The year just passed into February, but I think I already found my #1 album when it comes to the category “best freaking album-name of 2021”. And the most important part, the music, is also pretty awesome.
To Whom Bow Even The Trees is the sophomore effort of Finnish progressive rock-project Mastord. And what an effort it is. According to the infos I got sent, the album was written with an “come what may” attitude, which is apparantly the cause for the “very surprising arrangements, and untraditional twists and turns”.
The record surely sounds very proggy, but, to me, it doesn’t sound “come what may”-ish at all. It sounds very thought through and rigorously planned. Which I mean in the most positive kind of way. That’s even more surprising, considering the bandmembers recorded all their parts in different studios, and apart from each other. Guitar and keyboards were recorded by Kari Syvelä at his home studio, vocals at Markku Pihlaja’s place, bass at Pasi Hakuli’s, and drums were recorded at Teemu Aalto Music Productions by Toni Paananen. All seem to be masters of their craft.
A melancholy keyboard-motif serves as the intro to the very beautiful, yet somber journey that is The Walls. The main guitar-riff of this song reminds me a little of Tool (it’s the only time on the entire album, that reminds me of another band. That’s why I think it’s worth mentioning). Mastord take the mid-tempo approach for their opener. Which is very fitting for this record.
It is followed by the only song, that could be considered “fast”. Titled after a adjective, I really wouldn’t use to describe this song. Mediocre has a slightly faster pace than the rest of the album. And it’s even catchier than the previous song, which was already hella’ catchy.
Humble Professor and Master – Savior don’t have much in common. Two things they definitely have in common, are 1.) they are both roughly eight minutes long, and 2.) they don’t feel like being eight minutes long. Which is probably the best property a song of that size can have.
The only big issue I have with this record, is that I’m a simple guy. I like my beer cold, my women pretty, and my albums 40 to 50 minutes long. To Whom Bow Even The Trees clocks in at a whopping 72 minutes. After the excellent Silence Chime and Falling Angel, my simple mind was pretty fatigued, and I had to take a break, and then come back to finish listening to this record.
That Mastord know how to make obscenely long songs, that don’t feel bloated or boring, is proven again at the album’s end with Closer to the Void and Circle Lies.
Other than the aforementioned problem, this record is pretty spotless. Of course if you’re exclusively a fan of 3 minute tracks, written in straightforward 4/4 rythm, you probably won’t become a fan of Mastord. But if you need that special progressive rush in your life, then definitely listen to To Whom Bow Even The Trees, which comes out on February 19th 2021.
I like music. All of it. Except for schlager… And ballermann. Oh boy do I hate ballermann.