As a record reviewer you know that every now and then you are going to be sent a strange one. Here is an album by a group called Progress who are from Estonia and sing in Estonian. So if you want a detailed account of what they are singing about you have come to the wrong place. With trepidation I started the CD.
It starts with a low organ drone and builds as the band come in. I shuddered. It's horrible. The vocals on the first track are shouty, out of tune and time. All over the place. Was it supposed to be like that to create an effect. It had an effect on me. I was going to do the one thing I have never done and give up on it. Turn the thing off. But something told me to carry on and give it a try. It was the band behind the vocals. I actually like the instrumentation and the basic production. All very seventies rock. The second track calmed down a bit and the singing became a little more listenable. As the album moved on I found myself enjoying it more and there are some good tracks here. This is not a prog album as such although there are moments but it's a good rock album. There are hints of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple and a nice blues track. Most of the singing reminds me of an Italian prog type style and it's the one thing that stops this album being great. On most of the tracks it works OK except for that first track that I just can't get my head around.
Tulejaa means fire ice apparently and is the bands second album which they recorded straight after doing their Estonian military service. The band got me through the album so I suppose they should get a mention. They are Mattis Kirsipuu on drums, Johan Nestor on bass, Mattis Kuppart on guitar, Kristen Kutner on keyboards and guitar. Finaaly Ragnar Kaasik provides the vocals and saxaphone.
I doubt this will be heard much outside Estonia which is a shame as there are some good songs here but if they want to broaden their outlook they may have to think about singing in English.
*** Dave Smith
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