Wednesday, June 26, 2013

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Review: Pax Romana - Let All Men Know - This Is Sacred Ground (2012)

Artist: Pax Romana
Album: Let All Men Know - This Is Sacred Ground
Year: 2012
Label: Presence Records / Running Moose

Review: Diego Camargo

Rate: 

Thoughts: Usually I like bands like Pax Romana. When you look at the pictures of such bands you realize that they are not young guys beginning their journey in the music world and learning alongside. No! They are in fact grown up men that have a really big passion for the music. And that’s why they never gave up the dream of playing.

Such bands usually play and write with passion and their albums show that. Is this the case of the Finnish band Pax Romana? I believe so!

Pax Romana was formed back in the 70’s and they were around for a couple of years but life carried each member away. After 30 years, in 2002, the members of the band got together again with the idea of re-forming the band and finally, record albums.
That happened 3 years later with their first album Trace Of Light (2005), then 4 years later And The Dance Begins Again (2009). And then came their latest album Let All Men Know - This Is Sacred Ground (2012), released by the Finnish duo Presence Records and Running Moose. The album was recorded between the years of 2011 and 2012. This just confirms what I said earlier, no rushing to release albums and not doing it for commercial purposes.

First thing you can notice in the Pax Romana s music is that they’re a big, mixed bag of influences. Prog Rock is certainly one of them, but folk Finnish music and Pop Rock songs are not far away from the band.

Two more things make Pax Romana s sound interesting. First of all, the fact they have in their line up Kalle Fält, a saxophone/clarinet player. This makes the sound of the band gain a new dimension and new colours.
Second of all, they have two vocalists. Matti Kervinen (vocals and keyboards) and Matti Inkinen (vocals and guitars). For me bands that share vocals are always more interesting and have big canvas to paint on. Jouko Höytämö (drums), Ilpo Komulainen (bass) and Jukka Höytämö (guitars) complete the band.


Let All Men Know - This Is Sacred Ground (2012) is a calm and beautiful album. One cannot say that Pax Romana does exclusively Prog Rock, their sound is broader than that.
3 of the tracks are more Prog: ‘Screaming Heads (Vox Humana)’, ‘Acheron’ (great track by the way) and the title track. They make the journey a bit more Symphonic and enigmatic.

‘Batman’ and ‘Danish Blues are folk songs. The first with flavors that for me, looked like folk Finnish music, but I may be completely wrong. The second is a beautiful piece of music that has Neil Young as a big influence.

In the Pop field they have some Beatles influence in ‘Second To None’. ‘Soul Basement’ is pure pop flavored. ‘God’s Fruit’ begins as a serious Prog, tough it changes a lot when the singing begins.
The change in the last track ‘Blind Eye’ shows us how nice it is for a band to have two singers. Great final track.

Let All Men Know - This Is Sacred Ground (2012)  is an album full of soul of good and experienced musicians, in music and life. Guitar solos full of feeling, a good production and a nice and calm track selection is what awaits for you.
If you’re not a Prog Psycho that likes to lighten up a bit your day, Pax Romana is your best choice!

The band was included in our Podcast #17 and you can listen the track 'Acheron' HERE.

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