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miércoles, 23 de noviembre de 2016

Haikara - Haikara (1972)


Seguimos con la presentación del notable rock finlandés, ahora no con un grupo actual sino que viajamos a los doreados años setenta con un trabajo considerado un verdadero discazo por coleccionistas de todo el mundo, con reminiscencias de música popular finlandesa, King Crimson y Van Der Graaf Generator, a veces alegre, a veces oscuro pero siempre profundo, un disco variado, con composiciones ricas, repletas de variaciones, despliegues musicales y melodías maravillosas, no se pierdan esta belleza. Tremendo disco que es una joyita que debemos rescatar en nombre de la Sagrada Buena Música! Un disco maravilloso y legendario para los conocedores de los mejores sonidos.

Artista: Haikara
Álbum: Haikara
Año: 1972
Género: Progresivo ecléctico
Duración: 44:32
Nacionalidad: Finlandia


Lista de Temas:
1. Köyhän pojan kerjäys - The Beggings of a poor boy
2. Luoja Kutsuu - The Lord asks for you
3. Yksi Maa & Yksi Kansa - One Land & One Nation
4. Jälleen on meidän - It's ours again
5. Manala - Underworld

Alineación:
- Vesa Lehtinen / vocals, tamburine, cow bell, Eberhard Faber 1146 No. 2
- Vesa Lattunen / vocals, electric & acoustic guitar, piano, organ, bass
- Harri Pystynen / flute, Tenor saxophone
- Timo Vuorinen / electric bass
- Markus Heikerö / drums, tubular bells, triangle
With:
Matti Tuhkanen, Timo Vuorinen, Seppo Peltola, Kaj Backlund, Mircea Stan & Markku Johansson





Su debut homónimo, como sucede con muchas de estas bandas no tan conocidas, es su mejor trabajo. Se trató de las primeras obras maestras de repercusión internacional que estanan fuera del círculo inglés-yanky, porque si bien la revolución tenía su foco allí en el frío de las zonas escandinavas no estaban dormidos. Y en Finlandia sus ricas tradiciones musicales se orientaban rápidamente a las nuevas tendencias y ganaban impulso nuevas bandas en la nueva escena progresiva local, de la cual nuestros posteos sobre Pekka Pohjola, Tasavallan Presidentti, Jukka Tolonen y toda la movida finlandesa de aquellos tiempos, con un número creciente de excelentes bandas, practicando un enfoque original en la composición al incorporarle, al igual que sucede en todos lados del mundo, rasgos de la música local, ya sea popular o folclórica.


Haikara se servían tanto del folclore boscoso finlandés como de la imaginería de Van der Graaf Generators o Salvador Dalí. El disco se vería desnudado de su grandeza de faltar la atmosférica pieza de diez minutos que remata la faena,
Diez álbumes del progresivo nórdico


Haikara fue una de estas grandes bandas que abría toda una cantidad de puertas para lo que vino después. Rock ecléctico con muchos motivos folclóricos de su tierra natal, ingeniosos sonidos fusionados con riffs de guitarra duros y un penetrantes saxo tan típico del fazz rock de la época, junto con los colchones de teclados analógicos y una base justa, medio jazzera y compacta, a los que se le sumaron instrumentos clásicos como flauta, violín y cello, aumentando considerablemente la duración media de las canciones de los temas y con algunos gestos peculiares hacia los pioneros ingleses de toda esta movida de vanguardia rockera, en una polifonía que no descarta melodías brillantes, instrumentales preciosos mucha emotividad y grandes solos, en un trabajo extraordinario y original, que claramente vale mucho pero mucho la pena.

