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4 stars Immediately after having pushed the play-button one is being sent barking up the wrong tree. During no more than a minute one thinks to be in the middle of a gypsy camp, wondering what musical journey one got in to now.

But not to worry, after this minute the fiddle is replaced by a psychedelic piece of music with quite heavy parts in it. The music may be psychedelic, but what really makes you dizzy is the voice of Petronella Nettermalm. She creates a special, dreamy atmosphere that almost sucks you into the music.

The violence of the first track isn't maintained: from "Holding On" onwards creating this gloomy atmosphere is the main message. The Swedish band PAATOS, led by the amazing voice of Petronella, gets your feet of the ground and takes you to unknown heights. They call their own music melancholic post rock. Combine PORTISHEAD with (a very good) HOOVERPHONIC and add a delicate David Lynch-sauce (remember the mysterious tv-series Twin Peaks?), and what you get is a very addictive cocktail. Petronella Nettermalm is compared with Bjork, but her voice comes closer to the one of Julee Cruise (Twin Peaks) and Imogen, who worked with Terry Oldfield (Mike's brother). Her voice is fragile and strong at the same time, dreamy and heavenly seductive.

The music is subtle and at times prominently present accompanying Petronella's singing. The production is perfect. Marvellous mellotron sounds are supported by nice drumming and subtly added guitar.

If you love PORTISHEAD and HOOVERPHONIC and like the mix with YES- ("Happiness") and KING CRIMSON-influences (the dramatic "Stream", with a guitar solo that reminds of the former EARTH AND FIRE), and if a hallucinating musical trip doesn't frighten you off, you've just got to buy the timeless "Kallocain"!

Strongly recommended!

>>> Review by: Luc Descamps (9/10) <<<

Report this review (#30501)
Posted Friday, June 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Rounded up to the fourth star, mainly because of the DVD.

This is the second album from this Swedish combo and it is a small deception after their incredible debut. I think part of it is due to guitarist Stefan Dimle's (one of two ex-Landberk members) departure (to Swede psych group Dungen), but also to the surprise effect of the debut not working here. The first track starts off weirdly enough with a violin (courtesy of a guest) and is rather ballsy but soon you are engulfed into their usual atmospheres and very glad to find the feeling of the first album. The second track is still full of those atmospheres but much calmer. All of the other tracks are equally as good but remain calm and moody. So you ask: why is it a deception? Well, the fact is that this is too calm and the album never really takes off to reach climaxes as it did on their debut - especially on the monster track Quits.

After repeated listens, this too-calm (soporific?) feeling is confirmed and I find myself popping the CD out of my deck and must refrain from selecting some Motorhead (luckily I don't have any ;o))) or Mr Bungle. Some version of this album comes with a short "bonus" DVD with four tracks recorded live, and that is pure bliss, because it shows that the band's essence on stage is not that well represented on studio recordings. Another bonus is that we can get an eyeful of Petronella and her husband can't do a thing about it, cos he's stuck behind his drum kit. So Kallocain is a bit listless and amorphous, but if you manage to get a hold of the DVD version, it might still be worth your while.

Report this review (#30502)
Posted Friday, June 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars A band that performs a unique blend of Pink Floyd, Renaissance, White Willow and Mellow Candle is back with one of the most expected albums of the year, and probably their most melodic. Paatos "Kallocain", a dose of Porcupine Tree to the blend lingers around (Steven Wilson's production) and creates a different feeling. Anyway, the Voice of Petronella Nettermalm calls the rest of the attention. An albums you MUST buy on 2004. Enjoy!
Report this review (#30503)
Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album have a new sound inside the world of prog rock. Mixes the sound of mellotron with a smell of alternative pop (likes of Portishead, Bjork and Radio Head). The voice of Petronnela is very beatiful and the melodies are great. I recommended this album for open mind people. I saw Paatos in Portugal and the sound of album are more powerful alive!
Report this review (#30506)
Posted Saturday, September 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars There are a blend of so called "new" or "modern" prog bands, carrying the hope for future days of prog. Paatos is unquestionably one of them. Partly consisting of former members of the Swedish prog combo "Landberk" they caused a fresh breeze with their debut "Timeloss", fine Retro-Prog mixed with modern influences such as trip-hop like rhythms slightly reminiscent of "Björk". Another similarity to "Björk" is Petronella Nettermalm. Her vocals are beautiful and mostly melancholic. The new album "Kallocain" offers some differences. Reine Fiske, former guitarist of "Landberk" left the band and was replaced by Peter Nylander. With him, most of the "Landberk" influences left as well; but there are still some parallels left. "Kallocain" offers yet more modern sounds, the trip-hop like rhythms in particular. The drummer and husband of Petronella, Huxflux Nettermalm offers some impressive drumming. Besides the trip-hop beats there are these extraordinary drum parts, quite heavy and fast now and again. In general the sound of "Kallocain" is quite melancholic, a lot of mellotron sounds, typical swedish. Once in a while the band breaks out of this general mood to show their heavier, as well as some very modern parts. On the whole I liked the sound of the first album better even if most of the elements are relatively similar. "Kallocain" sounds more mature but I miss the parts where the band really "goes for it" (Ending of "Hypnotique", "Quits"). There's also a limited special edition with DVD. If you want to buy this album I recommend to invest the small amount of money to get this version. You get an excerpt of a great gig in Köln/Germany wich could be seen on German TV (The show is called "Rockpalast") some time ago. You get four excellent performed songs (among them their best song IMO: "Hypnotique"). It's definitely worth the extra money.

