Kataya - Lives

(CD 2014,52:27, SAMSR-D4)

The tracks:
  1- Blue Cranes Over Korso(4:39)
  2- K (To Carry Me Over)(9:52)
  3- Sun Geese(7:03)
  4- Dark Lark(5:36)
  5- Black CS(4:04)
  6- Opening Marsh(3:30)
  7- Avojaloin(4:14)
  8- On A Moose(9:59)
  9- Lento(4:12)
10- Canto Obscura(4:58)

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On this record there are two different gigs by Finnish prog band Kataya, recorded live at the Belly club (tracks 1-5 and 10) and at Club Liberty in December 2008, with almost identical line-ups. Matti Kervinen (keyboards and vocals), Sami Sarhamaa (guitars and vocals), Teijo Tikkanen (keyboards, guitar, backing vocals), Juha Aronen (bass) Samu Wuori (guitars) and Tomi Laaksonen (drums and percussion). The first song, Blue Cranes Over Korso, has that typical Northern Europe feel in the first part. Slowly played guitar and keyboards, which give me the feeling of being on an airplane, flying over the countless lakes of Finland. The last minute bursts into a heavy eruption of electric guitars, which I didn't like much. Second song K (To Carry Me Over), is another almost instrumental song, in the vein of the Norwegian band Kerrs Pink or their Dutch colleagues Odyssice. There are some spoken words in it, but the main instruments are piano and electric guitar, and the final part has a rough edge. Sun Geese has sounds of sea waves and is slowly built up to an instrumental rock song. The drums sound like a ticking clock, setting the rhythm for the other solo instruments of organ and guitars... It reminded me of the music of Camel and Landberk. In Dark Lark you can easily hear the influences of Camel again, but it isn't a copy of Andy Latimer that's stealing the show this time. It is the reincarnation of the prematurely demised keyboard player Peter Bardens. The last song from the first live gig is the most heavy track, Black CS. Opening Marsh is the ideal song for a movie. It's very Camel-esque from the The Snow Goose period. A pity that it's a little bit too short. Romantic is the up tempo love song Avojaloin. On A Moose has all the characteristics of a good Camel song; tasty synths and relaxing guitar shreds. The first time you hear Johanna Livanainen's vocals is in the dark and obscure song In Lento. The romance returns in the beautifully ending Canto Obscura.

Kataya surprised me with all their songs. More than 50 minutes of excellent instrumental music. Can I give the boys (and girl) a bigger compliment?

**** Cor Smeets (edited by Esther Ladiges)

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