Haikara en los setenta fueron considerados una de las mejores bandas de progresivo junto a Wigwam y Tasavallan Presidentti pero al contrario que estos grupos cayeron en el olvido en las décadas siguientes. Fundado en Lahti, Finlandia, en 1971, por Vesa Lattunen y Markus Heikkerö, su primer disco data de 1972 y como tantos otros, estuvo descatalogado durante años lo que le llevó, junto a su calidad, a ser una pieza cotizada de coleccionismo. A ellos se les unieron Timo Vuorinen, Harri Pystynen y Vesa Lehtinen. No fue hasta 1998 reeditado en cd. La instrumentación del grupo era la típica de un grupo de rock, guitarra, bajo, batería con teclados, flauta y saxo, aparte de voces en finés. Hay también algunos arreglos de cuerda y viento que le dan un toque distintivo a su música. Las letras tocaban fundamentalmente temas políticos y las influencias musicales, se dice, vienen fundamentalmente de King Crimson y VDGG aunque tienen un estilo tan personal y tan variado que es aventurado afirmarlo. El cantante Vesa Lehtinen pronto dejó el grupo y fue sustituido por Auli Lattunen, hermana de Vesa Lattunen. Su segundo disco, Geafar, es de 1973 y sigue en la misma onda que el primero con mayores y más variados juegos vocales en los que se incorpora una voz femenina, la de Auli. Contiene un tema en inglés, y el sonido de la guitarra recuerda bastante al de Jukka Tolonen. En 1975 publicaron Iso Lintu con nuevo cantante, Matti Heinänen, y poco tiempo después se disuelve la banda aunque fue reformada poco después por Lattunen, incorporando a Eljas Holm, Jorma Nikulainen y Hannu Rontu. Esta formación sólo publicó un sencillo en 1976. En los noventa fue reformada de nuevo por el guitarrista y fundador de la misma, Vesa Lattunen, con Jan Schaper, Tommi Mäkinen, Jukka Teerisaari, Saara Hedlund y Hannu Kivilä. En esta década sólo publicaron un disco, Domino, bajo el nombre de Haikara IV. Es más melódico y menos brillante que sus predecesores de los setenta, con leves influencias orientales y del Gregoriano. En 2001 publicaron un último trabajo, Tuhkamaa, que es el último ya que Lattunen falleció en 2005.
Demetrio


Un disco maravilloso y legendario para los conocedores de los mejores sonidos, que seguramente será todo un regalo para nuestra Princesa Cabezona. ¿No es así Vicky?
Bueno, en definitiva, es un discazo, no le demos más vueltas.




Y para el que quiera darle vueltas o leer la opinión de otras pesonas, aquí dejo algunos comentarios en inglés. Les aviso que todos dicen que el disco es excelente, pero si quieren, aquí están los comentarios que dicen todos más o menos lo mismo.


If you must own only one Finnish prog album of the 70's , make it this one , and to a lesser extent the Geafar. If you had loved the absolutely crazy band Hoyry Kone in the late 90's , no doubt they were heavily infuenced by Haikara. What sets this album apart from the rest of them are the outstanding arrangements : what a writing job. The album starts with the slightly weaker (IMHO) Beggings of a Poor Boy, but this is very minor because the rest of the tracks are top notch. I cannot really describe you the music by citing other bands becuse none come to mind directly. The wind player is obviously one of the main component of this group but everyone gets a chance to be brilliant on this album. I know Greg Walker still has it on his catalogue but hurry up. 5/5
Sean Trane

I must say I am blown away by this early 70s gem. If you find this album used or new in any store pick it up. Otherwise, download it, you won't regret it! These guys have a very distinct sound. I think the closest band is Gong, minus the silliness. Like the review above said, the 1st song is weak but after that, its just a lot of jamming which is very catchy. Very good sax, which is similar to Gong.
Carl Floyd Fan

I will start by saying that this album is a true gem. One of those rare masterpieces that almost no one knows.
Reviewing Haikara's albums is always a difficult task because they were such an original group that it's hard to compare them to other bands. I guess Haikara's sound falls somewhere between H To He - era VdGG and early King Crimson IMO. Tasavallan Presidentti must have been an influence too, to a lesser extent. The soundscapes and atmospheres are mostly quite dark, the dominating instrument is definitely Harri Pystynen's sax, while the guitars, flutes and keyboards are mainly on the background creating very strong melodies. Vesa Lehtinen's vocals are strong, and while they are not quite as prominent as Hammill's in VdGG, he surely makes himself heard. He sings in Finnish which might be a slight problem to someone.
Out of the five tracks here, the first one Köyhän Pojan Kerjäys is quite possibly the weirdest. It's an excellent track, but nevertheless a bit out of place here IMO, a rather goofy track with influences from finnish folk music among others. Manala is probably the most compelling piece Haikara ever wrote, a classic in Finnish prog. The ending actually reminds me of Magma in its weirdness. The section where Lehtinen sings "Manala, Manalaan Joukolla Kuolemaan" is a huge climax, at least for me.
It's really amazing to think that this is Haikara's debut, as the music already sounds incredibly mature and "ready", which is hardly typical for a debut. Haikara's best album, and quite frankly one of the best albums ever made in Finland. A true gem in every sense of the word. This album might be a hard one to find, but surely worth the hunt and the money.
Jimbo

