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OWLAWOL

Rikk Eccent

Crossover Prog


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Rikk Eccent Owlawol album cover
3.42 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Real
2. I Feel Free
3. Prog On
4. Fare Well
5. Higher Ground
6. Loser's Game
7. Tomorrow Is Slow To Come

Line-up / Musicians

- Rikk Eccent / all instruments and vocals
With:
- Rikk Cent / additional drums
- Sanna Emilia / vocals (5)

Releases information

Format: CD, Digital
September 9, 2016

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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RIKK ECCENT Owlawol ratings distribution


3.42
(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
20%
Good, but non-essential (40%)
40%
Collectors/fans only (40%)
40%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

RIKK ECCENT Owlawol reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The Finnish rock musician Kimmo Salmela alias RIKK ECCENT has made his second album, three years since the debut The Garden of Delights. Personally I wasn't deeply impressed by it, and it's more or less the same with this one, but I think the production is more pleasant now. More flowing and organic, like the artist himself says in the promotional interview. The album title looks confusing; notice the capital letters AWOL, which is an abbreviation for "absence without leaving". Salmela explains the theme: "It's about the classic story of madness and sanity and the wavering line between them." The lyrics don't become very central in my listening, so I don't deal with them.

Again Salmela must be thanked for crafting a full-bred and balanced sound all by himself in the studio (except for additional drums that are credited to Rikk Cent, whoever he is). The electric guitar dominates in a rather ballsy, Jeff Beck -like manner, while the overall sound is perhaps few degrees warmer and less metallic than on the debut. The feature I'm the least fond of is the voice that sounds stuffy and hoarse. Think of Ray Wilson (of late-90's Genesis) who's caught a cold. This, however, is a pure matter of taste: someone else may think he's a wonderful, distinctive rock vocalist.

At least early on the album the music is for me too close to the wide grey area of 'street-credible', slightly depressed, guitar-oriented, non-progressive rock (from the nineties onwards) that just leaves me cold personally. By the way, 'Prog On' is a cover of 'Rock On' by David Essex. 'Fare Well' is a pretty cool song in its restrained, dark emotion and tonal spaceyness. The guitar solo in the middle is powerful. On 'Higher Ground', another slightly creepy and effectively dynamic song, Sanna Emilia adds her wordless backing vocals. Gradually the prog/art-rock flavour becomes more evident, even if the music never gets self-indulgently complex. The final track 'Tomorrow Is Slow to Come' is my favourite. All in all, I believe this well-produced album gets better on repeated listenings. Solid three stars for good musicianship (guitars especially) and for three powerful songs above the average.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars I like Rikk Eccent's music, which is funny, because his style of writing and recording are, usually, not the kind of Progressive Rock I hear.

But there was something on his first record, The Garden of Delights, that made me pay attention on his music and quite enjoy it. Upon receiving his second record (somewhere in 2016) I got excited, but life got in the way and I just couldn't focus in any reviews so his record was standing on my shelf for some (long) time, this week I finally gave it a few spins to be able to write something about it.

Kimmo Salmela, is the man behind the project, and deals with everything on the album: guitars, keyboard, programming, vocals, some drumming, etc. He also wrote, arranged, produced and engineered everything. Those who know a bit about music from Finland may recognize him, since he was involved with bands like JSS and Päät (in the 80's) and Poverty Stinks (in the 90's).

If his work in his first album, The Garden of Delights, was unique because of the blend of different styles, tying everything with his own sound, I believe he just made it stronger in OwlAWOL.

The album has a style that ties everything together, and it is, indeed, very Proggy, but at least for me, there's no other band to compare his work with. His way of mixing this kind of guitar driven music, Synth Pop, Prog Rock and loads of keyboards and programming make it sound pretty 'weird' from a Prog Rock perspective, but still absurdely enjoyable and interesting.

The opening 'Real' is a bit weak, and I admit I got a bit disappointed by it, but listening to it for a second time made me, I don't know, get used to it, I guess, weird actually. Then 'I Feel Free' comes in and it a won game, Rikk got it! And his version of David Essex's 'Rock On (here named 'Prog On', of course) is just spot on!

If there was any doubt about the album by its half all doubts would go away with the amazing 'Fare Well' and 'Higher Ground'. 'Loser's Game' is a bit 'slow', what I mean is that it takes a few spins for you to actually enjoy it. But I have to say that the closer track ' Tomorrow Is Slow to Come' is for me very uninspired, and for me it shouldn't be the one closing the album.

At the end of the day I believe OwlAWOL is better than Rikk's first album and I believe there's enough depth in the album for you to listen to it again and again, I know I will!

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