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Malady: Ainavihantaa

So, after building a decent cult following for themselves over the last few years on the backs of their previous two albums, 2015’s Malady and 2018’s Toinen toista, ​​Malady have returned with their third effort Ainavihantaa. This Scandinavian Progressive Rock outfit have also added to the fold a new saxophone player in Taavi Heikkilä who has added along with their already strong tradition of Finnish Prog Rock more Jazz colors to the overall palate. Much of the album is instrumental with the singing being more of an occasional diversion rather than the main attraction. The vocals are delivered in their native Finnish and definitely help add to the exotic nature of the music.

Musically the band travels down the well trodden paths of classic Prog Rock and Jazz Fusion with its feet firmly planted in the foundations of the past but with an eye to the future as well. The Keyboards and Organs sound absolutely beautiful and lush throughout the whole album and the wind instruments float melodies gloriously above the beautiful grooving foundations. The bass, guitars and drums all have their moments to shine on the album as well and provide a wonderful canvas for the other instruments at times while taking the spotlight at others. The vocals always have a somewhat hypnotic vibe to them and often only enter into the fray several minutes deep into the songs. This serves the purpose of highlighting their potency even further. While the voice is not what you would call a classically beautiful voice, it is however used to great effect and with infectious, epic and melodious power.

Malady are a band I could see sharing a festival bill with the likes of Android Trio, Mythopoeic Mind and Kornmo who all have a similar approach in bridging the Prog Rock and Jazz Fusion worlds together. The Production is very natural sounding and serves the music perfectly.

Ainavihantaa (Perennially Verdant) is a wonderfully expansive and joyous adventure filled album that is sure to please fans of modern Prog Rock and Jazz Fusion, especially those who love bands who do honor to the past sonically while also attempting to push the genre forward.

1. Alava vaara
2. Vapaa ja autio
3. Sisävesien rannat
4. Dyadi
5. Haavan vari
6. Ainavihantaa

Added: January 15th 2022
Reviewer: Benjamin Dudai
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 309
Language: english

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