This album is so far the best classic Finnish progressive rock release I have yet heard, along with the "Fairyport" by Wigwam and Tasavallan Presidentti's early records. As the songs on the album are sung in Finnish, it may not be as accessible as the other classic Finnish prog albums for a non-Finnish speaking listener, but it has also many fine instrumental passages, where the singing is left in lesser importance.
I wasn't upset about the opener "Köyhän Pojan Kerjäys" (The Begging of A Poor Boy), which some of the listeners seem to find a bit irritating tune. I think that this number holds the qualities of burlesque humor, and it creates as slight theme to the following songs. This song is built from elements of early 60's Finish popular music, which is a logical choice within the context of the lyrics, as they paint a picture of a poor common man, whose frightful visions of the world the following four compositions in my opinion are. In the end of the song we can also hear quotations of Finnish army marches and even some slight taunts to the navy soldiers, these most likely being contributions of Harri Pystynen, who had studied and played winds at the Finnish army orchestra [according Esko Lehtonen "Suomalaisen rockin tietosanakirja", Soundi 1983.].
"Luoja Kutsuu" (The Lord Calls You) begins the series of eight to eleven minutes long songs, which bring forth strong visions of our world. The soothing lullaby flute & cello melodies are guided to a sadder direction by the church bells, and a submissive funeral march begins. Later the evil tritone steps familiar from darker classical music bring a strong violent twist to the music, and the singer announces his bitter hate towards organized Christianity and the leaders of the world. This dystopia vision associated with a more coherent stuff by Van Der Graaf Generator for me, their "Godbluff" album to be more exact. The power of both the lyrics and the music are tremendous. "Yksi Maa & Yksi Kansa" (One Land & One Nation) opens with tender guitar licks resembling the style of Jukka Tolonen, and euphoric strings introduce the mellow part of this song, which lyrics and theme is similar to John Lennon's "Imagine". Very beautiful stuff, but sadly this kind of predictions of peace and love can be ruined by watching the evening news. The middle part has more a faster guitar and sax driven rock sequence sounding like Tasavallan Presidentti. There are also passages with Latin influenced horn arrangements.
"Jälleen on Meidän" (It's Ours Again) starts with fabulous treble bass licks, and the song has an interesting groove. The lyrics are very poetic, and there are sharp trumpets bringing a jazzy feeling, which later evolves as dominant characteristic of this song, embodied as long instrumental jazz motives. Mystic "Manala" (Netherworld) closes the album, and it's verse reminds me the King Crimson song "The Letters". There are long quiet themes escalating to a furious ending, which is very powerful, as the last sounds are two changing guitar chords, which share a same base chord beneath them, bringing an abstract promise of hope to linger in the soon emerging silence.
I recall listening to this album when I was quite new to art rock music, and as I then listened to more conventional stuff like Yes and Wigwam, this record sounded somehow disturbing and too difficult to digest. During the years my tastes evolved, and now I value this masterpiece maybe more than any of the albums by these two bands. I seriously recommend this record to all people who are interested of dark, moody and artistic music. This LP was a very rare collectors item for some time, as there weren't any reissues of it moving around: Most of the Finnish prog albums of the 1970's were released by the Love Records label, and they had bigger pressing numbers and marketing, plus their releases were also reissued in early 1990's, unlike this album earlier. The average price for original vinyl of this record has been moving between 300 and 400 euros, but luckily it was reissued on CD eventually, and there was also a 500 copy vinyl reissue released by some European vendor, quickly sold out.
Eetu Pellonpaa

