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Finnforest Alpha to Omega - The Complete Studio Recordings 1973-1980 album cover
3.95 | 3 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tyhjyyteen, syvyyteen (2:44)
2. Sanomaton kirkkaus (2:59)
3. Hanhilampi (3:26)
4. Ketto (3:33)
5. Tekee meisseliä (3:34)

1. Mikä yö! (5:30)
2. Sanaton laulu (3:54)
3. Happea (4:42)
4. Koin siipesi (2:52)
5. Paikalliset tuulet (4:21)
6. Aallon vaihto (4:58)
7. Kunnes (4:38)
8. P.S. (1:43)

1. Alpha (8:15)
2. Elvin (8:35)
3. Don (4:23)
4. Lähtö matkalle I (8:43)
5. Lähtö matkalle II (10:45)

1. The First and the Happy Schoolday (5:23)
2. Ann (5:38)
3. Demonnights (4:46)
4. Fighter (6:03)
5. Half Blues (2:09)
6. Religions (5:06)
7. Firth (5:23)
8. Far Away From (4:57)
9. Pablo (4:44)

1. Mikä yö! (5:21)
2. Folkdance (8:45)
3. It's Somewhere Out There (7:03)
4. Miss You (7:10)
5. Saturday Night (6:05)
6. Friends (5:47)

Line-up / Musicians

- Pekka Tegelman / guitar, bass
- Jussi Tegelman / drums, percussion, electric piano, synth, vocals
- Jarmo Hiekkala / bass
- Jukka linkola / electric piano, synth, organ
- Ari Mustonen / vocals
- Jukka Rissanen / organ
- Juhani Aaltonen / tenor saxophone
- and others (various line-ups)

Releases information

Svart Records 2017 (5-LP), 2018 (3-CD).

Thanks to Matti for the addition
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FINNFOREST Alpha to Omega - The Complete Studio Recordings 1973-1980 ratings distribution

(3 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(67%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FINNFOREST Alpha to Omega - The Complete Studio Recordings 1973-1980 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
4 stars - The first review -

Last year Svart Records released the complete studio recordings of FINNFOREST, on five vinyls /three cd's, with detailed liner notes by Arttu Seppänen. I was familiar with the band's first two instrumental albums and the early single songs, so for me the nicest thing about this wonderful set was finally getting the third album Demonnights (1979). The leaflet (20 pages on the CD set) contains the full track information in a userfriendly form. The original releases, varied line-ups, composers, even the solos in the pieces, are indicated.

Already in their teenage years the Tegelman twin brothers, guitarist Pekka and drummer Jussi (b. 1957), played together -- and with bandmates whenever they had ones as they kept moving from town to town before settling in the eastern town Kuopio. The liner notes offer several interesting facts. Prior to Finnforest they had a trio named Lex that had two 40-minute pieces in their live set, the other being Frank Zappa's 'Willie the Pimp'. The early phase of Finnforest featured vocalist Ari Mustonen whose vocals can be heard on the three Finnish-language songs recorded in 1973 but also on three studio session pieces previously unreleased on cd. 'Mikä yö!' evolved into the opening track of the vocal-free debut album; in hindsight the vocals sound rather unnecessary ingredient, but this is an interesting curiosity, as well as the English-language songs 'Folkdance' and 'It's Somewhere Out There'. They are closer to Tasavallan Presidentti reminding blues rock -- and actually Mustonen sounds like a worse version of Frank Robson -- than the instrumental fusion of the albums.

The debut Finnforest (1975) is among the finest Finnish instrumental prog or fusion albums from the seventies. The style of the pieces, pretty average in length, vary between MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA reminding intensity to more delicate moods. Pekka's electric guitar is mostly in the lead role but Jukka Rissanen's organ, synths and piano are essential too. He was replaced by Jukka Linkola on the second album Lähtö matkalle (1976) which contains longer and therefore more wandering tracks. The other of the two-week recording sessions featured also Pertti Pokki on Arp Odyssey, and the beginning of the 2-part title track features a string section conducted by the Love Records chief Otto Donner. The album as a whole is slightly lame compared to the debut, despite several highlights. Prior to the second album the band was momentarily reduced to a duo which released the single 'Ketto / Tekee meisseliä'. You can read my reviews on both Finnforest singles; as Arttu Seppänen says in his liner notes, Finnforest was far from being a "singles band", but these singles -- featuring material quite different from the albums -- are certainly one reason for this complete set to be so interesting.

Demonnights was one of the last albums of Love Records that went bankcrupt; the Finnish prog scene in general was dying at the time. The compositions are mostly by Jussi Tegelman since Pekka had actually left the group (even though he plays on the the album). I was positively surprised by Demonnights which sounds pretty different from its precedessors, not least because of the saxophone participations of Juhani Aaltonen and Heikki Keskinen. I'll probably review it separately sometimes. The final three tracks of this 3CD/5LP set, recorded in 1980, haven't been released on cd before.

Summa summarum: even if you have an album or two from Finnforest, Alpha to Omega is well worth the price as the definitive history of this extraordinary band.

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