Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Paatos - Breathing (2011)

The term 'progressive rock' has come to mean a wide variety of different sounds and styles over the course of the past forty years. To some, Swedish band Paatos may sound like an indie act more than anything, but this art rock group should be of some interest to anyone who is looking for a more modern sound in prog. This is a female-fronted band whose music is highly song-based, and melodic. Although this band has been around for a while, they have always treaded on the underground, but hearing this latest album 'Breathing' as my first introduction to them, they appear to be one of those groups that doesn't get nearly as much respect as they deserve. 'Breathing' is a charming collection of songs that are instantly likeable; a great record to put on for any time a progger is looking for something a little less challenging to enjoy.

The songwriting of Paatos on 'Breathing' is very melodic and concise, with no moments where the instruments jump out of the song structure and do their own thing. Everything here is meant to contribute to the song, and back up the lovely vocals of Petronella Nettermalm, whose charismatic and sultry delivery bears a resemblance to the voice of Bjork. These songs are quite beautiful and have an optimism to their sound that I find really refreshing in prog. Beyond the songwriting alone though, these songs are backed up and driven by great instrumental arrangements, although things are kept pretty conservative when it comes to musicianship. The album has a somewhat Floydian approach in the sense that it is quite mellow and dreamy, especially in the flange of the guitars.

The highlight here are the vocals of Nettermalm, whose voice is distinctive enough to distinguish Paatos apart from other acts. The instrumentation is not particularly inventive or dazzling, but it is enough to make these songs sing. I did not expect to hear anything challenging or life-changing with Paatos' 'Breathing', and truth be told; there's nothing here that seeks to shake boundaries and leave a big mark on prog history. What we experience here however are well-crafted songs, and a kind presentation of something that much prog seems to lose in translation; the art of melody. Review from Progarchives.co

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Gone (5:52)
2. Fading Out (3:36)
3. Shells (5:58)
4. In That Room (4:56)
5. Andrum (1:25)
6. No More Rollercoaster (4:15)
7. Breathing (5:56)
8. Sm?rtan (4:30)
9. Surrounded (4:48)
10. Ploing, My Friend (0:56)
11. Precious (4:25)
12. Over and Out (3:31)

Total time 50:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Nylander / guitars
- Ricard "Huxflux" Nettermalm / drums
- Petronella Nettermalm / vocals
- Ulf "Rockis" Ivarsson / bass

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