I agree with Eetu Pellonpaa and Sean Trane that this is the best classic, seventies Finnish album I have ever heard. Other than the opening track, this record is dark,disturbing and moody just the way i like it. There is even Bassoon played on it for Pete's sake, and it's not that far off from UNIVERS ZERO at one point. These guys all play magnificently, I could go through each instrument and praise them all very highly, and the songs are so cleverly arranged that it's impossible to find anything negative to say at all.
"Koyhan Pojan Kerjays" is the shortest song on here and it's completely different from the rest. It really sounds like an uptempo,traditional folk song. The lyrics throughout this album are in Finnish.This song is a real toe tapper with blasting sax and clapping with the bass and drums keeping the rhythm. It sounds like they're having a lot of fun. Don't take this song too seriously, I don't think it's intended to be. "Louja Kutsuu" really reminds me of SINKADUS with the bassoon and solemn flute. I like it. Melancholic vocals and organ join in, and yes this does sound like funeral music. The tempo picks up as bass, drums and sax support the more energetic vocals. This is fantastic ! Back to the earlier dark mood of bassoon and flute. Vocals and organ again follow. The tempo picks up again 6 minutes in just like before with sax, bass and vocals dominating. The ending is chaotic. Just an awesome tune man. "Yksi Maa-Yksi Kansa" opens with sax as an eastern sounding,gentle guitar comes in with bass. Bassoon comes in followed by drums and vocals as the song comes alive. Back to opening melody before the song really picks up strength with sax and a full sound. Psychedelic guitar comes in as drums pound 3 minutes in. Nice. This is a hypnotizing section until sax arrives followed by flute. Some raw sounding guitar 6 minutes in as tempo really speeds up with sax. A calm arrives a minute later as we get the original melody of gentle guitar that is joined by the bassoon, then vocals, followed by sax and drums as sound rises again. I like the grinding guitar 8 1/2 minutes in as drums pound and flute and sax take turns playing over top.
"Jalleen On Meidan" opens with bass as sax and guitar join in. Great sound. Vocals after a minute. Love the sax and vocals. This just goes on and on thankfully. Nice bass 5 minutes in as the guitar plays an amazing solo with sax joining in. It calms right down 8 1/2 minutes in as we get some atmosphere. It starts to build, and we get some incredible bass and sax to end it. "Manala" opens with gentle guitar as soft flute melodies join in. Reserved vocals and bass also arrive. This continues until before 3 1/2 minutes in when a bombastic,dark and creepy climate arrives. Ripping guitar turns angular as sax, bassoon,piano and drums fill the heavy air. This is spooky and ominous to say the least. Great section. The tempo picks up as we get some demented vocals. Check out the sax ! Organ arrives 8 1/2 minutes in. Vocal melodies and then vocals. The drums are so heavy.
I would suggest you read Eetu Pellonpaa's review to see what the story line is about on this record. To think this was 1972, I am just so overjoyed at what they created.
Jon Davie

Legendary Finnish Psych-Prog outfit with an intense brass instrumental background.Led by multi-instrumentalist Vesa Lattunen,HAIKARA were formed in 1971 in the town of Lahti along with drummer Markus Heikerro and bassist Timo Vuorinen.At the beginning the band was performing as a trio with a Hendrix-inspired style,but soon things whould change with the arrival of singer Vesa Lehtinen and flutist/saxophonist Harri Pystynen.The band ,now with a more complicated sound,signed with Discophon Records and their self-titled debut came out at the end of 1972 with lyrics dealing with metaphysics and personal issues.
''Koyhan poyan kerjays'' opens the album with a very pleasant atmosphere, like if THE BEATLES played supported by a brass section,a sound too far from what really follows.In ''Luoja kutsuu'',though the brass section is still present and strong,the atmosphere becomes darker and more psychedelic close to VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR,with a very slow tempo,flutes to the front and some strong guitar playing as well.In ''Yksi maa'' the transformation is fully completed.This is a superb track where obscure guitar chords meet with haunting flutes and pounding bass lines to result an awesome composition. ''Jalleen on meidan'' is the jazzier composition,where Lehtinen's crying voice is surrounded by smooth saxes,psych guitars and a nice middle/end section with jazzy references and excellent bass work by Vuorinen.The 12- min. ''Manala'' is the closest track in here and not by accident.The 3-min. calm vocal/flute intro is followed by the most complex part of ''Haikara'' with guitars and piano battling each other.Things have warmened up and then is when Pystynen enters delivering his most intricate performance on saxes,supported till the end by nice and dark vocal work,some weird organ sounds and Lattunen's fuzzy guitars.
''Haikara'' is a fine album for sure,though I don't think it can beat other Prog-Psych monsters like MARSUPILAMI or VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR.Yet it will reward every fan of this dark- sounding early 70's prog,who can't get enough of the style.
apps79

