Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Raoul Björkenheim Triad — Beyond
(Teosto ECD 201746, 2017, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-06-17
Björkenheim is a name you can trust for a healthy dose of intense and powerful jazz-rock, apocalyptic in every sense, with empassioned twists and turns at every juncture. The Triad consists of Björkenheim on all things electric guitar, plus a hand in every composition (just over half of the nine tracks here are group composed), Ville Rauhala on double bass, and drummer Ilmari Heikinheimo. There’s a fourth guy in the accompanying picture, maybe the engineer or a roadie, who knows... but the music here is definitely the work of a trio, brimming with mind-blowing energy and masterful musicianship in every measure. Nine tracks in all, at times offering a whirlwind of devastating chaos juxtaposed with tasty and delicate nuance, succinct and never overstaying their welcome, driving hard and constantly churning, at the end of each tune crashing and burning in a spash of pandemonium, or in gentle, suble textures in full color. Especially of note is drummer Heikinheimo, with his everpresent riffing throughout almost every tune, making several of the numbers as much of a percussion show as they are extemporaneous free-form guitar freakouts. Always moving, forever changing, there’s little repose and virtually no repetition. One stroke of familiarity is the closing tune “The Rain Is Over,” which is essentially a retitled version of “Over the Rainbow,” somewhat comparable to Jimi Hendrix’ version of “The Star Spangled Banner” in that it’s as much an improvisation as it is the original melody, but in this case offers full trio participation. Beginning to end, Beyond is a powerful slab of muscular, cathartic jazz-rock mania.
Related artist(s): Raoul Björkenheim
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