Indrek Patte – IN (2024)


A musician from Estonia who is unknown to me until now released an album that I come across on various sites and as I see,  people are generally very enthusiastic about. After reading the bio of this man and a review of his album IN I decided to give it a listen because none other than Mathieu Spaeter plays on it and I think he's a great guitarist. His contribution to a number of Drifting Sun albums has taken this band to the next level, so if he finds it worthwhile to play on IN, then I'm very curious.

The mentioned bio of Patte also states that he is very religious and often shows this in his lyrics and that is something I have a lot of trouble with so I was warned in that area, also because of the intriguing cover on which a trumpet blowing Angel can be seen. Completely unhindered by any knowledge of Patte's music, I listened to IN several times and have to admit, that was not always easy.

If you start with a song called The Opening, you're not original, but you're direct. This instrumental song is really beautiful with dazzling keyboard work by Patte himself and indeed wonderful guitar solos by Spaeter and if this would remain the level of the album then this could be a great discovery. You immediately hear that this is a band with a lot of technical skills. In my mind I go back to the seventies and the dreamy passage on flute reminds me of Camel.

On the next Are you in? you immediately hear the religious slant and as soon as Patte starts singing I drop out. He sings very forcefully and adds a kind of artificial rock edge to his voice that gives me the creeps. I'm afraid this will get worse live, but I probably won't ever see that. (You won't find me at the EO Landdag.) In terms of music, this song is leaning more to AOR but is played very well. The chorus doesn't make things easier for me because this call to join Patte's ideas is not for me. I’m not IN. There is a mixed feeling though because the music is quite good.

Patte is a fine keyboard player and the band plays very well and shows that they can easily handle all kinds of strange time signatures and unruly rhythms, which makes the name Zappa come to the fore. The jazzy passages in songs like Twisted Reality and Restless are interspersed with beautiful solos on keys and guitar and Spaeter remains a force to be reckoned with. Every now and then I also hear a lighter version of Haken. Now I know that singing, and the personal appreciation of it, is very difficult to grasp, but in this case it really turns me off and especially when Patte tries to sing in a higher pitch it becomes too much for me.

Still, I understand what many people can appreciate about the music on IN because there are very beautiful passages on it and also just as many adventurous and not obvious ones. Somehow it doesn't grab me and again, that's certainly not because of the quality of the musicians, I hear a lot of references to all the greats of prog. The instrumental Fragile is an example of fairly relaxed prog with a slightly jazzy edge and smooth guitar work, but it glides past me without lingering.

To conclude the album has a real epic with the barely sixteen minutes long Lord of the Miracles and given the title it is no secret what this is about. Immediately the name of Neil Morse comes to mind and indeed there are some similarities with his more religious works. I don't like these kinds of lyrics at all and also the way they are performed give me the shivers and that's a shame because the music is certainly not bad and here and there it resembles Kansas and Spock's Beard is not far away too.

Now the question arises, how important do I think those lyrics are, because let's be honest, there are more bands that don't really qualify for the Nobel Prize for literature in terms of lyrics. Can't you just go for the music and ignore the lyrics? That would be possible, but then the music really has to touch you very much and in this case it doesn't do that despite some beautiful pieces and even Spaeter.

The previously mentioned cover is nice in itself, but if you look a little closer, it is a bit of a cut and paste picture. Without the angel it would have been stronger in my eyes because it doesn't really match the style of the rest of the cover.

Would I buy this album? No, I would’t. Am I going to listen to it more often? No, most likely not. However, don't let this be an obstacle for you readers and listen for yourself if this album does something for you, because it just might.

Music 58

Cover 63