Taipuva Luotisuora - IV

Scandinavia has produced some fine prog influenced bands in recent times, Mew, Anekdoten, Hidria Spacefolk, Metrognom, Serena Maneesh, to name but five, as well as dozens of gravel throated metal bands of various genres - not my bag tho'.

From Finland, the land of the midnight sun and the world's highest suicide rate, and the pugilistic sport of naked seal thumping (I may have made that bit up) come the mighty instrumental spacerockers Taipuva Luotisuora - the band tell me the R is rolled. This, unsurprisingly, is their fourth album. The other three are near impossible to find, and indeed I have never managed to track down their third album TL II (not three!).

Their early albums contain a brand of heavy wig out space rock with quirky Finnish folk influences thrown in for good measure. TL I included the wonderfully titled "Music For Kortella Space Hood Elevators". TL IV issued in 2009 finds the band in a slightly more mellow reflective mood, and some of the tracks sound kind-of loungy, a definite shift in direction. The set opens with Kuuvuori a more traditional sounding number, dominated by a Sabbath-like chugging riff, and a modernistic Porcupine Tree influence. The Army Of Isopods has some nice synth work and some good rockin' riffing, bubbles along nicely. The intro and revisited refrain to Capricious Bonfire (they do have a great way with titles doncha think?) reminds me of The Cure. There's even a vibes break in the middle of this one - this album is definitely much more laid back than previous efforts, but I like it a lot.

Ilman Rihlan Kiertämää opens with woodwind and violin - mmmmm nice. The laid back theme continues, the moody atmosphere builds. I think they may have been listening to Anekdoten, which is no bad thing. Muting Glow - more flowing synths and some accoustic picking, leading to riffing. Imaginary Blizzard is more of the same. Kvasikonforminen Äyriäinen is more in the vein of their earlier works but not as frantic. The track Hopeful Sprout (I'm sure they don't mean an optimistic vegatable hated by children!) is classical in the way it gently builds on a theme - great stuff! The album closer Kurki is spacerock spectacular, as one would expect. Bonza!

This album is no headbanger like earlier efforts but is a more mature work and has some good melodic ideas running through it. A definite grower.

Line up:

Esko Grundstrom - keyboards & kantele & woodwinds
Ville Eriksson - guitars
Juha Eriksson - bass
Taneli Korpinen - drums
Tero Pajunen - violin,percussion,voice
Jani Puistovaara - guitars

4 out of 5
#14

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