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The Milestones - Higher Mountain - Closer Sun

The Milestones
Higher Mountain - Closer Sun
by MarcusTheRocker at 04 September 2014, 9:23 PM

When you look at the multiple categories of Rock music today, there are so many to listen to as each have their own style and sound. For example, Hard Rock is heavy and loud whereas something like Melodic Rock is more peppy, upbeat and can produce some beautiful ballads. So what do you get when you combine Southern Rock with a bit of Classic Rock combined with something that sounds like Country music? The answer is a Finnish band called THE MILESTONES who this year celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band and to mark that milestone, they have released an album which shall be the focus of this review.

First though, a bit of history so you know who these guys are. THE MILESTONES hail from Helsinki in Finland and they formed in 1994. In 1996, they released their first album called “Vol 1” which doesn’t sound like a great title but it was a successful hit for them. In 1999, they released their second album “Souvenirs” but that was less then successful due to pressure from an American record label who pressurized the band into recording something that would be commercially viable for release.

Realizing they made a bad move, the band decided to take some time off to let the wounds heal and returned 10 years later in 2009 after a song from their successful debut appeared on a CD included in the Summer 2008 edition of Classic Rock Magazine in the UK. This was what the band needed to get them back into the studio and they recorded their third album “Devil In Me” which turned out to be a successful hit just like their debut and this success put them out on the road supporting legendary Rock bands such as WHITESNAKE and DEEP PURPLE to name a few.

Now in 2014, we have a new album from this Finnish quintet called “Higher Mountain - Closer Sun” and upon first listens, it sounds more like a Country Rock album but then I’ve never listened to Southern Rock so I can’t say what it’s like but I’m sure it would sound like a Country music album.

So does that work or does it fail with a band like this who have used that very formula for the past 20 years? Not being a fan of Country/Southern Rock music, I did not know what to expect but I have to say I do like what THE MILESTONES have been able to do with the genre for their music.

When the album opens up, you are given just a taste of what a Classic and Southern Rock band are all about as it sounds very soulful. If I may, I’ll liken it to a bit of classic AEROSMITH as this Southern Rock style reminds me of some similar songs that they did on their earlier/later releases in the 20th Century. That’s not a bad thing of course by any means as THE MILESTONES are very much influenced by all the Classic Rock you got in the 1970’s from America and the UK.

For a band that is influenced by Classic Rock music from the 70’s, this sounds very modern for this day and age while still retaining a Classic Rock sound which is a formula that has worked for the band since they formed 20 years ago and it’s a formula they should stick to as it really does work rather well as the music is very peppy, upbeat and soulful plus the use of a harmonica in the music is a great inclusion to the bands sound.

Even if you don’t like Classic Rock, Southern Rock or Country music, THE MILESTONES are band you should give a go as their music is very impressive but then they are European and I do have a soft spot for European bands as they can produce some amazing albums and this new effort “Higher Mountain - Closer Sun” is definitely an impressive milestone for THE MILESTONES.

4 Star Rating

1. Walking Trouble
2. Shalalalovers
3. Drivin’ Wheel
4. Oh My Soul
5. Grateful
6. Sweet Souls
7. It’s All Right
8. You
9. Looking Back for Yesterday
10. Damn
11. Fool Me
Olavi Tikka: Vocals & Harmonica
Tomi Julkunen: Guitars
Marko Kiviluoma: Guitars
Veli Palevaara: Bass
Tommi Manninen: Drums
Record Label: Listenable Records


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