Sammal – 2

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Review by Jason Guest

Svart Records

Maintaining the cool vintage feel of their incredible debut (Ed: reviewed here)¸ Sammal’s follow up has one major problem: it’s a mini LP. Their classic rock, 70s prog,  60s psychedelic bitches brew is again brimming with melodies, riffs, swollen organs, and plenty of catchy singalong songs – even for those of us who don’t speak a word of Finnish – but there’s just not enough songs. Okay, so ‘Vankina Varisten’ has got a pretty solid 70s guitar riff at its foundation as well as a couple of catchy hooks thrown in for good measure as well as a fuzzed-out, funked-up lead break. And yes, the psychedelic vibe of ‘Peilin Taikaa’ has plenty of jazzy Manzarek-style keys. And of course, the gentle blues opening to ‘Tuuli Kuljettaa’ is dripping in emotion while the up-tempo and impassioned mid-section and the blues/prog latter third are screaming classic rock. And both ‘Neito Maan’ and ‘Tähdelle Kuolemaan’ embody the free spirit that beautifully underpins the band’s sound. But it’s just too damned short.

Where their début balanced the organ with the guitar for its drive, 2 leans on the keys for its power, and successfully so. That the band’s sense of unity, of oneness was captured perfectly on their debut has left Sammal in the fortunate position where all they need concern themselves with is making music. And they do it oh so well. Trouble is, there just isn’t enough of it. Always leave them wanting more, huh?

Sammal - 28 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Vankina Varisten
  2. Peilin Taikaa
  3. Tuuli Kuljettaa
  4. Neito Maan
  5. Tähdelle Kuolemaan