I think that "Kallocain" is a good successor of their amazing debut. If you're searching for modern prog since you become desperate because prog seems to become extinct I recommend to check out Paatos. You will see, the situation is not as hopeless as it may seem. There are some new bands willing to keep prog alive, willing to generate a fresh breeze for the whole genre (I just want to mention "Liquid Scarlet" from Sweden). Prog is alive...

Report this review (#30508)
Posted Thursday, October 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Now here is an album you simply must hear...PAATOS' "Kallocain" is an impressive piece of Scandinavian - progressive music with a blend of multi - genres all culminating into one of my favourite albums of 2004. In many ways PAATOS actually reminds a bit of Finalnd's "WHITE WILLOW" with aspects of SIGUR ROS, PORTISHEAD, ANEKDOTEN, LANDBERK and ANGLAGAARD tossed in. Behind their veil of pastel soundscapes and ambient-like musical tones rests a rich yet dark and slightly aggressive wall of music, which always stays in control. The mood of the album ebbs and flows and although is a quieter album overall, does have some dynamic interlude bursts. Instrumentally this band have it all with excellent musicianship and they carry a very tight, yet relaxed feel. Lead vocalist Petronella Nettermalm's voice is rich and slightly raw a fits the music to perfection without sounding dominant or obtrusive. She has that certain quality that I just love and think her vocal personality really come thru with a spark. "Kallocain" was mixed by Steve Wilson of PORCUPINE TREE. A scrumptious album that you will need to hunt down.
Report this review (#30509)
Posted Saturday, October 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perhaps there are many albums to play much more important role in the history of prog, perhaps Kallocain is one of these albums that no one will remember after 30 years... Perhaps - but it steel deserves 5 stars.

After hearing the first PAATOS album, I was a bit afraid that they'll never manage to record such a thing again. But they did it - Kallocain is even better then they debut Cd.

It's starts a bit weird - with strong folk influence cello - but just a few seconds after we have no doubts that it's still Paatos. This time very hipnotic and melancholic, but at the same time a little bit more "dynamic" then Timeloss (excluding the last song).

Quite good lyrics (of course perfectly sung by Petronella + good mastering that make you feel, as if she was whispering it straight into your ears) - loneliness, lack of contact with the closest people, lack of understanding.... The title may be seen as quite ironic as Kallocain was a kind of truth serum (see: Karin Boye - Kallocain)

Feelings, emotions, melancholy, typical nordic atmosphere of small, closed room - that what Paatos has to offer this time - in the best quality. IT IS A MASTERPIECE!!

Remember: "The way I see the situation is my reality"

PS. No more Anekdoten quotation, please! If not this - Kallocain would deserve even six stars:-)

Report this review (#43825)
Posted Monday, August 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The second full album of this new Scandinavian prog band is very good, but I think slightly less brilliant than their debut album - TIMELOSS. Most of songs are slow paced, except 1-"Gasoline", 3-"Happiness" (in the end part) and 8-"Won´t be coming back". These tracks, by the way, are amongst my favourites and in some way remember the general mood of the debut album. The stunning vocals of Petronella are almost always fragile and melancholic, except mostly on the awesome Arabic vocals in "Gasoline". Generally I liked the bass lines of Stefan Dimle. There is some cello in tracks 2 and 5 and mellotron in some passages as in tracks 4 and 7. Sometimes I heard jazzy drums and bass on 7-"Stream" and 8-"Won´t be coming back". Hardly I heard solos (as a guitar one in end of track 8) but all instruments are important and complement and/or construct beautiful ambiences to Petronella vocals. Surely no bad song, but my least favourite is 6-"Reality" (which I think is slightly better on the bonus DVD), due to the pop drums and simple lines. I think some edited and shorter version of this track perhaps would be played on the radio. In short, this is another good album by this impressive new Swedish band. I recommend to all spend a little more and get the special edition including a bonus DVD with live presentations. There are only 4 songs, but sound, images and performances are excellent, not to mention the slight different versions of the songs. ***½ stars.
Report this review (#69582)
Posted Thursday, February 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Kallocain is the sophomore release of Paatos who made an excellent debut with their 2002 release of Timeloss. This second effort will see some major differences in the overall sound of Paatos. The key change is the departure of guitarist Reine Fiske, being replaced by Peter Nylander. Because of this, Paatos no longer has that "Landberk feel" to their music. Kallocain is more closer in style to a mix of Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, and Anekdoten. Others have compared them to Portishead, but I can't make that claim because I've never listened to Portishead yet. Even though this change is significant, Paatos continues to deliver another excellent release.

