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(47:28, ‘Kalle Vilpuu’)
TRACK LIST: 1. The Anomalies 6:27 2. Unforgiven 3:47 3. Interno 3:43 4. Industrial No.4 4:17 5. In the Back of My Head 5:23 6. The Aliens 3:34 7. Trappings 5:44 8. The Touch of Angel 4:41 9. Rosie 2:34 10. Forgiven 3:06 11. Silver Lining 4:12 LINEUP: Kalle Vilpuu – guitars; keyboards; vocals Andrus Lillepea – drums Henno Kelp – bass Tarvi Jaago – flute Tiit Kikas – violin Martti Magi – violin Imre Eenma – viola da gamba Indrek Kruusimaa – guitars Eduard Akulin – trombone Mari Pokinen – vocals
Prolusion. Estonian composer and musician Kalle VILPUU is a veteran in his national music scene, probably best known for his long tenure in the Estonian band Ultima Thule, but is otherwise a musician who has been active as a band member in various constellations for a good few decades. "Silver Lining" is his first solo album, and was self-released in 2013.
Analysis. Solo albums by musicians whose main instrument is the guitar fairly often have a character to them that will primarily intrigue fellow guitarists and guitar aficionados first and foremost; whether or not the compositions have been made with thoughts towards a more general public in mind, they tend to be either fairly eclectic in scope and style, documenting how the player masters multiple styles of music, or tightly honed towards a specific style or a narrow subset within one, showcasing ability within a more narrow range. The common denominators among them is that they tend to focus on or emphasize ability, and often technical ability at that. Vilpuu's solo debut is an exception to this though, if anything this is a production that showcases him more as a composer than as a performer, in my opinion. I'd suggest progressive metal to be the best style to generally describe the contents of this production, mainly because metal-tinged riffs, guitar and keyboard constellations with a metal foundation and occasional blazing guitar solo runs with an undeniable metal edge are recurring features. It is not, however, in any way whatsoever an ordinary specimen of the metal nor progressive metal vein. The progressive aspect goes towards multi-themed compositions and at times fairly advanced arrangements, but also towards modes of expressions. Haunting, eerie and twisted arrangements are a key feature, where unnerving sounds and oddly twisted instrumental textures are used liberally throughout. Dream-laden, eerie, atmospheric details and almost mystical soaring keyboards and guitars go hand in hand with dark and at times subtly demented guitar effects. But this is a production that also has room for beefy, blues-tinged circulating guitar riffs with fiery soloing on top, as well as more traditional majestic riff and keyboard runs, while the token instrumental ballad features echoing, gentle guitar details and eerie violin details in a dream-laden, gentle arrangement. Concluding track Silver Lining also adds some Frippian-oriented guitar details to the proceedings, and in the variation department the mainly electronics dominated cinematic feature. The Touch of an Angel, with its dreaming but cold and mainly unchanging presence, can be noted as well.
Conclusion. "Silver Lining" is a well made album on all levels, featuring well made and well developed material explored by quality musicians. It's not at all a typical guitarist solo album, but a fairly adventurous creation with a mood and atmosphere that often remind me of old sci-fi TV series “X-Files”. In terms of music I'd place it somewhere in between the US band OSI and early Joe Satriani, with much more of an emphasis on the former and only subtle touches of the latter. With that in mind, I'd suggest a key audience for this album should be those who enjoy bands similar to OSI just as much as they enjoy guitarist solo albums, and in particular those among that crowd with a generally liberal taste in music as a whole.
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