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(45:24, Progressive Gears)
TRACK LIST: 1. Now 2:13 2. Sub-Zero 4:31 3. My Grief 5:06 4. Feeling of Love 3:44 5. Q & A 7:55 6. In the Air 3:58 7. The Failure 4:17 8. What Remains 9:06 9. Hereafter 4:34 LINEUP: Juho Myllyla - guitars, voices Valtteri Seppanen - guitars, voices Maarten Vos - bass Steven Favier - drums with: Artto Vauhkonen - keyboards, programming Eeva Vesamaki - violin Taija Kangaskokko - violin Matti Fredriksson - violin Heikki Vilpponen - viola Tatu Ahola - cello Ilkka Leppala - double bass Aurora Visa - kantele Juho Myllyla - recorder
Prolusion. Multinational band BURNTFIELD started out back in Finland in 2012, but have since relocated to the Netherlands, with half of the current line-up also being from that nation if I interpret the names of the musicians correctly. Following two initial EPs and a single the band was signed to Irish label Progressive Gears, who released the band's debut album "Hereafter" in the spring of 2018.
Analysis. Burntfield are one of the many bands around these days that blend progressive rock with music of a more mainstream orientation. In this case melodic rock or possibly hard rock being the chosen styles. What separates Burntfield from many other bands is that they, generally speaking, sees to it that just about all their songs incorporate some solid elements of progressive rock. Mainly by way of structure, but also by arrangements. On this album there's only one track that by and large doesn't fall within a progressive rock context, which is second cut 'Sub-Zero'. Everything else here ticks the right boxes. Burntfield are fond of string arrangements, and actually opens this album with a short, atmospheric piece that revolves around what might be described as chamber music core. A landscape also visited later on here, but apart from that just about every song on this production features strings lurking in the back, hovering on top ar as a more dominant presence throughout the track. A details that adds and emphasizes the mainly melancholic nature of this production quite nicely I might add, as well as being a case in point for the progressive rock orientation of this production in general. You do not get those vibes at once though, as the opening cut is more of an atmospheric piece and the song that follows is rather solidly revolving around a melodic rock base bordering hard rock. But from then on we're in for a gentle ride in the more accessible parts of the progressive rock universe. The core of most of these songs appears to be the piano and acoustic guitar, creating a foundation that the band expands quite a lot. The songs ebb and flow in intensity, or build from a gentle start to a more dramatic end. Acoustic and plucked guitars are central alongside strings, keyboards and vocal harmonies, while the darker toned guitar riffs and flowing guitar soloing are applied as and when needed. On a couple of occasions the guitar riffs gets a more prominent and dominant role that does add a harder edge to the material as well, bordering progressive metal on an occasion or two. If I should sum up this album, I think I'd go for stating that it is a melodic rock album explored within the context and confines of progressive rock, with structural changes and alterations as well as a fine development of phases, parts and passages as far as the arrangements are concerned. With a solid layer of melancholy on top. A well made album by a promising band, and it'll be interesting to see where these guys are heading next.
Conclusion. Burntfield is one more example of a high quality band releasing a high quality debut album of the kind that should appeal both inside of and outside of the progressive rock universe. Compelling, easy to like melodic rock with sophisticated features and progressive intent is the end result, with a melancholic spirit to it that will attract deeply the right kinds of people. Those being the people who read this and find my description to be an alluring one, and those fond of melodic, accessible progressive rock in general. A fine debut album easy to recommend - to the right audience.
Progmessor: June 27th 2018
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