Quirky, jumpy, reed tooting, galloping, relentless, adventurous, melodic and everything at once, Haikara's debut is quite the amalgamation of differentiating sounds. I've always considered it as a close cousin to the more out there Canterbury groups like National Health and Picchio dal Pozzo, yet with all kinds of Zappaesque irreverence to it, and an unhinged musical joy that literally flies through your speakers, this album is anything but a scarecrow made up of various leftovers from other acts. Hell, it's from 1972, which rules out any association with the two aforementioned Canterbury acts...
The moods range from late 60s melodic psychedelia like the ones emanating from the first cut, Köyhän pojan kerjäys, to more perilous action packed whirlwind fusion, which again performs in parts of the first track. As a matter of fact, all of what Haikara stands for, including a passionate crooked take on Northern folk music, is enveloped in this astonishing opener. What then strikes me a little odd, is that the rest of the album almost entirely consists of the same haphazardly thrown together themes, yet without ever sounding remotely the same. With saxes, flutes, cowbells, triangles, guitars, organs and a rhythm section with magma up it's bunghole, you sense a frenetic, almost squirrely energy pumping through Haikara. Like wild rodents set on fire pacing around the studio with a song on their lips.
I had this album playing here the other day while I was fixing dinner. I'd opened up all the windows to clear out the stale and stagnant air that accumulates whenever I've been away for a couple of days. As a result of this, the fragrant smell of spices like cumin, chilli and garlic invaded the sidewalk together with this music, having people stop dead in their tracks - looking directly in my window, as if to see what kind of strange entity was producing this exotic mix of Eastern flavours and fiery pseudo jazz rock. One girl went so far as to say, that she thought I was an imminent cook, but a rather sad dj - to which I replied: 'Well honey, you know - the music often goes hand in hand with what's being served on the table. You would be surprised to learn what tricky, labyrinthian and bonkers music some of the great chefs listen to.'
I was obviously joking a bit, but there's some truth in that statement. I think this kind of unique galloping cornucopia of rock, with all of it's bombastic reed sprints and saucy psychedelics, wreck havoc on your senses - in just about the right manner for you to be able to feel inspired, chuck full of energy and pure unadulterated geist! It's the exact same mood you want to achieve, when you're headed for the kitchen methinks.
Anyway, enough with the cooking! Aside from these two purveyors of sound, the furious fusion and the jello sheen of shrooms, you additionally get these magnificent crystallised folk segments to boot. With a flirtatious flute, or some abstract guitar strummings the feel of the music will turn on a dime, and suddenly tumble jittery into the most peculiar Northern folk music, you're ever likely to come across. Often this facet comes on during the more rocking sections, and the direction of the tune fiercely changes it's intentions and swoops you down the mountainside with surreal images from the beautiful cover art with elk, dragon and that eerie naked human body looking like it's on the verge of giving birth.
To top it all off all of the vocals are in Finnish. They're mighty jolly and carefree, often playing on that ever so theatrical side of the great Peter Hammill. Even if they don't sound alike, you'll find a common fondness for the grandiose and bewitching, no doubt.
This is perhaps the greatest progressive rock recording ever to come out of Finland, and I see no difficulty in recommending it to the folks on this site. Whatever shortcomings one may face with the impossible Finnish lingo, are made up for a gazillion times by the sheer force of lavish musical sorcery surrounding it. This album is mesmerising in every way conceivable - like the very cover it hides underneath. No wonder they named the group after the be-winged majestic presence of the stork.
Guldbamsen

With influences from jazz fusion and Finnish folk leaking in around the edges, this is a confident debut from Finnish prog outfit Haikara. Incorporating more brass instruments than is typical for prog, thanks to their six-musician brass section, Haikara don't shy away from unusual instruments - even vocalist Vesa Lehtinen is credited with tamburine, cow bell, and "Eberhard Faber 1146 No. 2" (the latter being a make of pencil!) - and they use this range of instrumentation to create a rich and unpredictable sound. A competent album which despite coming out at the peak of prog's popularity doesn't seem to have got much attention outside of Finland, which is a bit of a shame, but at the same time don't expect a lost classic primed to set your very conception of prog on fire on listening - this is decent but not exceptional.
W. Arthur

