Groovector - Ultramarine

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Mellow Records
Catalog Number: MMP 399
Format: CD
Total Time: 63:55:00

With two keyboard players in the band this Finish instrumental fivepiece is a fantastic revelation. Imagine early Camel and early King Crimson woven into one and you get a good idea about what this band is all about. The dreamy effects are mostly evoked by means of the wonderful flute playing whilst the more aggressive parts are introduced on Hammond B3. "Krawagna" to me is like an edited version of the entire Snowgoose. Especially the flute parts are breathtaking, especially when they intervene together with the Fender Rhodes. However I'm not really sure what the drum solo is doing in this composition other than changing the song towards a Focus-like approach yet with Latimer guitar! Combine the high notes on a Fender Rhodes, which almost sound like chimes, together with fine flute sounds and you arrive in a dreamworld governed by fairies and elves. Here that dreamworld is called "Walzwerk." "Humbelbee" starts with a decent solo piano piece which sounds both classical and jazzy at the very same time. It's a daring experiment to put an almost pure piano concerto (it's slightly "disturbed" by flute and a little bit of Hammond) on such an album but Groovector does it!

The beginning of "Selangor" probably is the weirdest of them all. Distant native chant gets the company of some Santana-like percussion and a rainmaker in order to deliver a Latino kind of vibe. Totally different to what the band offers on the rest of the album but once again a nice proof of their versatility. "Melange" is indeed what it's title implies. It contains bits and pieces of different atmospheres and genres all nicely taped together, like a book full of specimens from which you can chose. When the Fender Rhodes is switched for the Hammond B3 the atmosphere turns more aggressive. The acoustic guitar in "Berceuse" accommodates a certain Mediterranean feel which is a bit strange seeing Groovector is a Finish collective. The final track "Elegie" is kind of structured around two different chapters. The first rhythmic part is not very original compared with the rest of the songs. Then for the second part the piano takes over turning the song once again towards a pure acoustic nature which is of a brilliant classical high. Then electric guitar injects a dose of rock/blues before recorder steers the song once again towards the purity of the acoustic instrument almost placing the song in the middle ages. A strange ending to an otherwise promissing debut from a band that most certainly will deliver better and even more interesting albums as time evolves.

Krawagna (10:44) / Walzwerk (10:20) / Humbelbee (7:45) / Selangor (7:20) / Melange (8:27) / Berceuse (2:31) / Elegie (16:37)

Kalle Aalto - drums
Mikko Heininen - keyboards
Teemu Huunonen - flte
Teemu Niemelä - bass
Rauli Viitala ? guitar

Ultramarine (2000)
Enigmatic Elements (2003)
Darklubing At Tavastia (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin FI

Added: September 8th 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 919
Language: english


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