Right from the start, the first track, Gasoline, clubs you over the head with raw energy suggesting Paatos has something really different to offer this time. It starts off with some wonderful violin, giving the song a slight Eastern feel, with the usual Mellotron backdrop that was always present on their debut album. It then kicks into a harder section that is unlike anything they have done before and Petronella Nettermalm's vocals have an exotic spacey feel to them. A wonderful start. The second track, Holding On, has some beautiful soft vocals, a genuinely sad atmosphere, is mellow and slow, and has a slight Porcupine Tree feel. The next four tracks -- Happiness, Absinth Minded, Look At Us, and Reality -- will all have a somewhat Porcupine Tree/Radiohead feel to them.On Reality, even the vocal delivery is like Steven Wilson's. Nylander's guitar work is somewhat better than on their debut (no offense to Reine Fiske, who I also like). These are all good songs, but Reality is kind of ruined by the programmed drums, although it has a nice Mellotron ending.

The seventh track, Stream, reminisces back to Paatos' debut, being slow and mellow with nice Mellotron backdrops. Next is Won't Be Coming Back, which is a stunningly beautiful piece, filled with energy and some nice Mellotron soundscapes. The final track is In Time and returns to the Porcupine Tree/Radiohead feel of the bulk of this album with some nice, dreamy guitar work at the end.

Although this time Paatos sounds very different from their debut, they give another excellent performance and I would hope they continue to have luck in the future. They are a very talented band and I think somewhere down the road they are bound to release a wonderful masterpiece, but they're not quite there yet. Nettermalm continues to sing mostly in a soft style, but when she does explode with power, the effect is stunning. She shows more of that on this second release, but I'm hoping she can really deliver something special in future releases. The overall feel of Kallocain is more or less mellow and melancholic, but it certainly has more bursts of energy than their debut. I don't think they've quite found the perfect balance between mellow and energetic, but they're moving in the right direction. Not a masterpiece yet, but definitely another excellent addition to any prog collection. Four stars and highly recommended.

Report this review (#72425)
Posted Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars How do you classify an album like this. The band themselves have described it as 'melancholic post-rock'. Is it prog, or rock, or even pop? Whatever it is, it is , in my view one of the very best albums of the new millenium!

Its qualities are fairly obvious from the first listening on. There is magnificent, atmospheric mellotron backing; haunting, achingly melodic vocal lines; Petronella's deliciously delicate vocals; unshowy, but very effective and enjoyable musicianship. It is similar at times to Landberk or Anekdoten.Definitely worth 5 stars for sheer quality, even though its prog credentials might be thought suspect by some.

