Sammal - No. 2
Ektro Records
Progressive Stoner Rock
5 songs (25')
Release year: 2014
Ektro Records
Reviewed by Alex

Very little, virtually next to nothing, is known about the Finnish band Sammal. At least I am speaking for myself, and the band is a relative newcomer as well. However, if you are a fan of progressive stoner rock, and the sound of early 70s is your thing, then by all means open up the research avenues on these Finns. And while you are doing it, I can tell you that on the heels of their recent eponymous debut they have released another mCD titled No. 2 early this year.

As much as I am listening to metal, the predominant emotions expressed by the artists are usually anger, despair, darkness and mostly negativity of some sort. That generally works for me as I am often seeking release of those feelings myself. Sammal, although you can’t ascribe a metal tag to them, is a different animal when it gets to the feelings elicited listening to No. 2. It has been a long time since I have put on anything that upbeat and cheery. Sammal music is perfect for a car ride on a sunny cool summer morning, a cup of coffee in your hand, looking forward to good things happening to you. This is especially true if you are also fond of prominent keyboards played in the style of famous Jon Lord, RIP (Deep Purple). Add to this singing completely in Finnish, the unknown tongue bringing on the mystery whether the lyrics are just as upbeat as the music, and you are probably getting the picture.

From here, individual tracks differ little from the overall scope, but many of them have a distinct feature of sorts. The opener Vankina Varisten presents a folky motif. Peilin Taikaa, which I understand is a cover, is playful and twisted, with a bit of syncopation stop’n’go in its rhythm. Neito Maan has a mid-Eastern guitar moment coupled with a quick metal triangle percussive hit, before closing the side A with a fantastic extended guitar lead. Side B seems to be more involved where songwriting is concerned. Songs tend to stretch on for a few minutes longer. Tuuli Kuljettaa does its best impersonation of Lake of Tears in the opening psychedelic half, providing the gentle caress. The sliding shifting keyboards and whirling guitar bring the spunk back on for a moment, before the song gets back to dreamy. Tahdelle Kuolemaan closes the mCD with another gentle soft touch, giving an opportunity for acoustic guitar enthusiast to attempt playing alongside the band in the closing moments.

A good album when you are feeling positive about yourself, or when you are truly in need of a pickup, No. 2 provides that moment with a clean uncluttered approach.

Killing Songs :
Neito Maan, Tuuli Kuljettaa
Alex quoted 80 / 100
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