Kalevala’s classic third album “Abraham’s Blue Refrain”, came out with the band’s revamped, more international name “Kalevala Orchestra”. The album was recorded in the spring of 1977 and produced by Tommi Liuhala together with the band, with lyrics by Jim Pembroke of Wigwam, who also plays the piano in the title track. The overall sweeping tone of this progressive and monumental record is dark and sombre with a spiritual weight to it. The songs themes and lyrics, sung in English which is rare for a Finnish band of the day, are on a grand scale imbued with deep sentiment and sacred intention. According to Lido, the album’s title track: “… actually describes my relationship to spirituality, and the song “Silver Fish” is also a self-portrait: “I’m a Pisces in the horoscope and I made this song to describe myself.”
“Marketbox Street” and “Highland Temple” are Prog rock bangers that illuminate slightly different corners of the world taking the listener through far off valleys of feeling and meaning. With roaring hammond organ and crunching guitars that heap on the fuzz and then take flight into intricate but highly emotional solos from one beat to the next and back, Kalevala Orchestra mean business. “Abraham’s Blue Refrain” won’t let the keen listener down for one second and is altogether much more soul-searching and grandiose than their more obviously rocking “Boogie Jungle” album and remains an underrated cult favourite for that reason. Heavyweight Class-A Prog from Finland, sung in English with lyrics by one of the genre’s originators, Jim Pembrooke, with beautifully soaring guitar and piano, “Abraham’s Blue Refrain” is an unmissable thrill. On a par with bands like Camel, Bo Hansson and countrymates Haikara and Elonkorjuu, Kalevala’s music is an overdose of sentiment and spiritual emotion hammered out through epic Prog for those who know or soon will.