Report this review (#76206)
Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars As I said in the forum, I've just fallen in deep love with this group, which to my disappointment I only came across a few days ago. The first thing I want to stress here is that I'm truly amazed by the quality and quantity such a scandinavian country is able to put on the market at a high rate in the last years. There must be something in the air over there that inspires people in composing music of such a great beauty. But anyway, back to the review. The album starts with a gitan or gipsy riff: this is Gasoline. For a supposed prog group, which I supposed is more correctly labelled as art rock band, is a very interesting start and the curiosity keeps you going ahead, and you'd better do it. Gasoline then continues on with a more Bregovic style, mixing balkanian and syncopatic sounds to an incessant and ripetitive background synth that, for some strange reasons makes me compare some parts of the song to Front Line Assembly. Please, I know, the comparison is odd saying the least, but this is what popped into my mind the very first time I listened to it. Holding On is the second song and together with Happiness are my favourite ones. I'd been looking for a calm and quiet band for a long time, which at the same time was also capable of giving me intense sensations of melancholy and passion. They succeeded in that open wide. Guys, if you like Chroma Key, if you like Radiohead and Dub music, mix all them up in a homogeneous blender and you will have Kallocain. I've just found out (Sorry for my ignorance) that Kallocain is a book by Swedish novelist Karin Boye "that envisiones a future of drab terror. Seen through the eyes of idealistic scientist Leo Kall, Kallocain's depiction of a totalitarian world state is a montage of what novelist Karin Boye had seen or sensed in 1930s Russia and Germany. Its central idea grew from the rumors of truth drugs that ensured the subservience of every citizen to the state". It reminds me of 1984 by Orwell, and I will defintely read that book. Absinth minded presents a mesmerizing atmosphere, whose landscape could be also well depicted and drawn by Bijork. Open chords and wide use of the legendary Hammond helps the atmosphere become more "scandinavian" and "Edvard Grieg"-like. Look at us is a relaxing and easy-to-listen song, some sort of bedtime song, with a hint of carillon sounds in background. Reality is perhaps the more "Massive Attack"-like composition of the album, but what really strikes me is this underlying sense of nostalgia and sadness, not so uncommon for Swedish, and in general scandinavian music. For a latin, this is a pleasent ingredient to be added to the recipe. Stream follows the same wake of Reality, but with some influences from Pink Floyd, especially in the synth chords. Won't be coming back sounds more as a progressive song, at least as far as the rhythm is concerned. Arpeggios and many different accents in the melody let the song be more sustained and groovy somehow. Kallocain ends with Time, that I would define as the perfect end to an album largely dedicated to moody and melancholic atmospheres. Mike Oldfield and new age music are present in Time in a non mysterious way. To conlcude, if you are after something different in your collection, add this album and you won't regret it. I will give 4 stars to it, but I would tend towards 5 at least to celebrate this "low profile" attitude that the band has, which is clear in contrast to the tendency of the prog community these days to turn up the volume and becoming more heavy metal rather than prog, as far as the adjective and terminology are concerned.
Report this review (#79405)
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is Paatos' follow up of their unique debut and it's actually a bit dissapointing.

Let me start up by saying that they made a nice mellow album with a really great relaxing atmosphere, but sometimes it gets a bit too relaxing and one kind of drifts away and not in a good way. It's more enjoyable for late night listening. Pertonella Nettermalm is the star in this album, although the band are the ones that made the soft mellodic feel to the album (specially the guitar player) they also get the credit. She shines all the way with her beautiful voice and I find her better sounding than in their debut. She never raises her voice and its a good thing because the album is soft and nice. The songs are really pleasant and the only ones that sound a bit more energetic are Gasoline, Happiness and Won't be coming back and they still keep the flow of the album going never sounding out of place.

One of the drawback of this album is that its sometimes too pop oriented. There are songs that you can even relate to, say, Evanesence, so it won't be for everyone. Also, I got a bit dissapointed because this was my first Paatos album, but when I heard their debut you can clearly see the took one step backwards. Their debut sounded more complet because it had a bit of everything (not just melodic and sad tunes like in this album). After repeated listenings it also looses its charm and thats really sad because it's very decent album.

Anyone interested in the music of Paatos should get their debut album. It sounds more balanced than this one, but if what you're looking for is a relaxing and mellow album then go ahead and get this one. If you like Kallocain then I recommend you go and check out the band BLACKFIELD wich is also in the vibe as Paatos on this album.

Report this review (#81750)
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album starts the process of merging the stylistic ingredients presented in the band's fabulous debut album as more compact sound. Vintage progressive rock elements are inherited from late Landberk and some flavors of modern electronic music, and I'm very happy with the results.

"Gasoline" opens the album with violins, which lead the listener to the hazy and hypnotic world of Paatos. It has a powerful verse which ends to hypnotic guitar chords, thus creating a wonderful dynamics. The drummer of the band really shines here, and there is also really great sound in the bass guitar. Songs are here really mellow and moody, and the electronics are used mostly to paint aural landscapes. "Holding On" is another beautiful slow ballad, pleasant to the ear like luxury satin. "Happiness" has then a really sensual chord progression which pulses sexually like the mellow violin part of King Crimson's "Lark's Tongues in Aspic part two". There are some programmed drums here too, but they are much softer and pleasant than on the trip-hop song of their first album, which I didn't like very much. Wonderful melodic verses, which are the band's trademark, are also present here. On the following track "Absinth Minded" the electronics are used for drumming and to create an abstract intro for this oppressing minor key song. There are some very delicate details to be spotted behind the louder parts of the music, and the verse has strong Mellotron chords. Next tune "Look at Us" is more delightful track, with acoustic guitar and peculiar rhythm, which grows to a strong whirlpool at the end. "Reality" is another minor key song, with electronic treatments and drums, lasting over seven minutes long. There's a short funny twist to Major keys in the verse, and the trip-hop rhythm creates spaces for interesting aural visions with really powerful melodies. "Stream" is the a very slow and fragile minor ballad with soft acoustic drums and piano, and the next song "Won't Be Coming Back" introduces an interesting jazzy rhythms, which emerge from the electronic hazy intro, which seems to be another common characteristic of this group. This composition resembles the songs of album "Indian Summer" quite much. Last song "In Time" starts very quietly and evolves as delightfully floating ethereal musical space, where one could fall into sleep. This track also has some post-rock qualities, which are more strongly present in their next album "Silence of Another Kind".

