Kalle Vilpuu „Silver Lining”
Gert Trash Moser
In 1977 the first generation of punk perhaps contrast itself the most with prog rock, ridiculed its technical and theatrical nature and its pomposity. Ten years on, however, prog was already making an appearance in the hardcore punk scene and moving in tandem with every new style of music, whether thrash and death metal, industrial, stoner or electronic dance music. I like to think of Kalle Vilpuu’s first solo album as a prog record, because as such it serves as a brilliant demonstration of the style’s vitality, universal nature and swimming and rapid adaptation with other styles of music. The listener is treated to massive cities of sound with cloud-scraping towers coexisting with guitar drones of debris on a melancholy stormy beach, an industrial metal group’s stubborn sampler with its plans of world domination, chamber sounds of British period dramas, the beckoning, glistening heavy of Paradise City, space rock pulse transmitted into nothingness from an abandoned orbital station, nihilist unrootedness of experimental
electronics, and the dream worlds of a pop diva asleep on the back seat of a limo. There is exact science of sounds mixed with inclinations towards chaos, there is both sonic spaciousness and minimalism of compositions. Experimental and surprising, at the same time offering familiar tangible fulcrums. Its abundance of ideas and genres does not, however, render the album uneven – courtesy of carefully weighed placement of tracks and duration that holds true to the LP standard – but instead helps to keep this audible rainbow fresh through countless listening sessions, offering unique reflections to fit various moods. Even though it is prog for me, “Silver Lining” might serve as metal for some, or indeed synthpop-influenced industrial or digital rock for others. What it definitely serves as, however, is a testament to the author’s love for music and respect for his favorite artists, as well as his unhindered grasp of both the classical greats of the music world and the creation of angry young men still wet behind the ears.