Wednesday, 18 June 2014
Kalevala Orchestra - Abraham's Blue Refrain from 1978 [strongly recommended hard prog] + reupped Garuda by request
A Finnish rock group founded by Juha "Lido" Salonen in 1969. In the first years Remu Aaltonen and Albert Järvinen were also members of the group, but they left the band in the early 1970s. Kalevala's first album came out in 1972 ["People No Names"]; the music was prog rock with English lyrics. The band split up in 1974 but was soon reformed with some new members.
Kalevala's second album ["Boogie Jungle"] came out in spring 1975. The band's guitar player Matti Kurkinen died just a few months later in a traffic accident. The band continued and released their third album in 1977. After the album Kalevala toured in Poland and France but split up after the tours in 1978.
It's indeed odd that they appended the term "orchestra" for this album since this is the hardest rock they made, the preceding two having more funk to them. I think we can safely say this is just some bizarre humour, or perhaps as my wife loves to say, they were just all too stoned at the time, like everyone in the seventies.
Of the three albums, actually, the first has some mighty fine prog tracks too, but the third is by far the most impressive with an almost Tasavallan experience of odd inventiveness backed with some just wonderfully raw guitarwork (from Lido Salonen) as in the track "Panamanian Red":
Gotta love that surreal and evocative cover painting as well. (And the back!)