The extended CD has a DVD disc with four songs from the concert at Rockpalast, January 2004. The selections and night's overall mood were fine, and also revealing the differences on live situation and careful studio sessions, maybe most notable on the "Gasoline" performance. From other dynamic compositions "Won't be Coming Back" and "Reality" work fine on stage, "Hypnotique" falling to ethereal charms of fragile beautifulness borne from Petronella Nettermalm's vocal lines.

If you like lady singers and Mellotrons, and you are not fanatically against modern musical elements, this sensual album should please you. (I personally adore it!) Among Anekdoten this is one of the best contemporary bands carrying the torch of classical moody progressive rock, and thus both are from Sweden, they prove that this nation holds strongly the musical heritage in their bloodline, which can be tracked down to the ancient days of Carl Michael Bellmann.

Report this review (#89157)
Posted Thursday, September 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Quote from : The second album, Kallocain, is recorded and subsequently mixed by Steven Wilson. This collaboration began with Paatos playing a few gigs with Porcupine Tree when they were on tour in Sweden. The prospect of Steven mixing Kallocain was fantastic as was Steven's magic to be heard in the final result. I think Steven Wilson of PORCUPINE TREE did an excellent job in mixing this album. The result is a very warm album, nevertheless the true PAATOS's sound is still very present and distinct.

All tracks of this album are good, to very good. However I must admit it took me some time to get used to "Gasoline", the opening track of this album. Highlights of "Kallocain" are "Holding On", "Happiness" and "Won't be Coming Back".

The special edition containing a bonus DVD is also nice, however I must say Petronella's voice sounds better on the album than life. Nevertheless a nice DVD to watch which captures the mood of their life performance.

Just like "TIMELOSS" I rate "KALLOCAIN" as a 4 star album. I actually think that "KALLOCAIN" is a bit better than their debut album from 2002.

Report this review (#90903)
Posted Thursday, September 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars More melancholic and gloomy music from Sweden, and I love it ! Seven of the nine tracks are graced with mellotron; add to that the hypnotic vocals of Pertonella, along with some cello and violins and you have atmospheric and ambiant music to chill to. I should mention that Steven Wilson mixed this recording.The band has mentioned PORTISHEAD, KING CRIMSON, CAN and BJORK as influences.

"Gasoline" sounds quite different from the rest mostly because she sings with some passion after 2 1/2 minutes. Violin to open before drums and bass thankfully take over. Violin joins in. Great sound ! When she sings after 2 1/2 minutes a full sound joins her with chunky bass. Themes are repeated. A top three track for me. "Holding On" is slow paced with hypnotic vocals along with mellotron and light drums. Some cello too. Besides "Gasoline" my other favourite is "Happiness" which is the most upbeat on the album. Simply an incredible track.

"Absinth Minded" opens with electonics as the vocals join in before a minute. Amazing sound before 3 minutes. It settles again 4 minutes in. "Look At Us" is pastoral to open but it builds to a fuller sound. Cello and piano too. "Reality" is atmospheric to open as reserved vocals come in. Electronics later. "Stream" opens with slowly played piano as those soft vocals come in. A fuller sound after 3 1/2 minutes with mellotron. "Won't Be Coming Back" has a beautiful melody to it. A top three for me. Lots of mellotron and I like the guitar too. "In Time" is another atmospheric, laid back tune.

I feel that "Kallocain" is an improvement on "Timeloss", I actually think it's quite a bit better in many ways.There isn't anything I don't like on this record, which I can't say about "Timeloss".

