Pacha And Pörsti -
Sea Of Mirrors

(CD 2023, 60:22, Seacrest Oy)

The tracks:
  1- Sailor's Tale(7:08)
  2- Diving Into Infinity(6:27)
  3- Tara's Joy In The Beach(4:19)
  4- The Island Of Lotus-Eaters(5:24)
  5- Charybdis(3:59)
  6- Sea Of Mirrors(5:07)
  7- Fascination(9:09)
  8- Lead, Silver And Gold (Song For Cadiz)(5:56)
  9- Shipwreck(7:22)
10- House Of The Light(5:31)
         - a) Sailing Scared
         - b) Afraid of Drowning
         - c) New Path

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Just a year has passed since Pacha And Pörsti released their debut Views From The Inner World (2022, see review). During that year the Spanish/Finnish duo Rafael Pacha and Kimmo Pörsti had been working on new compositions for a future album. So I am very pleased that they are returning with another release named Sea Of mirrors.

On this album Samurai Of Prog member Kimmo Pörsti plays drums, percussion, keyboards, bass and acoustic guitar. Rafael Pacha, guest on several Samurai Of Prog albums, plays electric and acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, lyre, mandolin, viola da gamba, electric violin, and melodic. They are assisted by male lead singer Alejandro Suarez and the two female singers Laura Pörsti and Paula Pörsti. They are Kimmo's niece and daughter respectively. Furthermore Alessandro Di Benedetti plays on the piano, Marek Arnold plays on the sax, Olli Jaakkola plays on the flute, sax and oboe and Jan- Olof Strandberg plays on the bass.

The album is divided into ten tracks of which four of them are instrumentals. Those tracks tell about the tales of the sea and the sailors. The attached booklet that comes along with this release is beautifully done. The theme of the album really comes alive with all of the photos, illustrations and lyrics.

The charm of the sea is the backdrop to the new pieces, which are entirely written by the two musicians. Those new pieces are a beautiful mix of progressive rock and Spanish folk music. After listening to the entire album I realised that this new release has more folk influences than its predecessor. However, it doesn't mean it is lesser music wise. The strong progressive rock influences are still there throughout the entire album without any doubt. There is just so much to enjoy, no matter if it is Spanish folk music or true progressive rock.

Right from the start with the opening piece Sailor's tale you get into the right mood by hearing the waves of the sea. The song is the perfect example that both mentioned musical genres work fine together in one piece of music. The fairy-like female vocals brings you into a world of mermaids and other stories from the sea. The song is just the start of a wonderful journey you take into the world of sailors, lighthouses, sailing ships, pirates, dangerous storms, mythological monsters, beautiful beaches, shipwrecks and other mysterious wonders that appear below the sea surface.

I will not go into detail how each of the ten compositions sound music wise. You just have to believe that there is so much to enjoy that your heart will beat sometimes a little bit faster when you hear some great vocal parts or when the sax, oboe, flute guitar or synthesizer performs a fantastic solo. It is all there. Coming up with names is also rather difficult because the two musicians just created their own musical style with this mix of progressive rock and Spanish folk music. Or even chamber music, retro prog and Canterbury prog can be discovered if you listen well enough. Sometimes they even included some fusion and Celtic influences which fits just like a glove on the well crafted compositions.

I guess you just have to check out yourself if this music is suitable for your delicate prog related ears. But if you are already a fan of Samurai Of Prog and enjoyed their debut Views From The Inner World this is a must have release. One you can't afford to miss that's for sure. So do like me and step in to the sea world of Pacha And Pörsti. You will not regret it. Highly recommended without any doubt!

**** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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