Album Review – Stratovarius / Survive (2022)

One of the pillars of Finnish heavy music returns with a fantastic album of first-class Melodic Power Metal, proving they’re still standing strong after almost 40 years on the road.

At long last, after several years waiting for new material from the one and only Finnish Melodic Power Metal institution Stratovarius, the band has finally unleashed their new album, the excellent Survive, following up on their also great 2015 effort Eternal. Produced by the band’s own guitarist Matias Kupiainen, mixed also by Matias at 5 by 5 Studio and Estúdio Eiffel, mastered by Ermin Hamidovic at Systematic Productions, and displaying a classy artwork by Hungarian artist Gyula Havancsák, Survive has all elements we learned to love in the music by Stratovarius without sounding cheesy or outdated, showcasing vocalist Timo Kotipelto, guitarist Matias Kupiainen, keyboardinst Jens Johansson, bassist Lauri Porra and drummer Rolf Pilve on absolute fire from start to finish and, therefore, placing the album as one of the best of 2022 hands down.

Matias wastes no time and begin his riff attack in the title-track Survive, kicking off the album on a very high note while also displaying a fantastic vocal performance by Timo and the unstoppable Power Metal drums by Rolf, and more of their striking Melodic Power Metal comes in the form of Demand, presenting their always inspiring lyrics (“Feel the fury / And demonstrate the pain / Show them your anger and despair / Fear the future / For fighting is in vain / It comes for you, unbearable, unthinkable”); whereas the unrelenting Jens adds a touch of magic to the music in Broken, while Timo declaims the song’s powerful words flawlessly. Firefly, one of the first singles of the album, exhales classic Stratovarius with Lauri delivering sheer groove from his bass accompanied by the pounding beats by Rolf, and keeping the album at a very pleasant level of energy we have We Are Not Alone, where once again Matias and Jens are in absolute sync with their respective riffs and keys. Then in Frozen in Time we face a less “power” and more rhythmic, melodic tune by Stratovarius, presenting a great job done by Rolf on drums while overflowing intricacy and groove.

It’s then time for the first single of the album, the absolute banger World on Fire, where Timo is the one on fire with his soaring vocals while Matias delivers an amazing dosage of stamina through his riffs and solos; followed by Glory Days, where Timo beautifully sings the song’s powerful words (“We are the war / We are the storm / A lightning that lights up the sky / We are the wind / We are the rain / We are the howl in the night”) while the music is a fusion of the band’s past and present sound, feeling absolutely thrilling until the very last second. They tried to be more symphonic than usual in the power ballad Breakaway, which is not bad, but it lacks the same punch as the rest of the album; then raise your fists to the imposing Before the Fall, with its background vocals bringing even more electricity to the overall result while Matias kicks ass on the guitars and Rolf doesn’t stop crushing his drums. Lastly, get ready for 11 minutes of serene passages, melodic riffs and blasting drums as the icing on the cake with Voice of Thunder, where Jens takes the lead with his futuristic keys while his bandmates enfold us all in a Melodic Power Metal voyage, flowing smoothly and majestically until it’s classy finale.

Survive is available in all of its glory on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course you should purchase a copy of such amazing album by clicking HERE or HERE. The unparalleled Stratovarius, who are waiting for you on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube, might have taken seven years to release a new album, but the wait was absolutely worth it as Survive not only brings forward everything we love in their music, but it also presents a band that’s sharper, tighter and more focused than ever, brilliantly surviving in a genre that’s considered oversaturated by most people. Are Stratovarius the best band to ever arise from Finland? In my humble opinion, yes, no doubt about that, but even the ones who don’t agree with me have to admit that they’re indeed one of the most solid bands of the current metal scene, and Survive is another clear example of how strong and relevant the band still is and will forever be.

Best moments of the album: Survive, Demand, World on Fire and Glory Days.

Worst moments of the album: Breakaway.

Released in 2022 earMusic

Track listing
1. Survive 4:39
2. Demand 4:03
3. Broken 4:57
4. Firefly 3:38
5. We Are Not Alone 4:34
6. Frozen in Time 6:43
7. World on Fire 4:26
8. Glory Days 5:06
9. Breakaway 4:28
10. Before the Fall 4:15
11. Voice of Thunder 11:10

Band members
Timo Kotipelto – vocals
Matias Kupiainen – guitars
Jens Johansson – keyboards
Lauri Porra – bass
Rolf Pilve – drums

Guest musicians
Ari Sievälä, Petri Aho, Hepa Waara, Mikko Herranen, Anssi Stenberg, Viljami Holopainen, Mikael Salo, Heikki Mäkäräinen, Antti Lappalainen & Jani Liimatainen – vocals (choirs)

Album Review – Fireproven / Epilogue (2022)

Let’s all say farewell to this talented Progressive Metal act from Finland to the sound of their second (and last) full-length album.

Hailing from the Finnish capital of Helsinki, the Progressive Metal outfit known as Fireproven has just unleashed upon us their sophomore effort, entitled Epilogue, which is also their last album as in January 2022 the band announced they would be disbanded, thanking their loyal fans for their support through the years. “Sadly, we have to announce that Fireproven will no longer continue. There are number of reasons that led us to this decision but we’re all still good friends, and will continue to keep it that way. We’re going to release our last album later this spring but all shows will be cancelled. We want to thank you all for your love and support during these years. None of this would have been possible without you guys listening to our tracks and showing us your love,” commented vocalist Sanna Solanterä, guitarist Janne Väätämöinen, bassist Juha Väätämöinen, keyboardist Ilari Hannula and drummer Nuutti Hannula, leaving us with the musical freedom and explorations from Epilogue embraced by a stylish cover art by Petri Lampela.