Report this review (#94028)
Posted Tuesday, October 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm going to rate this one at 3 stars [well, 3.5 really], but boy, is this one of the most enjoyable 3 stars record or what! A superb, calm, moody, prog, art rock, trip-hop, mellotron and whatnot display os sensibility takes place here and you want to be there to witness it. This is really a fine trip to the place "full of magnets and miracles" as the lyrics go and its the music you want to go to sleep to, or do other marvellous things. No killer epic, no over the top instrumentation, no unearthly blend of styles, but solid and inspired music writing and a gentil female voice that's addictive, making you want to hear all of their albums. This is proof of how harmonies actually make great prog. Everything flows, from one song to another, soothed by the absolutely stunning vocals. Oh, did I say not a blend of genres? Well, not if you take apart the jazz, psychedelic or trip-hop influences that is [there's even a hint of a blues-rock-country-like guitar sound on Stream]. But this is not just Chillout Moods for the progheads, as it has its proggish moments and even traks that start mellow get a nice spin towards the end [Happiness, Absinth Minded, Stream]. I cannot recommend one single track that is a standout because each song here is a small jewel that shines so much stronger along with the others. And you're guaranteed to fall in love with the vocals.
Report this review (#94464)
Posted Saturday, October 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Titled after a novel by Swedish writer Karin Boye (1900-1941) "Kallocain" has been the second release by this formation that arose from the ashes of band Landberk. After their strong debut "Timeloss" Paatos managed again to create a very good album sounding more modern and mature than its predecessor but nonetheless it's not quite as impressing as that one. Starting off with a very nice folk-ish violin solo in "Gasoline" the music floats in a quite enjoyable but as well not really spectacular manner through the nine tracks of this album featuring the trade-marked components of many Scandinavian bands that is mellow melancholy and wallowing Mellotron tunes. Besides a well-done blend of retro influences and modern trip-hop beats the dominating element of their sound are of course the pleasant vocals by Petronella Nettermalm. There isn't any real flawed song on here but on the other hand as well not any outstanding one. At some parts as in "Look At Us" it sounds almost as coming from White Willow's weaker "Ex Tenebris"-album which could be blamed for being too mawkish, at others they might come a bit too close to pop territory as in "Won't Be Coming Back" which is nonetheless a very nice track. My favorite is "Stream" which turned out to be one of the most beautiful Prog ballads I heard recently. Overall this band ain't as exciting as some other Scandinavian ones (Anekdoten, White Willow, Isildurs Bane) but offer an enjoyable listen for lovers of mellow and melancholic progressive music. I'd give an extra half star for it since the Special Edition including bonus DVD is a worthy purchase anyway I think!
Report this review (#109346)
Posted Monday, January 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's true that the vocals remind one of Bjork and Portishead but this band has one huge advantage. While those two build their layers atop sometimes tedious electronica, Paatos has some killer players to build on. The drummer Ricard is especially noteworthy, his playing just so expressive (especially live) and yet he's not a show off like others. All of the musicians are at the top of their game without disturbing the delicate trance-like vocal melodies. Smooth atmospheric meloncholy with outbursts of volume on occasion to snap you back to attention.

I'm not a digi-pak fan but my edition came with a live DVD that makes the package even more tasty.

Good, though clearly not essential to a progressive collection. In reality this is alternative rock that I would put alongside my albums by Portishead, Bjork, Garbage, and Mazzy Star to name a few. But it is very enjoyable and of high musical quality.

Report this review (#118403)
Posted Saturday, April 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars In my opinion, Kallocain is a little better than Timeloss, specially cos the best production and a better work in the compositions.

From the new Scandinavian Prog, Paatos is one of my favourites. No matter if sometimes their music sounds like White Willow, Landberk or even Portishead; Paatos sounds is unique and their albums are really beautiful pieces leaded by the amazing voice of Petronella Nettermalm, the simple but brilliant work on guitar by Peter Nylander and the amazing sound of the Mellotron played by Stefan Dimle. In Kallocain, there is a constant sense of darkness and melancholy and the band know perfectly how to keep this tension without unnecessary emotional shocks.

Starting with the gypsy or arabesque intro of Gasoline, the album slowly turns into a nostalgic piece full of slow but dark songs, with solid rhythmical sections, some interesting Mellotron and guitar solos and the pure and amazingly beautiful voice of Petronella. Floatin athmospheres in most of the songs intros complete this picture of nine awsom songs.

Some other highlights: Absinth Minded, Reality, Stream and In Time

Really beautiful album, perfect for fans of darkl stuff and for those which still remember White Willow first three albums or Landberk stuff. 3.8*

Report this review (#143211)
Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
3 stars A big step forward in terms of production, "Kallocain" features a much deeper sound than was heard on Paatos debut, but still keeps with the band's distinct style of melancholy and delicate sounds. Actually, I'd go so far to say that this album is darker than "Timeloss", featuring more, and longer moments of brooding atmosphere and effects which punctuate the appearance of Petronella's vocals. There are fewer up-tempo passages and, taken as a whole, the lyrics are fantastically more depressing, leaving the listener satisfied, but somewhat odd feeling after a complete listen-- like a loved one has just died.

Undeniably beautiful, but sometimes hard to approach and finish make "Kallocain" a mixed bag for me; it's uniqueness alone makes it worth investigating, but I have a hard time saying whether or not it is better than their debut.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Report this review (#144581)
Posted Sunday, October 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars It is amazing to see how lively the Swedish prog scene is. To get so many modern bands active on the forefront of prog rock is just remarkable. I almost feel miserable as a Belgian.

