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(43:34, Melodic Revolution Records)
This is the second album from the Finnish quintet, following on from ‘Gate To Fulfilled Fantasy’ which was released in 2014. I managed to miss that one, so don’t know if it is similar in style to this one, which sounds as if it was recorded at least 40 years prior to its release, no make that 45, and in Italy as opposed to Finland. This is symphonic crossover progressive rock with complex arrangements, loads of Moogs and Mellotrons, rock guitar when the time is right, acoustic at others, and vocals. Oh yes, the vocals. This is the first time I have come across Tomi Murtomaki, and boy can this guy sing. There are times when I realise I have virtually missed out on what has happened with the music as he is stood in the centre demanding undivided attention. The closest singer I can think of in terms of impact is Roger Chapman when he was fronting Family, but his style is far more delicate and baritone. The band are great, but the music has been geared to accentuate what is happening with the vocals, and the album is all the better for it. The rhythm section underpins the sound, working together to create the perfect platform, while Juha Kaski (keyboards) and Matias Kangasniemi (guitars) link in and take it in turns to drive it all along. The music is quite a bit heavier in places than one would imagine from this style, but it works incredibly well, and of course allowed Tomi to strut his stuff. Definitely worthy of further investigation.
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