Monday, July 4, 2011

Review: Time Traveller - Chapters III & IV (2011, Presence Records)

Juhani Nisula continues the journey he started in Chapters I & II: exciting and highly energetic space rock with prominent solo guitar work.

I have to say that I find this release to be a step up from the first album. I feel as though he’s honed in on his own sound here, his own style and brand of heavy space rock. His guitar playing is as exciting as before and the additional instruments here, such as the saxophone only help to enrich the sound palate and strengthen the melodies.

On this release, you will find at Juhani’s side drummer Zeko Takamäki who played with him on his first release. In addition, he has enlisted the talents of Timo Ristila (keyboards), Petteri Hietamaki (sax, flute), Petri Kivimaki (sax), all of which play on one or more track.

In each chapter the music goes on uninterrupted or at the very least, flows smoothly from one track to the next, giving the feel of a wholesome lengthy composition with various chapters.
From the get go, the music is in full force and upbeat. Reality Strikes and Code 6360025 are two of the most energetic pieces here, with much vigor and passion as to wake up the dead.
There are varied flavours here; Juhani introduces some eastern folkloric elements into his space rock (Mind Wide Open). He introduces dynamics and variation in tempo, volume and intensity as he switches for example, from Code 6360025 to Space Harvest; the former a loud and powerful rock tune lead by solo electric guitar and tenor saxophone, the latter a laid back, slightly odd sounding, atmospheric piece.
At the core of his music sits fun and old-fashioned guitar-lead rock, but it is embellished in a fresh and modern sound and well done arrangements and layering, including sound effects that add to the special sound of this album.

A fun album, one that can serve as a cool breeze on a hot summer day and spice up your mood.

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