This is a dual album featuring mostly quiet and ambient music and more powerful songs. Intelligently enough the opener belongs to the latter category although it takes a while for this song to really kick off. But once you've reached the turning point, it is all enchantment. Crisp, cold, melodic. An excellent song.

Their "Anekdoten" sound is fully present during "Happiness". Is it necessary to tell you that there are splendid mellotron lines in this great song? I am really found of this instrument and once a band includes it so widely in his work, I almost always fall apart while listening to their compositions.

The ethereal voice from Petronella is magical during "Happiness" and "Absinth Minded". And fortunately, the mellotron is not absent from "Absinth". The only bad comment I could do about this release is that is fairly on the sweet mode (even more surprising for a band catalogued in the heavy-prog genre). "Look At Us" is maybe one too much. Falls somewhat flat and uninspired in comparison with the previous ballads even if the finale is bombastic.

This melancholic atmosphere is a bit too much IMO. The second half of this album has little variety and remains in these fine but tranquil sounds. And the nice mellotron couldn't prevent "Stream" to put yourself asleep. If the prior "Reality" didn't do it already. Delicate but thin even if again, the finale is wonderful.

Just as with their debut album, the second part of their work is not on par. This album could have been better if more diversified. As such, I rate it with three stars. A wonderful antidote to cool down while being in the middle of some traffic jams. Guaranteed. Sit back, relax and listen to In Time.

Report this review (#169654)
Posted Saturday, May 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
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.


Report this review (#179346)
Posted Sunday, August 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Paatos' second effort is sadly a mixed bag of occasional hit and sporadic miss, contrasts are bold between each track. On the alluring side, "Holding On" is where the Portishead similarities really come home, a proggier version of that talented but lazily discreet trip band, where Paatos' Petronella sounds a lot like Beth Gibbons, a heady swirl of dreamy mood scapes, sharp crackling drums, churning atmospherics, clean violin and effective guitar. A chilling and enticing piece this is. "Happiness" is another mellotron draped jewel, mischievously enticing the listener into an eddy of emotion and imbalance, as if floating on uncertain clouds. The fourth slice is the overtly affected but cleverly titled "Absinth Minded", with a huge mellotron cascade that is truly inspiring as it flows gently into the fog. "Won't be Coming Back" is another return to form, a resolute piece where all combine to shine, showing great peaks and valleys, well-oiled rhythms solidly arranged and a healthy dose of inspired musicianship. Excellent stuff! On the looser side, there are a few clunkers such as "Look at Us", a little too alternative-pop for my tastes, wimpy playing and wimpier vocals that are all the rage on national radios,oops I mean Ipods!), annoyingly bland and bleached of any progressive stain. "Reality" is another oddball cut with its primitive almost minimalist punch, boom-tchak boom-tchak drumming, devoid of any interesting symphonic manipulations, sounding like an all-together different band. The singing sucks in my opinion, wholly unconvincing (which BTW Gibbons never was). A weak instrumental break helps little in the final countdown (no, not the Europe mega-drivel hit song), it's also way too long, the repeated blare stretched to the hilt with unfortunate emptiness (unnecessary handclaps. Really!). "Stream" is an unbearable sonic gauze, unable to let the bloody wound of musical weakness heal in peace, though the lumbering 'tron slice is revealing. The guitar parts are not very adroit and the whole thing just plods grossly. The final cut is not very inspired despite its proggy length but it just highlights the fact that this cannot really go beyond a two track marvel, out of nine that's not enough! For Swedish completists or fans of this kind of retro-avant-garde. Not on my Ikea shelf for long! Only occasional visits are recommended. 3 fuzzy novocaines
Report this review (#216510)
Posted Monday, May 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Kallocain" is the second full-length studio album by Swedish progressive rock act Paatos. The band features ex-members of Landberk and Agg. "Kallocain" was released through InsideOut Music in 2004 and is notably produced by Steven Wilson (Porcupine tree, Blackfield, No-Man...etc). Since the release of the debut album guitarist Reine Fiske (Landberk, Motorpsycho) has been replaced by Peter Nylander.

"Timeloss (2002)" was quite an interesting progressive rock album, but while the music on "Kallocain" is unmistakably the sound of Paatos, the band have still made major changes to their overall sound. The debut album featured a predominantly retro progressive female lead rock sound, but combined that sound with more contemporary elements (at times trip-hop influenced). On "Kallocain" the scale has tipped towards a more contemporary sound and artists like Massive Attack, Portishead and especially Hooverphonic are to some extent valid references, although there are still quite a few organic progressive rock traits in the music (the use of mellotron is for example rather prominent in the soundscape).

