Coming on like an elemental force, Mortality takes us to the edge of the unconscious. To coin a hackneyed phrase, the themes on the group’s eponymous debut album truly are larger than life. Dredging the murky depths of our base instincts, this music coerces the listener to gaze inside their very being.
Mortality is the brainchild of guitarist and songwriter Tapio Ylinen. No stranger to large-scale concepts, he recently led the Pink Floyd tribute band Pulse through a full-scale production of The Wall at a sports arena in his hometown of Tampere. Ylinen’s experience as director and producer of the local Student Theater has also supplied him with handy tools to utilize with Mortality.
Inspired by a personal tragedy, the motifs on Mortality often come across as sad and melancholy. On the other hand, like three-part album closer Towards Dawn testifies, there’s much more to existence than just waiting to ”shuffle off this mortal coil”.
The added bonus stroke of genius that defines the project was Ylinen’s decision to hand out his themes to trumpeter Verneri Pohjola, reedsman Pauli Lyytinen, pianist Aki Rissanen and others. Their input, arrangements and the collective way of working secured an outcome not too locked in the auteur’s private vision.
Born out of something tragic, processed and performed by a talented team of first-call craftsmen and sequenced like a true prog pro, these eight tracks paint a vivid picture of what it means to be human.