, respectively. Other composing collaborators include Rafael Pacha and Finnish multi- instrumentalist Jari Riitala. Unless one deals with each 13 tracks in detail (which I choose not to do), it would be exhausting and in the end a bit pointless to give credit to all fine musicians featured on this album! The music has a good deal of stylistic variety: for example some folky elements here and the grandiosity of symphonic prog there. The production is excellent but that comes as no surprise if you're familiar with TSOP or Paidarion.

Despite the diversity and the wide cast of composers and collaborators, Wayfarer succeeds to be pretty coherent album. The release feels in every way a true labour of love, full of sincere spirit and emotion. Six of the 13 tracks are instrumentals, some of them very elegant and beautiful especially when flute is involved. The album's only female vocalist Jenny Darren is featured on three songs: 'Wayfarer' and 'Icy Storm' are mellow pieces not so far from the style of Paidarion's debut album Hauras silta.

I hate to say this, but actually there is one track I rather skip, 'This Day Is Yours', because I really don't like Kev Moore's stuffy voice. All in all Wayfarer is a beautiful, easily enjoyed album, warmly recommended to the fans of TSOP, despite this effort being less symphonic. But definitely no less inspired, and it's really great to witness Kimmo's skills in composing more than is possible within the TSOP context.

Matti | 4/5 |

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