Polku Review

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars

 KLAVA from Helsinki, Finland has existed since 2004 and has had multiple changes in its line-up during that time. The permanent driving forces have always been guitarist Kalle Kuisma and drummer Henri Tuomi. Polku (=Path) is the band’s debut album which was under work for a very long time, but in a sparse and periodical way. It certainly doesn’t taste like it was endlessly polished with clinical perfection. On the contrary, a hippie-like natural spirit is an essential part of its 70’s-reminding charm. In short I’d call it psychedelically flavoured jazz-rock with plenty of saxophones, and with hints of folk. Indeed, this music feels at home along classic Finnish prog such as TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI from the legendary Love Records catalogue.

The nine album tracks vary between 3-8 minutes. Together they form a charming trip to mellow poppy fields. Vocals in Finnish, shared by several members involving both sexes, intertwine harmonically into the organic soundscape. The reeds — especially the soprano saxophone of Sini Palokangas (DaSputnik, Vitkaste) — remind me of NIK TURNER (in and out of Hawkwind). Some tracks also feature violin and harp.

A good example of the retro-spirited compositions is ‘Arvoitus’ (=Enigma). The dreamy ‘Tähtien valoon’ (= Into stars’ light) is beautifully finished with sparkling flute and the dark tone of cello. The lyrics written by Kalle Kuisma are full of nature-friendly esoterism and are a perfect match to Klava’s music. Undoubtedly the music could have ventured deeper into progressive rock’s complexity and eclectic unpredictability, but even as it is, Polku is among the most delighful Finnish prog releases in recent times.

text: Matti Pajuniemi


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