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(41:36, V. R. Label)
TRACK LIST: 1. Escape 6:45 2. Mountains 7:08 3. Geno 6:43 4. Pace 7:42 5. Shattered 6:10 6. Perception 7:08 LINEUP: Severi Peura - vocals, guitars Hermanni Piltti - bass Timo Lehtonen - guitars Rauli Elenius - drums
Prolusion. Finnish band SISARE can trace their history back to 2008, and in the first phase of their existence they explored the landscapes of metal, and then towards the more extreme parts of that universe at that. Following a band reboot in 2010 they opted to focus more on a progressive rock oriented sound, which they have explored on two studio albums so far. "Leaving the Land" is the most recent of these, and was released through Finnish label V. R. Label in the spring of 2018.
Analysis. One of the more common tendencies among more or less recent progressive rock bands is that they are difficult to tie down towards a more specified subsection of the progressive rock universe. Sisare is one more band that exists within such a context, and I guess thew best general description I can give is that they are an accessible, compelling modern progressive rock band that create and explore landscapes that should have a fairly broad general appeal. There are details to note here of course. One of them is that the band appears to have something of a backbone in a type of music I guess many would sort under the indie or alternative tag somewhere. The arrangements as such aren't all that out there, but does feature trace elements of sounds and instrument details that at least for me comes with an association towards indie and arguably at times also alternative rock. A slight touch of REM perhaps, in some of the arrangement choices, but without any further comparisons in that specific direction. Sisare excel in the art of using the acoustic guitar as a subtle but visible support, which gives many of their songs a softer edge and a natural contrast to the rest of the instrumentation. The drums and bass tends to deliver in a firm and steady mode, the drums perhaps with a slight touch of expressive patterns that tips the occasional (hi) hat in the direction of jazz, while the bass guitar is a solid and carefully booming presence beneath. The second guitar will alternate between providing firm but toned down riffs, elegant, atmospheric laden guitar solo movements and textures of the kind one may commonly hear among post-rock bands. With a wee bit of psychedelic features tossed in for good measure, up to and including the occasional cutting psychedelic guitar solo. The calm lead vocals adds another layer of contrast to the proceedings as well, in addition to adding a sheen of melancholia to the landscapes explored. Post-rock and psychedelic rock are the main features throughout this album as such I guess, explored in a modern and retro-oriented manner respectively. The atmospheric laden passages brings both David Gilmour and Bjorn Riis to mind, while the occasional harder edged passages have more of a retro style hard rock and heavy prog feel to them. A band and an album with one foot firmly placed in the early to mid 70's somewhere, and the other fixed somewhere in the late 1990's. All of this well executed, and the use of natural contrasts combined with a high level of musicianship maintains momentum and tension quite nicely throughout.
Conclusion. Sisare is one of those bands that are ever so slightly unconventional, and remains compelling and accessible despite rather than because of it. Post-rock, psychedelic rock and heavy prog, combined with and at least to some extent explored within an indie/alternative rock context is what we are treated to here, and the sum of all the parts here makes me suspect that quite a few fans of Norwegian solo artists Bjorn Riis might appreciate what this band is all about, and perhaps also some of the fans of his main band Airbag. A certain affection for melancholic moods will be required though.
Progmessor: November 28th, 2018
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