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PAATOS ‘Kallocain’
SPV/Inside Out Music (2004)

Kallocain starts with a scratchy cello melody that sounds for all the world as if it was recorded in some Deliverance-esque woods and then first track, 'Gasoline' opens out into an intriguing slice of melancholia worthy of classic Portishead.

Parts of Kallocain bring to mind Unfinished Sympathy-era Massive Attack, Portishead, Bjork’s saner moments, Antimatter and quite oddly the twangy solo in 'Stream' reminds me of The Shadows but maybe that’s just me.

The instrumentation is sparse throughout and drifts along but is always engaging and is never at risk of becoming just background music. The star of the show though is vocalist Petronella Nettermalm whose voice is as bewitching as they come, a mix of Portishead’s Beth Gibbons and Bjork’s singing voice (as opposed when she makes odd shrieks) with enough of her own personality mixed in to give the vocals her own identity.

In Kallocain, Paatos have composed the perfect 3AM album, music to while away the small hours to in those moments that you have everything and nothing on your mind and it feels as though you’re the only person awake in the world. This is one of those albums that although melancholy never loses hope and in a strange way is actually uplifting.


Review by Neil Woodfin

Buy this CD

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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