Band: Kalle Vilpuu
Label: Independent Release (2014)
Hailing out of Estonia, this is Kalle Vilpuu’s 18th album and it’s a real corker! We’re talking about a guitarist who’s played with bands such as Ultima Thule but who’s personal musical style has so much more to offer. The music on Silver Lining, eleven tracks or forty-seven minutes features so many great moments it’s hard to describe them all. Not a youngster, Vilpuu was born in 1963 and due to a lack of interest in drums soon took up the guitar which has become his instrument of choice. He started recording in 1989 and has released a disc regularly since then. On Silver Lining which is mostly instrumental he’s enlisted nine other musicians to help flesh out his musical vision. Nothing on the disc is overly long and yet there is a lot of musicality on display. And it’s not just guitar noodling either. Compositionally these are well crafted numbers that display a tremendous variety and sonic texture. So for example in track four, “Inferno” [3:42] we start with yearning violin which then opens up to pleasing melodic chords dominated not by guitar but by layers of synth textures. As a composer Vilpuu never hogs the spotlight. He is quite prepared to let his musical vision exist with guitar in support. Fact is when the guitar does make its appearance it’s even more powerful for its limited presence lending credence to the adage that less is more. The guitar solo that closes the piece is that much more powerful because of its limited use. I must say that one of the things that held my attention with this release was the varied nature of the tunes. Unlike too many guitar solo albums where the guitarist is simply trying to show how many different ways they can play, Vilpuu’s approach seems much more confident in that he is first and foremost a composer of music and in that regard he puts the guitar where it fits, not afraid of using others to flesh out the intent of the composition. That said there is some very tasty guitar playing here as well. This one caught me by surprise in how good it was and how great it becomes as you listen to the whole album. As a fan of progressive rock music you owe it to yourself to check this disc out. You won’t be disappointed.