Lahti-based HAIKARA (= stork) was doubtlessly the most important Finnish seventies prog act outside Helsinki and the Love Records legacy. This dark-toned debut album (compared e.g. to early KING CRIMSON, TASAVALLAN PRESDENTTI and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR) ranks among the most respected items of the Finnish prog history. Now it has been re-released on vinyl by Svart Records -- with new liner notes by yours truly (that, if I may add, are also written in much better English than my PA reviews!). I won't go here into the band's formation etc, nor am I using the re-release article as a basis of this review.
In short, two of the members (the frontman Vesa Lattunen and saxophonist-flautist Harri Pystynen) were playing also in Lahti Town Orchestra, and the influence of classical music plus the musical education can naturally be heard in Haikara's music. The album was produced by Heikki Virtanen, later best known as the bassist of Tasavallan Presidentti, who however didn't much take part in the artisctic process. The up-tempo opener (= The Begging of a Poor Boy) differs quite radically from the dark and eclectic prog on the rest of the album. The brass section is used cleverly, and especially the little details in the end of this strangely hilarious track show a sense of humour normally not linked to the band. 'Luoja kutsuu' (= God Calls) is nearly collapsing under the preaching pathos against institutionalized religion, but the next one (= One Country - One Nation) reaches up to excellent, dynamic prog in its instrumental sections.
'Jälleen on meidän' (= Is Ours Again) has bluesy jazz-rock riffing and an electric guitar solo that make it resemble Tasavallan Presidentti. The gorgeous closer 'Manala' (= Underworld [of the dead]) builds very effective contrasts between the otherworldly delicacy and the edginess finished by gritty VDGG-like saxes.
Just like the grotesque cover art by Markus Heikkerö, "Haikara" is a strong, deeply impressive and -- despite some recognizable influences from the more forerunning prog acts of Britain and Finland -- highly original prog classic that may require some acquired taste. The masterpiece ranking is justified.
Matti

Impressive eponymous debut from Finnish proggers Haikara (which means 'Stork' in English). There are tones of Van Der Graaf Generator's "H To He, Who Am The Only One" at times, although maybe not quite so complex. Oh, and with Finnish vocals. You will have to read the excellent review by Eetu Pellonpää to get a clue about what the lyrics mean (assuming you don't speak Finnish), which I would recommend, because they actually seem very interesting. Certainly they are often sung with a good deal of conviction and emotion at times. If anything, the Finnish language adds a more unique character to the band (much as Italian vocals do in RPI), and improves the overall sound, so don't be put off if you are an English speaker like me. There is an eclectic range of influences present too, from the early 70s contemporaries like VDGG and King Crimson, to older classical influences. Multi-intrumentalist band-leader Vesa Lattunen notes in an interview that "We made the first album when I was playing in Lahti Symphony Orchestra. There I got to know all the great classical composers. Prokofiev's Romeo and Julia made a big impact on me but I think Sibelius was even stronger. So, I got the idea to combine these two kinds of music (classical and rock)".
We start with the odd one out of the group, "Köyhän Pojan Kerjäys" ("The Beggings Of A Poor Boy"). It is shorter, lighter, and more uptempo than the others. It has a vague feeling of a jig about it. Perhaps these are traditional Finnish influences, as there is a folky almost carnivalesque teetering of saxophone and organ in parts. Cheerful and enjoyable, with some fun little flourishes, and entertainingly sung, it's a good tune, but not the real meat of the album.
Next is "Luoja Kutsuu" ("The Lord Asks For You"), which gives us a taste of the more mellow side of this album. The vocals work well here, restrained to begin with, but breaking loose and growing angrier and more dramatic as the song gathers pace towards the finale. The tolling of a bell accentuates the more sombre sections. Very cool.
But it is the third song, "Yksi Maa & Yksi Kansa" ("One Land & One Nation") where Haikara really begin to show us what they are capable of. It starts with some mournful saxophone that really sets the tone well. The strings are great too, but the saxophone is what really sets this one apart. This is especially true towards the end, as the main theme blares out over the driving beat of the drums, whilst the often psychedelic (slightly Hendrixian) guitar, and a similar organ/keyboard, rumble below the surface. It always good to hear saxophone really blasting for a finale. The slower passages are melodic but also sad, and contrast very well with the more chaotic parts. Again the vocals are strong, and add a lot to the song.
"Jälleen On Meidän" ("It's Ours Again") then follows. It has a slightly jazzier feel to it, and lumbers along in a stop-start manner between excellent vocals and the instruments taking a lead for a while, with the saxophone often going off on it's own tangent before the song can start again. Guitar keeps busy in the background as support, and there are some quite catchy sections to it.
"Manala" ("Underworld") is a really good end to the album. The opening has the same sort of feeling to it as "Stairway To Heaven", but that all ends when saxophone and bass come thudding in, along with guitar. The whole thing kind of dissolves into a rather free sounding slow chaos, that swirls around before quietening down again, leaving only the march of the drums, creating a lot of tension. That's when the whole band explodes back into action, launched by the saxophone into a dark rumbling 7/8 riff, the saxophone eventually veering around wildly. The rest of the song is one of my favourite sections on the album, and ends on a questioning note, as if left incomplete.
To offer a criticism, occasionally the arrangements can seem a little sparse, or the overall sound seems like it could be filled out a bit more, but to be fair, this album did come out in only 1972, and overall is a very impressive record, especially as a debut. As I mentioned before, there are lots of different parts, some chaotic (but not entirely as mad as VDGG or KC), others darker more solemn moments of mellow tone. The songs "Yksi Maa & Yksi Kansa" and "Manala" are the obvious highlights, but all the material here is of a high standard.
Definitely compulsory to anyone wanting to explore 70s eclectic prog beyond the main players. "Haikara" is a highly enjoyable slice of prog, with it's own distinct personality. It certainly deserves more attention than it is currently getting.
(8/10)
ScorchedFirth

