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Pörsti, Kimmo: Wayfarer

I have been following Finnish instrumentalist Kimmo Pörsti for many years now, having first heard his name associated with the excellent The Samurai Of Prog, which also includes Italian bassist Marco Bernard and American violinist/multi-instrumentalist Steve Unruh. Kimmo is also involved with the bands Mist Season, Paidarion and the Colossus project (as a musician and producer), an organization within the Finnish prog society that has released some excellent material over the years. Kimmo also formed his own record label, Seacrest Oy in 2004 and I can tell you anything associated with this label will be top shelf stuff, whether you like the music or not. If you are reading this review and you haven’t checked out Pörsti’s music I highly suggest you do. This leads us to Pörsti’s new album titled Wayfarer and like The Samurai Of Prog albums this is an excellent listen.

And similar to the Samurai of Prog project there are many guest musicians involved, including Marco Bernard so you already have two thirds of the Samurai Project and like those albums the attention to detail and high level of creativity and song craft is second to none. This is an exceptional blueprint of symphonic progressive rock, albeit with a multi-genre approach including elements of folk, world, classical and retro prog. A lovely keyboard begins the album opening “Arrival” before dramatic guitar riffs engage the listener along with some Oldfield-like percussion. It has a very dramatic and symphonic sound and just enough guitar to give it all a subtle crunch. A marching drum roll and superbly played violin and flute highlight the tasty and somewhat mystical “Heaven’s Gate”. The electric and acoustic guitar work well within the arrangement. The mellower “Creer, Crecer” has a moodier sound, very much rooted in Scandinavian prog while “Connection Lost” is a more folk inspired piece with a feeling of the sea. Lots of recorder and ethnic instruments like bodhran and bouzouki give the track a world-like sound. The pretty acoustic guitar arpeggios are very tasty indeed. With “Morning Mist” the sound is more ethereal as the flute floats along the notes and Jenny Darren’s lead vocals are as to be expected simply superb. Excellent guitar and organ highlights “Thunkit” followed by the title track, a heartfelt ballad again featuring the vocals of Darren. The ten plus minute “Cruz Del Sur” is another excellent tune with lead vocals by Rodrigo Godoy and soaring guitar courtesy of Rafael Pacha.

With five more tunes to explore and over seventy minutes of music, Wayfarer will no doubt feature prominently on my ‘best of’ list at the end of the year. One of the easier recommendations I have made this year. Also of note, Kimmo is involved in a new project called The Guildmaster with a new album soon to be released so very much looking forward to that. A great bit of news in what has been a difficult year all around.

Track Listing:
1. Arrival (3:00)
2. Heaven’s Gate (6:15)
3. Creer, Crecer (4:55)
4. Connection Lost (5:29)
5. Morning Mist (4:42)
6. Thunkit (6:22)
7. Wayfarer (4:54)
8. Cruz Del Sur (10:10)
9. Witch Watch (6:51)
10. This Day Is Yours (5:51)
11. Heavy Winter (3:29)
12. Icy Storm (5:28)
13. Mika (5:18)

Added: October 28th 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artist @ Facebook
Hits: 476
Language: english

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