A couple of years ago Finnish guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Juhani Nisula successfully launched his one man Time Traveller project, which arrived via the first installment of what the artist promised would be a trilogy. The first two chapters in this all instrumental, multi-dimensional voyage through time and space, was an expertly woven, psychedelic / classic rock tapestry that took the listener on a magical journey. Now he's returned to deliver the next two chapters in this incredibly, intriguing voyage of his.
If there's one area where Nisula really shines, besides the fact he's an incredibly accomplished guitarist, cut from the same stone as the likes of Robin Trower and Frank Marino that is, I'd have to say that his skills as a songwriter and arranger come very close to eclipsing his talent as a guitar slinger. This is apparent in not only the various different flavors he injects into the music itself, which gives it a distinct 'world' or should I say otherworldly feel, but also his uncanny ability to make it all flow together so seamlessly. He definitely understands the importance of putting together a varied listening experience, but also how to weave it all together in such a way that the listener is able to completely immerse themselves in the whole experience.
The album commences by picking up where Chapter II's "Outro" left off. "Entrance" is brief intro that consists of thirty seconds of deep throated chanting, before launching into the first composition "Reality Strikes", a funky, guitar driven tour de-force that finds Nisula peeling off a plethora of scorching solos. From there we segue straight into the transition piece "The Black Hole", before Juhani blows the psychedelic doors to your mind wide open with his twelve minute "Inner Peace / Mind Wide Open" suite. In addition to highlighting more of his seasoned guitar chops and blazing solos, the addition of the Mellotron and Hammond organ, along with some superb tambura playing, give this suite of music it's hypnotic 'Eastern' vibe. This epic suite also benefits greatly from the contributions of guest musicians, Petteri Hietam, who provides some tenor sax fireworks along with some airy flute splashes, while Timo Ristila pitches in with some nice spacey synth passages. Chapter IV shifts things into overdrive as Nisula trades off extended solos in a three way duel with Risila's shimmering synth work and the ferocious tenor sax contributions from Petri Kivimaki. "Space Harvest" brings things down again, as the exotic percussive accents delivered by drummer Zeko Takamaki flourishes underneath a myriad of layered sound effects. "Katos" is a relatively straight ahead rocking track fueled by Nisula's funky, wah-wah drenched guitar work, which percolates the listeners brain for a good four and a half minutes, before launching into the majestic closing track "The Last Wave". An organic sounding, eight and half minute epic driven by the pulsating, thick bass lines, more spacey synth magic and of course an abundance of Juhani's mutli-textured guitar work, the song effortlessly moves along, picking up new elements along the way, before slowly winding down with a series of synth splashes which close the book on the latest two chapters in this all encompassing musical journey.
To date Juhani Nisula's Time Traveller project has yielded almost eighty minutes of fabulous music that is designed to take the listener back to a period in time ( i.e. the 60's and 70's) when classic/ progressive / psychedelic music of this nature really flourished. If you really want to find out what Time Traveller is all about, I encourage you to play both albums back to back for a truly mind blowing experience. Kudos to Juhani for once again delivering the goods. This is one reviewer who seriously hopes that Time Traveller continues well beyond the next chapters, because resplendent music of this nature should be considered an ongoing journey, with no destination.
2) Reality Strikes
3) The Black Hole
4) Inner Peace
5) Mind Wide Open
6) Inner Peace (Reprise)
7) Code 6360025
8) Space Harvest
10) The Last Wave