Haunted by Hallucinations


Guitarist Petri Toikkanen, who graces the liner-notes of nearly all the Soul Investigators releases as one of the group's formidable composers, debuts his project Haunted By Hallucinations on Jimi Tenor and Nicole Willis' Herakles Records. The group was founded by Toikkanen and drummer Laura Könönen, and they composed their songs through hypnotic jam sessions with bass player Jussi Oskari. Jussi Oskari is best-known for his contribution to the project, Tuvalu, a progressive rock ensemble. The genre that sets the tone for Haunted by Hallucinations is the psychedelic cousin to that of post-metal and post rock/doom. Toikkanen cites Pink Floyd, Venom, Uriah Heep, and Dio as his childhood staples. While direct influences are denied, Haunted By Hallucinations might sit well next to Earth and Goblin. That the phasers and flangers of stoner doom would be replaced with heavy doses of delay on Toikkanen's personal genre of neo-psychedelia. Toikkanen's playing has textures of surf, harking the legend of surf, Dick Dale, together with a prototype of rock & roll. Toikkanen's main instrument is a Fender Jazzmaster. Oskari also plays Moog Taurus bass pedal synthesizer. Laura Könönen is also a visual artist whose main medium is sculpture, and she has supplied the LP cover artwork of one of her paintings and drawings. The album is produced by Jimi Tenor & Nicole Willis. Petri Toikkanen was born in 1978 and raised in Espoo's Matinkylä, Finland, and is said to be a genius. His elusiveness may be one of the trappings of hyper-intelligence, although it might be determined otherwise. Listening to this LP, one will come to appreciate the artist and his vision. Although the project attributes the composition-work of band-mates Könönen & Oskari, it seems that the band is most heavily driven by Toikkanen, himself. The track "Winter" expresses the full brutality of the long Finnish winters that begin in the darkness of November and linger until the final remnants of snow melt slowly in May. Tracks like "Haunting" do as the title describes -- both grim and melodic, these tracks are the pillars of the album, while the other tracks serve as lintel beams, creating their own genre with full competence.