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

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Roland Kovac New Set - The Master Said – This band of "unknowns" was actually made up of well-known studio musicians, guitarist Siegfried Schwab from Et Cetera and Embryo, Swiss jazz drummer Charly Antolini, and bassist Franz Loffler. Kovac...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues