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Kosmos - Vieraan Taivaan Alla CD (album) cover

VIERAAN TAIVAAN ALLA

Kosmos

 

Prog Folk

3.62 | 7 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the third album by Turku-based KOSMOS. The female vocalist Päivi Kylmänen sung also on the debut (2006) of the more symphonic folk prog band VIIMA, despite the fact that Kosmos' debut was released a year prior. The style of Kosmos is rooted in the vintage folk with psychedelic hippie mysticism. Listening to the music makes you think it's really from the early seventies. Acoustic guitar is the central instrument and also the good old mellotron is used for good measure. The arrangements get extra colour from guest appearances: 'Luovun' (= I let go) features a recorder and 'Don Juan' (composed on a poem by Väinö Kirstinä) a bassoon, both played by Pauliina Isomäki. Two tracks feature Jukka Aaltonen's violin.

The first half - or Side One of the vinyl version - is calm and peaceful folk, nearly totally acoustic (+mellotron) and quite free of rock elements. My favourite of those five songs is 'Yön hiljaisuus' (= the silence of night) which is very atmospheric and nocturnal. The simple pattern of acoustic guitar & bass is accompanied only by Päivi's voice and lovely flute/string sounds of mellotron.

The latter half consists of two longer and edgier songs. 'Tuulisina päivinä' (= on windy days) allows the percussion step more upfront and the guitar is electric. The atmosphere is darker and more electrified, so to speak. One of my album associations was none less than In the Court of the Crimson King, but it must be pointed out that Kosmos have a sound and style of their own. According to the main lyricist Olli Valtonen the central idea is "the other reality" in the cosmic and mystic sense. The 12-minute closing track 'Vieraat' (= the guests, or, the strangers) is in three parts. First and last feature suggestopedic narration for total relaxation, or whatever it is called, and the long middle section has full-blown prog rock sound with washes of mellotron, a cool dostorted electric guitar solo and an intensive guest appearance of violin. It's worth noticing that Päivi's beautiful vocals remain as detached as always, in the distinctive Kosmos style. The power of understatement!

I think this is going to be my favourite Kosmos album. Warmly recommended to the friends of retro folk psychedelia, including the non-Finnish who can accept the foreign language. To me it's however essential that the lyrics are in Finnish.

Matti | 4/5 |

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