There's been so many reviews of this there isn't really a need except to express my own love for this album. The whole thing is wonderful, but especially the last 3 songs, and the final "Manala - Underworld (10:37)" is simply worth the price.
Please give this stuff a listen if you haven't as this really does represent one of the great progressive groups of their time, and perhaps the best of the Finnish prog of its era.
I might add that these titles are becoming really tough to get (Syn-Phonic has the first two titles) so it may be now or never on these. I would love a remaster (although this first album is mastered quite well as it is) from our friends at Esoterica?
I have quit giving 5 stars to many albums, as I try and compare the particular release to my favorite's (Tull - TAAB, YES - CTTE) to see if they hold up to their 5/5 stars. In this case, with taking into consideration my not knowing their language, I still give this Haikara's first album 5 stars...it's really that good if you like your prog a bit quirky.
tmay102436

Haikara were a 70s Finnish prog rock band from Lahti, led by guitarist Vesa Lattunen. They were less known than their contemporary peers Wigwam and Tasavallan Presidentti but they were no less good. Haikara started as a trio but added two players to the roster after a while.
Haikara is their first eponymous album from 1972 and what I gather their most celebrated one as well. Anyway, this album is the only one I have. And what a great album it is! In parts their music reminds me of early King Crimson still not sounding a bit like them. Maybe it's the sax and the gloomy atmosphere.
I'm not going into song-by-song analysis except by saying that while Köyhän pojan kerjäys is a fun song, it sounds out of place on this album. I quite like it, but it breaks the flow of the otherwise very atmospheric album. The instrumentation and the arrangements are fantastic all around, and so are the vocals.
Another minor minus point must be given to the lyrics. While they are not cringeworthy, they are at parts quite bad with the "peace on earth, brotherhood and love to unite us all" kind of stuff. I do like the lyrics of Luoja kutsuu and Jälleen on meidän though. Especially the latter is kind of poetic.
So all in all, an excellent prog album from an obscure band, but definitely an excellent addition to anyone's music collection.
nikow

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Que lo disfruten! Esta es otra joyita rescatada por el blog cabezón!




3 comentarios:

  1. Jajaj claro que es todo un regalo! Muchas gracias por esta maravilla, Moe!! Y por todas las otras joyitas finlandesas :'). Definitivamente Haikara no podía faltar en la Biblioteca Sonora Cabezona :D

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  2. Gracias Moebius, eres un capo! siempre traes álbumes fantásticos que sino es por tu medio tal vez nunca los hubiera conocido.

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    Respuestas
    1. Gracias Dnilson! Bueno, es que para eso está la comunidad, ustedes también me han mostrado álbums fantásticos. Al igual que toda esta saga finlandesa que fue inspirada por los aportes de la Princesa Vicky, así que agradezcamos a toda la comunidad que vamos armando y que esperemos que siga creciendo y enriqueciéndonos.

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