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Scarlet Thread - Never Since CD (album) cover

NEVER SINCE

Scarlet Thread

 

Prog Folk

4.24 | 13 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Matti
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This beautiful-covered album is the third and latest by Northern Finnish SCARLET THREAD. I haven't heard their earlier works but I read they're mostly instrumental Prog Folk. Here the vocals are by Mari Vuoritie whose bright voice resembles slightly the young KATE BUSH (but without the breath-taking depth in her expression). The instrumentation features violin, and a flautist guests on three tracks. The music is firmly both rocky and folky, with an emphasis on biting guitars, comparable to JETHRO TULL's Martin Barre. Keybaords are added only in the closing track, which is a pity: some organ and/or piano would have crowned the album's overall sound. The music is mostly written by guitarist Jani Timoniemi; lyrics are by the vocalist.

The album structure seem to favour the ideology of working each song to the maximum, instead of building bigger contrasts and arches between the tracks. This results as an evenly strong 45-minute album which at first may have some difficulties to keep the listener's mind focused. That is, the memorable highlights are not so easily found. One of my favourites is 'Tomb' thanks to the organ in it. But this "problem" may concern only the few earliest listenings, each song gets better with time. For example 'Ariadhron' placed in between tracks featuring the flute compensates that lack by the violin - which actually almost sounds like a flute!

The longest track 'An Old Dream' (8:23) is also the finest, with plenty of both flute and violin. And in it the vocals come closest to Kate Bush. 'Instrumental Agony' is a school example of a Prog Folk instrumental. Especially this track shows strong TULL influence; it could come from Songs From The Wood, if that album had violin. 'Turn into Air' is another grower, and so is the other 8+ minute track 'Under the Waters'; luckily the out-of-place vocal distortion is only briefly in the beginning.

I'm becoming more and more convinced this is a great work of British-style Prog Folk that gets better as it gets more familiar. Sadly the band is criminally unknown in Finland too, but it would be completely marketable internationally. I hope that someday I get to know their other releases, and that "Scarlet Thread will be back" as is printed below the credits. 4½ stars rounded up for the lovely cover art by Heli Loukusa.

Matti | 5/5 |

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