Demonnights (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.
"Of all the Finnforest albums, Demonnights is the Jussi Tegelman album. Finnforest’s previous records were mostly composed by his brother Pekka Tegelman but now the situation was quite the opposite: Pekka had only one composition, Jarmo Savolainen (a new member of the group) had one and the rest were composed by Jussi. Pekka had in fact left the group before Demonnights to pursue his other musical projects, but played in the album nevertheless. Despite Pekka’s presence, at the time of their final album’s release Finnforest was mainly Jussi Tegelman’s project.
Right from the start when the melodic, upbeat The First and the Happy Schoolday kicks in, you can sense that the album is very much different in comparison to Finnforest’s previous albums. First of all the lineup is bigger: Jussi Tegelman (drums, percussion, vocals), Pekka Tegelman (electric guitar, acoustic guitar), Jari “Jarkka” Rissanen (electric guitar), Juhani Aaltonen (tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, bass flute) Tuomo Helin (electric bass), Ilkka “Petri” Pettersson (vocals) and Jarmo Savolainen (piano, electric piano, Arp Odyssey synthesizer). If Finnforest’s songs before Demonnights were somewhere between jazz fusion and progressive rock, now the material is clearly more towards to jazz fusion in the style of Weather Report.
“It’s not difficult to hear from the material that Weather Report was the main musical influence”, Jussi Tegelman says now of Demonnights. This was their first album that wasn’t recorded at the Marcus Music Studios in Stockholm. With the financial help of the mid-70’s hit records, Love Records had built its own studio so they wouldn’t need to buy expensive studio time from other studios – and that’s where Demonnights was recorded as well. Måns Grundstroem – who produced the previous Finnforest albums – was the recording engineer and Jussi Tegelman was in addition to being the main composer, also the album producer.
The Svart reissue of Demonnights also features unseen photos plus new, extensive liner notes by Arttu Seppänen."