Taipuva Luotisuora - IV

9 songs
47:03 minutes
***** **
Nordic Notes


Coming three years after their album II, Finnish prog space rockers Taipuva Luotisuora are back with their newest effort IV. Confusing? Actually it really is their fourth record, as the first one from 2004 was titled Planetaariset Ilmanpainevyöhykkeet (bless the Finnish language!), followed one year later by I. III is therefore missing from the quintet’s catalogue.

So much about counting customs from Northern Europe! But what about the music? Taipuva Luotisuora play instrumental music, the only time we get to hear a few backing vocals is on The Army Of Isopods. Otherwise the band tries to emulate the four seasons with the moods they insert into their songwriting. It’s not really easy pinning down the genre, as the musicians are incorporating elements of many different styles. Whenever they find themselves at a faster pace, as on the opener Kuuvuori and Kvasikonforminen Äyriäinen, they have the tendency to add psychedelic components which puts them in the neighbourhood of Ozric Tentacles. The influence of progressive rock is also undeniable, but the band is smartly switching between the early Seventies kind (King Crimson) and more contemporary interpretations (Rush).

The occasional use of the kantele, a traditional plucked string instrument from Finland, brings a slight folk touch, while the violin parts sometimes are flirting very closely with cheesiness. Although IV is an album without hardly any vocals, its sheer amount of stylistic variety makes sure that this will not be a monotonous experience. On the other hand it’s not always easy to discover a red thread, as the band seems sometimes more eager to accumulate different views of space and prog rock than in developing their own style. On balance, Taipuva Luotisuora can still pride themselves in having created a mature record, and if they happen to cement their own identity, there is no doubt that they will have a bright future ahead of them.

Back to Reviews