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Viima: Ajatuksia Mailman Laidalta

Viima are a progressive rock band from Finland, whose new album Ajatuksia Mailman Laidalta is an enjoyable collection of six lengthy songs that hint at some of the Scandinavian greats like White Willow and Anglagard, as well as classic Renaissance. The band has a female vocalist (who has since been replaced) who has a lovely voice, and the music mixes symphonic, folk, psychedelic, pastoral, and hard rock elements for an exciting blend of styles. Each song has some nifty instrumentation and solos, mostly from an array of keyboards, flute, and guitar, but it's the angelic vocals of Päivi Kylmänen that always seems to rise to the top, and more often than not she will remind you of Annie Haslam of Renaissance. All the lyrics are sung in Finnish, so I can't begin to tell you what the songs are about, but the overall effect is quite lovely, especially the lush and symphonic "Meri", one of my favorite tracks with soaring vocals, Hackett-esque guitar passages from Mikko Uusi-Oukari, and vintage sounding keyboard solos. Fans of folky prog will love the gorgeous sounds on "Luuttomat", as well as the flutes and acoustic guitars on the nine-minute closer "Johdatus", which also contains some pretty ripping electric guitar solos from Mikko.

Viima have put together a strong release here that should appeal to all prog-rock lovers, especially those who love beautiful female vocals and lush, acoustic soundscapes mixed with more symphonic elements.

Track Listing
1. Leijonan syksy 6:27
2. Ajatuksia maailman laidalta 6:38
3. Ilmalaiva Italia 6:00
4. Meri 7:57
5. Luuttomat 5:57
6. Johdatus 9:31

Added: August 2nd 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 5090
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Viima: Ajatuksia Mailman Laidalta
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-08-02 16:40:03
My Score:

You'd be excused for calling this a Swedish version of Mostly Autumn or Karnataka - or even Renaissance. You'd be wrong, of course, but you'd be excused because it is female fronted progressive rock with strong folksy tendencies. The song structures and melodies - but not the vocal timbre - recall early Renaissance, and yield a '70s-inspired piece that will have broad appeal.

There's little real innovation here, but Viima has entered a well established genre with a confidence and maturity that belies the fact that this is the band's debut album. The musicianship is good, the performances are well above average, and the production is solid. Nothing brilliant here, but the overall quality of the sound, the pleasing vocals, the organic textures of the classic instrumentation, and the good variety between sections result in a body of work that you could listen to again and again.

Flutes are common in this music, and "Luuttomat" features good sax solos played over a backing of soft guitars and 'Tron-sounds (real?) - and as good as Päivi Kylmänen's singing is, the long instrumental sections here and in the long outro to "Johdatus" are among the record's strongest moments. At first blush the melodies often sound somewhat similar - but that's partly because of Päivi's limited range and consistent timbre, and the fact that all her lyrics are sung in Finnish.

"Leijonan Syksy" ends with extended guitar solo that may bring to mind Dave Bainbridge's solo works, but for the rest, imagine Paatos with the addition of more flutes, Hammonds and acoustic guitars to give it a more down-home folksy sound. Special? No. But very pretty.

» Reader Comments:

Viima: Ajatuksia Mailman Laidalta
Posted by Jon Matthias on 2006-09-26 22:46:06
My Score:

I don't over-analyze music. Beauty is sometimes very pure and something that can't be pinpointed. Innovation doesn't nessessarily mean beautiful, and I think Viima has created works of beauty. They just hit a spot.
They work hard and I enjoy the music.
If the music resonates with me then I love it, if not then that is it.
Viima is a great band considering all the noisy people out there. Viima is a breath of fresh air.

Viima: Ajatuksia Mailman Laidalta
Posted by aron etienne on 2006-08-18 10:18:10
My Score:

I really think that Paivi's voice is beautiful and the band has a wonderful haunting and romantic sound. It is sometimes simplistic in their approach yet it becomes complex and seemingly effortless.

Viima: Ajatuksia Mailman Laidalta
Posted by mariesa-lize etienne on 2006-08-18 09:49:27
My Score:

I like their style of writing and they are a good band. I enjoyed them from the beginning and I love their haunting sound. I think they are very professional and there is heart and soul in their music.
I thought it was very tasteful.

Viima: Ajatuksia Mailman Laidalta
Posted by Jörgen Linder on 2006-07-24 14:35:18
My Score:

Päivi har änligen lyfts fram, tack för det.

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