“This is every man’s journey through cities and valleys toward the great ocean” – from Sydänmaa
The trio (now a duo) of MAA already comprises one of the members of Halo Manash, on this first release they are aided by Antti Hyvärinen, Fredrik Löf, Risto-Matti Salo of Pimentola, John Murphy and one of the other members of Halo Manash; Antti Haapapuro, all of which with their added presence impart their creative spirit into the mix. All of the lyrics are sung in Finnish; a language that in my opinion lends itself especially well to song and harmony.
Tuhkankantajat is an amalgam of different approaches to melody, music and style that in the end uses these differences to their advantage. Unlike most contemporary releases, Tuhkankantajat (Bearers of Ash) was recorded onto analogue reel to reel tape, which affords an air of warmth, if not nostalgia.
The eight tracks conjure up a highly melodic affair with an inspired blend of music that combines the more subtle elements of folk and noise with the overall impression being one of earthly serenity, which is amplified by the adept cello work of Antti Hyvärinen and the beautiful piano playing of Fredrik Löf, both instruments bestow a grandeur without pretense to the pieces.
As with any release there are always stand-out pieces that for one reason or other just ‘grab you’, on this cd there are several, and while all of the tracks are well crafted with an importance placed on artistry and musicianship, ‘Näiden Merkkien Alla’ is one of these, it is the vocals with piano and cello accompaniment that make this track. But it is the presence of John Murphy and his effective ‘efektilaitteet/effects’ on the lengthy closer ‘Toive’ that channels the ghost of Marlene Dietrich with such efficacy and then projects her sultry vocal style onto an aural tapestry, this is a noisy affair that retains and nurtures a sense of beauty.
Journalist name: Paddy
Cat. # AUER-007
03 Laulujen Jumala
04 Tämän Kaupungin Yllä
05 Vanha Tie
06 Näiden Merkkien Alla
07 Maailman Ääri