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Kosmos: Ajan Peili

The fifth album from Finnish progressive folk rock outfit Kosmos opens with its title track, “Ajan Peili”, or as the handy little lyric translation sheet that accompanies this CD informs me, “The Mirror Of Time”. Beginning this journey in a restrained and controlled situation, it’s a good indication of the intentions of this album as it sits in a remarkably organic spot. The pacing right across this eight track offering is key to the journey, an unhurried approach employed to slowly pull you into the world the core five-piece of this band create. Other musicians help along the way, but if Ajan Peili comes across as any one thing, it’s personal, and in a way that almost makes you feel like you are intruding as the intricacies of “Kohl Taivasta” (“Towards The Sky”) are revealed.

As you’ll have no doubt gathered, the vocals from Päivi Kylmänen are all in this band’s native tongue and as such add to the intimate atmosphere Kosmos create. In truth, for me, the singing itself can, especially early on in the album, feel a little unsteady and unsure. Possibly it’s all part of the overall ethos, but it’s an aspect I sometimes struggle to connect with. Less difficult to engage, however, is the quite wonderfully languid, early King Crimson like “Salainen Oppi” (“The Secret Doctrine”), where the mix of mellotron, violin, sax and many other aspects, merge together perfectly to form a dense but light piece that seems to float as it leaves the speakers.

“Jatkuvuus” (“Continuity”) completely changes tack, a foreboding air emitted that jangles the nerves and unsettles the mind as layers of synths are lead astray by wailing saxophone and the narration of guest, Juha Kulmala. Considering what has come before this really is something of a departure, but that it precedes the near twelve minutes of “Mina Olen” (“I Am”), which grows from a soothing swirl into the album’s most driven, but still gentle, groove grinder, also illustrates the care given to the dynamics of this collection as a whole.

I’d suggest that any followers of White Willow should be investigating the enigmatic tones of Kosmos, with some of the material offered up across Ajan Peili engaging in the extreme. Admittedly, in the main, it is an album for those quieter moments, but in those circumstances, it’s quite the companion.

Track Listing
1. Ajan peili
2. Eilinen
3. Lapsen uni
4. Aina lähellä
5. Kohti taivasta
6. Salainen oppi
7. Jatkuvuus
8. Minä olen

Added: October 20th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Kosmos online
Hits: 590
Language: english

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