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Order Of The Living - Heartwards CD (album) cover

HEARTWARDS

Order Of The Living

 

Eclectic Prog

4.00 | 2 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is an amazing debut album from Finland, with just one major problem for me: the extremely high level of originality clearly exceeds the personal enjoyment of the music, which is rather emotionless. If this music was a person, I'd be scared of meeting him on a lonely street at night! I'd picture him as an estranged, dark-minded sociopath with brains sharp as knife and heart cold as ice... But of course, this image of mine may be considered totally unfair by both the musicians themselves and the other listeners. In a nutshell, this is ambientish, electro-acoustic experimental pop.

The Jyväskylä-based quintet is led by Jari-Matti Nurminen: guitar, vocals, synthesizer, keyboards, concept & composition and lyrics. Back in 2005 he has made a CD-R titled In Sickness and in Health (of which I have no further knowledge), and this album was composed between December 2010 and April 2015. His bandmates play mainly synths and bass. The peculiar soundscape also owes a lot to the three guests playing piano, trombone & baritone horn and trumpet respectively. Without forgetting an 8-manned choir; perhaps the feeling of cold emotionlessness comes especially from the way lyrics are sung in low-toned unisono. Pagan rites done by lobotomized monks...

Let's take the 8-minute opening track 'Language Hive' under microscope. At first, a frail, acoustic timbre (piano, trumpet,...) not very far from some moments on MIKE OLDFIELD's Hergest Ridge. Soon enter the monotonic vocals: "Space, time, light / Caress dark void, filling world with life / Beings, sensations, movements / Sounds, tastes, colours and emotions..." Later on the music centres around a Crimsonesque angularity of repetitive patterns. At some point I thought of the song 'This is the Picture (Excellent Birds)' by Laurie Anderson & Peter Gabriel. The sound often has an unusual 'bubbling' nature also on several other tracks.

In a way, this melancholically oriented music has a slightly disturbing edge, and yet simultaneously it stays pretty calm all the time. This, I think, is the key element. On the surface it is discreet, momentarily approaching pastoral calmness, but the surface hides suspicious darkness. I appreciate there are a couple of instrumentals. 'Transformation' is a low-key mood piece starring acoustic guitar, and the final track 'Above the Horizon' is actually quite hilarious (comparable to some of BRIAN ENO, HARMONIA and such), despite having the 'bubbling' angularity that dominates the whole album a bit too much. Even though I hardly will listen to this album very often, I must give it four strong stars for the rare originality.

Matti | 4/5 |

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