5th Season is a Finnish prog rock band which was formed in 2017. It was originally a live outfit for songs from Tapio Ylinen's (vocals, guitars) and Mikko Loytty's (vocals, bass guitar) previous solo albums. This is the group's debut album, and the songs pay tribute to prog legends Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis and Procol Harum. 5th Season asked Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd backing vocalist) to sing a couple of tracks, and furthermore Jukka Gustavson (keyboards) of the Finnish cult band Wigwam.
This album really is a treat for all lovers of good old-fashioned prog/symphonic rock, and it kicks off extremely well with probably the highlight of the album called: In Memoriam. This epic, instrumental track, opens with a keyboard and piano intro, which is then followed by fantastic, heavenly guitar solos, as Tapio Ylinen really steals the show here with his fabulous guitar orgasms, especially his solo at the end of this song is utterly divine. Daylight's End has a rather “poppy” melody with sweet vocals and the guitar solo at the two minutes mark is nice, while On The Dark Side Of The Moon Part 1 really reminds me of The Alan Parsons Project, as it is a ballad-like song with a catchy chorus and a nice surprising wah-wah guitar solo; this is also the first time that you can enjoy the vocals of Durga McBroom. Lay Down is a sort of funky song, but the running time, more than six minutes, is kind of too long as the tracks gets a bit tiresome after four minutes.... I Am The Waves is the “real” ballad of the album and it is clearly influenced by Yes but I have to say that this one also is a bit dull as musically nothing much seems to happen.
All in all, this is a great album for fans of pure prog/symphonic rock, but it is a shame that not all songs reach the very high musical level of the opening track, but then again you can't have it all, can you? Still, highly recommended, play it LOUD, or listen to with your headphones!
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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