Finnforest (Green Vinyl)
Finnforest was (in my opinion) the best progressive band from Finland. The band consisted of the Tegelman Brothers - Pekka (guitar/bass) and Jussi (drums), and Jukka Rissanen (keyboards). All instrumental - they went through subtle stylistic changes over thei course of their three albums. The first album is the rockiest although there is a strong fusion bent as well. Think Camel crossed with Mahavishnu Orchestra. Serious hi-speed exchanges of soloing but also some beautiful laid back serenity. Lahto Matkalle finds the band becoming a quartet with the addition of bassist Jarmo Hiekkala and also the great Jukka Linkola is now the keyboardist. The music still has that incredible fire and chops from hell soloing but there is more of a refinement to the overall sound. It moves a bit into ECM territory - more fusion less rock - more Mahavishnu and less Camel - but it still slams hard. Pekka Tegelman wrote the material for the first two albums so you can hear the continuity between the two. For Demonnights there was a changeover in sound. Jussi Tegelman took over most of the writing and the lineup changed quite a bit with other musicians being brought into the mix. The result is still quite excellent but different than the first two. Its clearly the most jazz oriented. Lots of similarities to Weather Report. It gets knocked because it isn't fire and brimstone like the others but its good in its own right. While we reissued the first two Finnforest album on CD many years ago, this is the first time Demonnights gets any kind of a reissue. Monumental albums all worthy of your collection.
"This authorised reissue of Finnforest’s debut album, originally released on Love Records in 1975. Features extensive liner notes by Arttu Seppänen.
When Finnforest recorded their debut album, the Tegelman brothers were 17 years old. The band had shrunk into a trio after the singer Aaro Mustonen and the bassist Jarmo Hiekkala had left the band in 1973. The core trio remained: Pekka Tegelman (electric and acoustic guitars, electric bass) Jukka Rissanen (organ, electric piano, Arp Odyssey synthesizer) and Jussi Tegelman (drums). Due to the lack of the bassist, Pekka Tegelman played the bass in couple of the songs and rest of the basslines were played by Rissanen using his organ. Pekka Tegelman expressed his satisfaction with the solution in an interview published by Selvis magazine: “I’m glad that the record doesn’t have the Pekka Pohjola horse-racing bass comping that was a typical feature in Finnish prog of the era”.
It’s amazing how diverse and intense music they recorded with such a stripped-down lineup: it’s dynamic and rich in texture. The album is yet another fine example of a professional, original and convincing record in the Finnish progressive rock canon. The trio plays together extremely well – like confident, experienced session musicians. However this was the first time the three youngsters played in a proper recording studio. Love Records couldn’t afford to send all of their bands to record at the more expensive (but also more advanced) Marcus Music Studios in Stockholm but Finnforest immediately got the opportunity to record their debut there – instead of a more cheaper and less-advanced Finnish studio like the Finnvox in Helsinki or the Microvox in Lahti. This was a big compliment from the label and showed that they had faith in the material."