Finnforest - Finnforest

Year of Release: 1996
Label: Laser's Edge
Catalog Number: LE 1025
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:03:00

While Finland isn't exactly a country you would associate with pop music, it is, however, the supplier of some wonderful artists such as Wigwam, Tasvallan Presidenti and Pekka Pohjola, the latter who would later perform alongside Mike Oldfield.

Finnforest is an obscure collective that released two albums in the seventies on the now legendary Love Records label: Finnforest (1975) and Lahto Matkalle (1976).

Both of these difficult to obtain albums have been put onto one shiny silver disc by the superb American label Laser's Edge. Some seventy minutes worth of instrumental beauty midway between Focus, Camel, Finch and the ECM work from Terje Rypdal. There are also some influences there from the Canterbury scene although the band themselves find they have been heavily influenced by the American progressive output.

Opener "Mika Yö" also has some influences from Mirage-era Camel, whilst I sometimes hear some ideas that were reminiscent of the debut of Dutch band Solution. Pekka Tegelman's guitar playing is often close to that of Jan Akkerman whilst the Hammond Spinet gives it a rather dated sound which is so typical for the mid-seventies and again comes close to Peter Bardens. The mix of guitar and keyboards in "Happea" gives you some instrumental beauty one could find on Focus material as well!

The second Finnforest album was recorded in 1976 and based around the then legendary new keyboard, the ARP Odyssey, which at the time was the state-of-the-art instrument to have! Musically this album is much more jazz-rock oriented than its predecessor leaving behind the symphonic soundscapes the band created.

In all, a wonderful record with soft melodic themes alternated between guitar and keyboards that irrevocably make you think of the gigantic pure Finish forests. The absolute highlight is, without any doubt, the 20-minute long "Lahto Matkalle" where the intro is provided by a string ensemble in the Jasun Martz vein before it evolves into a sort of progressive jazz. Certainly worth checkin' out if you get the chance!

Fed up with the difficulties that encompass an "electric" band, guitarist Pekka Tegelman semi-left the band to concentrate on acoustic guitar. In 1978 he reformed Finnforest and released the album Demon Nights.

Mik? Y? (What A Night) (5:27) / Sanaton Laulu (Song Without Words) (3:51) / Happea (Oxygen) (4:40) / Koin Siipesi (I Felt Your Wings) (2:55) / Paikalliset Tuulet (The Local Winds) (4:19) / Aallon Vaihto (The Change of the Wave) (4:59) / Kunnes (Till) (4:39) / P.S. (1:44) / Alpha (8:16) / Elvin (8:38) / Don (4:24) / L?ht? Matkalle 1 (Starting A Voyage) (8:43) / L?ht? Matkalle 1 (Starting A Voyage) (10:48)

Pekka Tegelman - electric and acoustic guitar, bass and fuzzbass
Jussi Tegelman - drums
Jukka Rissanen - organ, grand piano, electric piano, synthesizer
Jarmo Hiekkala - bass and fuzzbass (9-13)
Jukka Linkola - electric piano, grand piano, synthesizer, and organ
Pertti Pokki - synthesizer (10, 11)

Finnforest (1975/76/96)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin FI

Added: April 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Hits: 1330
Language: english


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