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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Hadal Sherpa - Hadal Sherpa - 2017
albumcover

    
“... progressive instrumental rock from Finland ...”

Hadal Sherpa is a five piece progressive instrumental rock band from Finland. They have released their self titled debut album as an independent release. The band is active for some years now and they have played a handful of shows in Finland. But mostly they have been working on their songs and mixing them for this first release. The band has musical influences from all around, including elements of jazz, ethnic, progressive rock and space rock.

Vesa Pasanen - guitar, bouzouki, keyboards, percussion; Sauli Marila - bass, cello; Matti Elsinen - keyboards; Ville Kainulainen - guitar; Ilja Juutilanen - drums, percussion

Guest musicians:
Pi Kiviharju - flute (“Nautilus”, “Black Elk”)
Arttu Muhonen - percussion (“Black Elk”)
Olli Rautiainen - trumpet (“Black Elk”)

On their self titled debut album “Hadal Sherpa” you can find the following eight compositions; “Nautilus Part I”, “Nautilus Part II”, “Chaka Azeno”, “Ikaros”, “Heracleion”, “Marrakech”, “Abyss” and “Black Elk”.

The album opens with almost sixteen minutes of “Nautilus” divided into two parts of eight minutes. For me these two opening tracks are one of the highlights of this interesting album. The music of Hadal Sherpa is heavily influenced by psychedelic and space rock music. The music is diverse and full of melodies and rhythm changes. Guest musician Pi Kiviharju does a wonderful job here. His contribution on the flute is a real enrichment to the music. Also the electric guitar plays an important role in the music of Hadal Sherpa.

The next composition “Chafa Azeno” is one of the first compositions of the band. This up tempo track has more influences of rock, Northern African and Indian music and it has a somewhat other atmosphere then the other tracks of the album. Personally I would put this hectic track at the end of the album as a kind of bonus track. Because all the other tracks form a more consistent whole.

The following two tracks “Ikaros” and “Heracleion” are two of my personal favorites. “Ikaros” is a lovely track with great guitar work and beautiful keyboard atmospheres and solo’s. You can find wonderful melodies in this track. Then it is time for the longest track of the album. “Heracleion” has a duration of more than 11 minutes. Love the synth melodies and the spacey keyboards. Next to the oriental influenced guitar parts they bring a kind of balance to the music. I would describe the music as progressive space rock.

“Marrakech” with it’s speedy guitars is also a space rock song. A hectic song with little to none rest points. The band slows down with the song “Abyss”. It has a dreamy and mysterious opening with spacey synths and beautiful guitar work. Towards the end the music becomes more up tempo and intense and is working towards a kind of climax. The album closes with the song “Black Elk”. In this song the flute of the guest player returns and there are also two other guest musicians with contributions on trumpet and percussion. The use of an instrument like the bouzouki give the music a more oriental atmosphere.

Hadal Sherpa made an impressive debut album. Sometimes the music is a little bit too hectic for me. But the opening tracks “Nautilus Part I” and “Nautilus Part II” are wonderful. Other personal favorites are the tracks “Ikaros” and “Heracleion”. The flute of guest musician Pi Kiviharju (“Nautilus”, “Black Elk”) is a real enrichment to the music. If you like the Space Rock and psychedelic side of progressive rock you are invited to check out this fine debut album.

Douwe Fledderus - January 2018
rating - Independent Release

 

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