“Timeloss” is the debut album of a new young Swedish band called Paatos. The only thing I know about this band is that there is a connection with some older Swedish bands. Richard Huxflux Nettermalm and Johan Wallén both played in the bands Ägg and Pro-Seed. And Stefan Dimle and Reine Fiske played together in the band Landberk and the project Morte Macabre. Female singer Petronella Nettermalm is the wife of drummer Richard Huxflux Nettermalm.
Petronella Nettermalm – Vocals, Cello; Richard Huxflux Nettermalm – Drums & Percussion; Johan Wallén – Electric & Grand Piano, Hammond Organ, Synthesizers, Mellotron, Harmonium; Reine Fiske – Electric & Acoustic Guitars; Stefan Dimle – Electric Bass, Double Bass.
David Wilczewski – Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet; Adrian & Maila Dimle – Background Sounds; Téa Nettermalm – Background Sounds; Jonas Wall – Saxophone; Micke Sörensen – Trumpet; Per Kristensson – Trombone.
The album starts with "Sensor" (5:11) that has a relaxed and jazzy opening. But when the complete band joins and Petronella is singing the first couplet, the band sounds more like a newer version of Anekdoten. The sound is dark, heavy and complex but is not so edgy like Anekdoten. In the second part the music is drenched with orchestral Mellotron sounds with electric guitar on top of it. But the best thing is that the composition still has that jazzy feeling of the beginning mixed in the up-tempo and symphonic ending. It is like a kind of swinging Swedish (gloomy) Prog.
"Hypnotique" (8:32) opens slowly with percussion and Mellotron like in the best King Crimson period ("Lark's tongues in aspic"). First accompanied by an upright piano and later with Mellotron Petronella sings in very sensual way her slow couplets and shows she has a beautiful voice. David Wilczewski plays a short intermezzo on flute, before the tension of the music is slowly building up. Mellotron is the perfect instrument for this. Beautiful Mellotron, jazzy flute and cello parts in the instrumental part before the last couplet. Then the piece slowly builds up to a climax.
"Téa" (5:45) is not only the title of the next track but also the name of the daughter of Petronella and Richard. It is the only track with Swedish vocals. A slow piece with nice melodies. The more up-tempo ending is great with broad Mellotron sounds in King Crimson style. The track "They are beautiful" (7:44) has also beautiful slow vocal lines. The use of clarinet, bass clarinet, double bass and acoustic guitar enriches the composition. The overall atmosphere is an intimate one. I love the combination of Petronella's voice and the Mellotron. The clarinet provide a classical touch to the piece, and the guitars of Reine combined with the double bass of Stefan and drums of Huxflux give a more jazzy atmosphere. This is in fact a true form of progressive music, I mean combining those two styles into something new.
Just as you think that you understand the style of Paatos a little bit, they close the album with a long piece of music that has complete other influences. The long track is called "Quits" (12:17) and the opening with programmed drums and up-tempo singing of Petronella reminds me of the way Anneli M. Drecker of Bel Canto sings on their fantastic album "Shimmering, warm & bright". The sound is modern and fresh. The jazzy side of Paatos music is now combined with disco rhythms. After nine minutes the piece becomes heavy and complex with great drumwork of Huxflux and the freaky and free jazz like saxophone, trumpet and trombone. The complexity of the ending of this track reminds again of Anekdoten but then without the Mellotron. This is the only track with no Mellotron and after the previous tracks with the beautiful Mellotron sounds I miss the typical sound of that ancient instrument.
I am very happy with the discovery of this new Swedish band. If you are a Mellotron freak you must buy this album. But this remark doesn't give Paatos enough credit. The best thing about this new band is that they have the courage to make progressive music. They combine different influences into a new sound. Although I hope that the last track not indicates that Johan Wallén will stop playing the Mellotron (and/or the Clavia synths).
Last month Tomas Bodin of The
Flower Kings replied on my question about the success of some Swedish
bands as follows:
"We have a special sound in Sweden and I think people like that. We have a lot of influences of Swedish folk music. The sound is very gloomy and there is a little bit sadness in the compositions."
This also counts for most the music Paatos brings on this album. I am very curious how the development of this band will be in the upcoming years. For me it is one of the discoveries of the year 2002.