Hailing from Finland, experimental, progressive art-rock duo Grus Paridae offer a brief glimpse of what we might expect from a full length album from them. Passes By is an independent single, released towards the end of May, and clocks in at just over ten minutes.
Grus Paridae consist of multi-instrumentalist’s Petteri Kurki and Rami Turtiainen with violinist Jarno Koivunen joining them on both songs. With relatively little music to form an opinion I was interested as to the duo’s suggestions as to who their music may be influenced by, or of interest to – “Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Marillion, Allan Holdsworth, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, etc”. Possibly Pink Floyd and at a pinch maybe Marillion’s later work, but as to the others I hear none. Not that this particularly matters – just interesting to compare the musicians’ views with your own…
The title track has a predominently melancholic voicing with gently picked guitar, sombre mellotron-esque strings with Koivunen’s delicate violin nicely complimenting the arrangement. The multi-tracked vocals are a somewhat of an acquired taste, although at no point unpleasant and certainly the chorus has a good hook. Passes By also features a couple of ripping melodic solos – so perhaps reinforces the Marillion connection via Steve Rothery.
Inheritance Of Devotion is a much more upbeat affair and there’s some dexterous and interesting intstrumental work going on throughout the song, much of it lurking in the background and therefore it is evident that these guys are good musicians and with a keen ear for arrangement. As with Passes By there’s a melodic guitar break and once again Jarno Koivunen turns in some fine violin. Similarly to the opening track the psychedelic vocal delivery takes a while to sink in, but once again there is a meldodic structure and therefore it sits in there comfortably but as to whether or not this would work across an entire album remains to be heard.
All in all a strong opening statement and certainly worth keeping an eye open for future releases. Presumabably there will have been some increased interest as Passes By was featured on the recent Progstravaganza XX: Landmarks compilation CD – let’s hope so and I’m curious as to see where these guys go from here.
01. Passes By (5:38)
02. Inheritance Of Devotion (4:50)
Total Time – 10:28
Petteri Kurki – Vocal, Guitar, Bass, Synths & Programming
Rami Turtiainen – Vocal, Guitar, Bass, Synths & Programming
Jarno Koivunen – Violin & Guitar
Record Label: Independent
Year Of Release: 2014
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