Exposé Online banner

Qoph — Pyrola
(Kaleidophone KALCD1, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

Pyrola Cover art

It’s been entirely too long since this Swedish band’s 1998 debut. Since that time, the band has formed their own label and started singing in English. Their basic sound is intact, however, and honed to an even finer point. Their core is an off-kilter take on classic rock, rather like Captain Beyond’s first album inflected with some slight touches of symphonic and exotic sounds. The guitars rock without entering the metal zone; the drums have a jazzy lilt; the strong vocal lines have just the right balance between melody and rock power; guests from Anekdoten, Mats/Morgan, and so on provide a little extra flair. When I heard they were switching to English I was a little concerned – non-native speakers often have unpleasant affectations, and the lyrics could end up killing whatever musical value there was. I needn’t have worried. The lyrics are well-written, and the accent quite pleasant. From the opening “spacey minuet in 5/4+6/4” to the epic closer “Fractions,” this is one of the year’s finest releases in any genre. While the arrangements are endlessly complex, they flow so well that there’s no hint of pretense; the odd meters are handled as if they were no big deal, and even big-name bands are hauling out Mellotrons and theremins these days. There are far too many wonderful moments to mention here: great guitar work, crisp production, a kick-butt rhythm section, catchy riffs, really great guitar playing, wacked-out Moog solos, acoustic bits to contrast the loud parts, more great guitars.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 31, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Qoph

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jean-Philippe Goude - De Anima – Jean-Philippe Goude may be best remembered for his tenure with Richard Pinhas and Heldon, as a one time member of Weidorje, or for his excellent electronic oriented solo album Drones from the early...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues