Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

August 27, 2012

Backhill Project ~ Fool (EP)

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Style: prog-metal, hard rock, Finnish
Label: self-released
Year: 2010
Home: Finland

Members: Kimmo Peramaki ~ vocals/guitars/keyboards/drum programming
Mikael Kontolampi ~ bass

Guests: Wella Yli-Mayry ~ drums

Heidi Lehtinen ~ b. vocals
Liwa Saarinen ~ keyboards

I'd previously reviewed BP's Tribute To Savatage EP by Kimmo Peramaki, also of the band Masquerage with PB being his side project. Savatage is a very difficult band to emulate. BP turned in probably the best tribute album that's been done yet, but I felt the result was mixed of which you can read in that review. Sadly, Peramaki heavily criticized me saying that it was just for fun, thus immune from criticism, & since no band can match the original my views were, to quote, "totally wrong", a phrase he repeated many times. I found out after that he didn't actually read the review but a very brief summary of it, like above, as he asks if I read the linear notes ... linear notes I quoted in the review in his defense to balance out my negativity. I feel sad that he believes art can be interpreted either right or wrong, let alone he can judge a critic without actually reading the review but a summary no different than above. Thus, he opens the door to the carnal essence of this blog - education & finding out how people hear things. The magic of music & art is that there is no right or wrong. He also said "every critic should know that no one can´t replace never original versions, also who would like to kill the original with better version." It's an interesting theory, but history sadly proves Peramaki quite wrong. Does not Soft Cell's of "Tainted Love" eclipse the original disco version ... a version few remember? Certainly the Beatles "Twist & Shout" is better than the original by the Top Notes ... whoever they might be. Is not Sinead O'Connor "Nothing Compares 2 U" eclipses Prince's original? Or, what about Santana's "Black Magic Woman" versus the Fleetwood Mac original? He also called his own music "pussy music," which makes me sad as that is really a derogatory term. It implies less than good imitation in my mind, the opposite of cock rock. So, I'm sad his imitation of American slang means he puts his own music down. But, really, he just felt the sting of criticism. It has nothing to do with my views. So, in a way, I don't mind confessing that I took to another EP of his with hesitance. I wasn't thrilled by the first & I'm sad he proved me right on a personal level. Sometimes I truly do wonder how people will respond to my writing. I don't know if they will get what I'm about & my approach. But, I take the risk anyways. But, this is not for him. This is for a mutual acquaintance in songwriter Kevin Brady. His song appears on this EP & for him I don't want to ignore this EP. But, first, based on my 'totally wrong' listening, I don't think BP is pussy rock. Actually, I hear something very much prog-metal. I was quite surprised. The Fool EP makes up for where the other fell short. His singing is better, the songs have soul, the rhythm section is stronger & it doesn't sound like a hair metal or pussy rock wanna-be. The fact that he thinks he does is these styles is where things like us critics become a sociological study in itself. The key to this EP is that doing his tribute to Savatage he was shackled with their creation & decided not to run too free. But, here he relaxes & has fun & the result sounds loose & enjoyable. Opener "The Waiting Place" starts with a soft keyboard part that goes into some big guitar power chords a la Savatage, where one can imagine Jon Oliva on the keys. I can hear Oliva here but I couldn't on the other EP, strangely. But, he doesn't rest here. BP may start soft but soon leads to something more reminiscent of Iron Maiden. It has that intertwined sound of numerous layered parts & a forward driving riff that I similiarly feel when listening to Iron Maiden, but with more of an acoustic foundation. Think Iron Maiden's "Lightning Strikes Twice", "The Pilgrim" or "These Colours Don't Run" for some similiarity, it's not a perfect comparison but workable. BP is much more acoustically intricate & softer & far from as viciously metal. The acoustic foundation keeps the sound grounded from flying into crazy heavy metal realms. The Iron Maiden feeling takes a more prominent form in the second song "Fool", written by Brady, where Peramaki vocally shines taking Brady's seemingly simple song about dreaming to unseemingly complicated heights with a strong chorus ... but then, memorable sing-a-long strong choruses is a bit of a trademark of BP. Things get another boost from the symphonic to the gothic with "The Place For Sinners" featuring extended instrumental parts & female backing vocals & a bit of a Renaissance Fair feeling ... or a metal version of it, if such a thing exists. "Time Won't Wait You Crying" is the most acoustic, bringing things on to a musical circle. The EP start with soft keyboards, take some bold strikes to heaviness & then simmering down after four songs. It really does feel like a circle where everything returns to the roots. But, this is not all. There's one more track, an instrumental, that feels like a coda & truly brings things back to the roots. "The Storm" is a seven minute piece that sounds like Al Pitrelli & Trans-Siberian Orchestra, ironically or maybe not as they also have a song by this name. But, this has more variety & less pretentiousness than a lot of TSO. They don't let their instrumentals linger & develop like this, instead keeping to classical templates that sound familiar but yet all too familiar. I started this review discussing Peramaki's criticism of me, only to criticize him going back & forth, but not with a desire to argue but to show. Art & music is about a back & forth relationship, often surprising. When it loses that it loses its magic. If the listener feels something different than maybe it has to do with how the musician is presenting himself. That might be good or bad, who knows.

(No video available.)


  1. butt pickin booger eating truth speaking bastid!!August 28, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    no comments?
    i coulda sworn i commented..well im less surprised than i shoulda been i was just hopeing for at least a debate not just being shut down cuz i dared speak truths that you disagree with

    1. Oh, I always leave all comments up ... & let the "butt pickin booger eating truth speaking bastid" (aka Kimmo himself, as its nice you don't want to actually put your identity) demonstrate how stupid the comment sounds without my help. Um, the choice in name alone does wonders to tell me the quality of debate we're going to have! And, I always debate, as anyone who reads this blog or anything I do knows. I'm very outspoken in defending my idea ... to the band or whoever.

      But, there's no debate you're offering here ... just you telling me I won't let you speak the truth when you haven't posted any truth for me to debate & never have. So, if you want to bullshit about me shutting you down ... we've got one fact on the board: you're full of bullshit yourself. You may want to change your name to "bullshit speaking bastid"