Fireworks

Paidarion - 'Behind The Curtains' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ba/8a/dc/3073_paidarionbehindthecurtains_1356224984.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 23, 2012    
 
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Worth investigating if you like music that attempts to put square pegs in round holes.

If you read the latest reviews carefully, you’ll spot that the name Jan-Olaf Strandberg pops up again in this section. Paidarion is a Finnish symphonic prog group which is more accessible than Strandberg’s own project. Its accessibility might come as a surprise considering there are elements of classical music and a whole host of other styles jostling to get in the mix. Although the different styles cook up a jazz-lite fusion sound, the structure of the songs belongs to prog rock due to the long musically intricate pieces. However, the instrumentation means Paidarion have, despite some comparisons to Camel, created a niche all of their own. The emphasis is on the bass, sax, flute and jazz vocals that mean sonically it’s quite different than most prog bands full guitar and drum assault. 

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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It’s also a nicely packaged album and the circus theme that is depicted in the booklet is very apt as the band do come across like a circus troupe all bringing their own influences to make for a good, varied show under the big top. The album starts with an instrumental in the form of the title track that is led by atmospheric bass patterns that have flute, keyboard and some thread-like guitar lines that meld together well. New singer Elina Hautakoski, who was absent from the band’s debut, is an asset to their development. Having a vocalist roots the music, giving the record a stronger identity. Her vocal is unequivocally jazz. She has a powerful, elastic voice that will find favour with those who like jazz singers, but those looking for a rock vocalist will have to look elsewhere. Her voice is more Lisa Minnelli than James Le Brie. She stamps her character on the jazzy ‘A Springtime Meadow’ and her voice truly is an instrument on ‘A Vertical Rope’ where she manages to conjure horn inflections in her voice, not too dissimilar to Patti Le Belle. She duets on ‘A Small Wish’ with Rob Price which creates a poppy-jazz feel to the song. Elsewhere, ‘Trapeze’ is an ambient affair, more in character with Strandberg’s own project. Janan Jaansen‘s guitar does make its presence throughout but often it’s other instruments that give the tracks their individual character such as Kimo Tapanainen’s church organ on ‘A Leap into The Unknown’ which brings a more traditional prog rock feel to that track and Steve Unruh of Resistor who adds violin to ‘A Vertical Rope’ and ‘The Final Show’. Jaansen’s use of acoustic guitar on ‘Paidarion’ with the addition of Risto Salmi‘s big, bold sax solo makes for unique sounding prog.

This album is worth looking behind the curtain at if you like music that attempts to put square pegs in round holes.

Duncan Jamieson

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