The material are generally well written although some tracks don´t stick as well as others. Repeated listens of course help, but there is a tendency that some of the more unremarkable tracks on the album sound like pale clones of the best tracks. One of the great assets of the album are the high level musicianship. These guys are seasoned musicians and Pertonella Nettermalm has a pleasant voice and connvincing emotional delivery which suits the music well. A special mention is deserved for the drum performance by Ricard Nettermalm. While his drumming on this album is generally a bit more restrained than on the debut album, his playing is one of those special features which provides the music with an extra dimension.

"Kallocain" is a well produced affair, which isn´t surprising given the fact that it´s a Steven Wilson production. It´s fairly organic and pretty well sounding, although I do partially blame the production for not being able to make all tracks stand out equally. To my ears it´s a combination of occasionally weaker songwriting and the production of the tracks that´s an issue. While not all tracks are equally memorable, which of course is a slight issue, Paatos have still overall made a good quality release with "Kallocain", and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#226688)
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Kallocoain is Paatos' most consistent album. It is one of those slowly growing laid-back albums that gradually lure you into its lush enchantment, each time revealing more of its details. It probably won't register very high on your prog yardstick though, so if epic prog wizardry is your thing, you might skip this one.

However, if you like the sound and atmosphere of Portishead done by competent musicians with a deep affection for King Crimson you might enjoy this very much. The focus is on the solid and diverse song writing and the silky and smoky melancholy of Petronella Nettermalm's voice. Every songs is a true gem, with Gasoline, Happiness and Won't Be Coming Back as my personal highlights.

Kallocain is an excellent album that is in desperate need for a larger audience. However, since they are hard to categorize and don't fit into a simple box with just one appealing and recognizable tag on it, this is unlikely to happen. It's too poppy for prog heads and because of the prog tag; it is avoided by their potential audience. A typical consequence of today's pigeonholing.

Report this review (#252034)
Posted Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Kallocain is best recognized for being one of the earlier albums to which STEVEN WILSON contributed his editing, engineering, and production talents--which shows as the album does have a very enticing production sound, full of incidentals and treated instruments. New guitarist Peter NYLANDER admirably replaces Timeloss' Reine FISKE and the band also adds a full-time keyboard specialist in Johan WALLEN. And, despite two A-rated songs ("Holding On" [4:57] [9/10] and "Won't Be Coming Back" [5:33] [10/10]) and Petronella's gorgeous etheric vocals, the album plays out rather flat and monotonous. On a personal note, I am a bit surprised and disappointed that drummer extraordinaire Ricard "Huxflux" NETTERMALM so rarely 'lets go' on Kallocain. He has the ability to be a show stopper yet here seems to choose (amazing) restraint with lots of masterful subtle 'jazz' fills instead of stealing the limelight.

Overall, not enough songs bring the listener in deep enough to help this album to higher status.

Report this review (#406585)
Posted Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the release of ''Timeloss'' Reine Fiske left the band, although he remained strictly involved in the music industry, playing with several Psych, Jazz Rock and Art Rock bands and collaborating with some others like Elephant9.His place was taken by Berklee alumnus Peter Nylander and with this formation the band recorded the second album ''Kallocain'', named after a sci-fi novel by Swedish female author Karin Boye.They were now listed in the crew of Inside Out (which also reissued the debut of the band) and Steven Wilson was responsible for the mix.

Paatos kept doing what they were originally intended to: Producing Nordic-flavored, atmospheric and melancholic music with a definite progressive enviroment, but also refering to a wider audience due to the modern elements injected in their music, like the Post-Rock moods, the metronomic beats and the vocal distortions, blended with some obvious Pop sensibilities.But you just can't leave aside the LANDBERK leftovers and the artistic attitude of the band, as their pieces still contained symphonic orchestrations, psychedelic edges and heavier segments.This inspired use of Mellotron and organ next to the Post-Rock hard-edged guitars and the Scandinavian colors can only be achieved by mature and talented bands.As with LANDBERK, their music bursted some evident blinks to very early KING CRIMSON and the stunning efforts of ANEKDOTEN with the Mellotron and cello popping up here and there, while the guitars and the rhythm section have a much more intense and less refined value.Imagine this sound blended with BJORK's experiments, that is a good dash of Trip Hop, Art Pop and Electronic sounds, moreover filled with crystalline vocals in lyrics plus a nice touch of 70's Scandinavian Psych/Prog with balanced guitar moves.

When we talk about the past meeting the present, Paatos' ''Kallocain'' should be thrown into the discussion.A very modern-sounding album, which keeps the principles of 70's Prog up high.Post Prog/Psych/Pop with a genuine sound overall, no less than strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1343008)
Posted Saturday, January 10, 2015 | Review Permalink

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