The whimsical keys by Ilari will captivate your senses in the opening track The Maze, being joined by the slashing riffage by Janne and the blast beats by Nuutti, sounding very modern, progressive and melodic from start to finish. Then blending the Melodic Metal from bands such as Epica and Within Temptation with Progressive and Groove Metal nuances we have The Addict, a pleasant, headbanging tune led by the always striking vocals by Sanna; whereas  the metallic, thunderous bass by Juha dictates the pace in King, offering more of the band’s hybrid of Melodic and Progressive Metal with the growls by Juha making a great paradox with Sanna’s vocals. And phantasmagorical keys and pounding drums generate a dense atmosphere in Haunted, sounding very theatrical while Janne extracts pure obscurity from his guitar. Moreover, it’s very different from its predecessors, but still loyal to the band’s core essence.

In Time to Heal, the tick tock on the clock grows in intensity until the music turns into a heavy and aggressive onrush with Juha roaring like a beast alternating with Sanna and her beyond melodic vocals, while sheer adrenaline flows from the breathtaking Dream Catcher, where all band members are in absolute sync spearheaded by the Melodic Death Metal keys by Ilari. After such intense tune, an epic, imposing intro to the slashing riffs by Janne evolves into more of the band’s Progressive Metal in Grace, where Janna once again beautifully declaims the song’s lyrics; and the band offers our ears over six minutes of progressiveness in the form of Waves of Extinction, with a delicate but mesmerizing vocal performance by Sanna as if Dream Theater or Opeth had a female vocalist. Lastly, the keys by Ilari add an extra touch of finesse to the nine-minute aria Unity, where Nuuutti keeps hammering his drums nonstop, providing Sanna with exactly what she needs to shine on vocals while Janne and Juha make an incendiary duo with their stringed weapons.

If Progressive and Melodic Metal with female vocals is your cup of tea, you should definitely take a listen at Epilogue, which is by the way available in full on Spotify, and although Fireproven have just called it quits you can still give a shout to the band on Facebook and on Instagram (and who knows, maybe that will inspire them to get back in action in the near future, right?), listen to more of their music on YouTube, and purchase Epilogue from Apple Music. Unfortunately, as already mentioned, Epilogue is the last album by Fireproven, which means we won’t probably hear from those talented Finnish metallers again unless they decide to come back from the ashes one day. However, they’re definitely going out with a bang thanks to the amazing job done in their new album, leaving their mark in the underground Finnish scene while also bringing a lot of fun and joy to our ears and hearts, all in line with the name chosen for their farewell album.

Best moments of the album: The Addict, Dream Catcher and Waves of Extinction.

Worst moments of the album: Haunted.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. The Maze 4:29
2. The Addict 5:19
3. King 4:11
4. Haunted 5:08
5. Time to Heal 5:08
6. Dream Catcher 4:54
7. Grace 5:40
8. Waves of Extinction 6:29
9. Unity 9:02

Band members
Sanna Solanterä – vocals
Janne Väätämöinen – guitar, backing vocals
Juha Väätämöinen – bass, vocals
Ilari Hannula – keyboards
Nuutti Hannula – drums

Album Review – Bad Baron / Ace Of Hearts (2022)

This Sleaze Rock outfit from the land of ice and snow will bring the heat to our hearts with their incendiary debut album.

You might be tempted to assume that you’ve come across yet another Scandinavian Sleaze Rock band, following a path well-trodden over the past few years by bands like Crashdïet, Santa Cruz and Reckless Love, but you’d be wrong as Finnish Melodic Rock act Bad Baron does things a little differently. With big looks, even bigger hooks, and more gratuitous key changes than you ever thought possible, Bad Baron set the bar just a little bit higher with their new album Ace Of Hearts, a thrilling Rock N’ Roll party by vocalist and bassist Lauri Huovinen, guitarist Tommy Widdow, keyboardist Alex Kron and drummer Sammy South. “I’m a massive fan of the AOR and glam metal that came out of the 80s,” commented Lauri, “Whitesnake, Journey, Mötley Crüe and so on, so it was amazing to find people who want to keep that flame burning in a time where rock musicians have to try harder than ever to cut through.”

The album couldn’t have had a more Hard Rock start than Edge of Our Dreams, where the keys by Alex will take you back to the 80’s while Lauri fires his Bret Michaels-inspired vocals and Tommy kicks some ass with his old school riffs and crisp solos. The Van Halen-ish keys by Alex walk hand in hand with the headbanging beats by Sammy in Can You Love Someone (For Just One Night), perfect for their upcoming live concerts, whereas keeping the atmosphere as thrilling as possible it’s time for another straightforward Hard Rock tune titled Breakdown In Communication, where once again the quartet is ready to rock like there’s no tomorrow. Hungry brings forward pure Sleaze Rock and Hair Metal for lovers of the genre, being tailored for singing it along with Lauri while Sammy pounds his drums in great fashion; and ethereal sounds ignite the Glam Metal extravaganza entitled Rebel Heartache, showcasing another solid job done by Tommy and Alex with their respective riffs and keys. After such fun party, get ready to rock together with those Finnish boys in the incendiary Lights Go Out, displaying a very pleasant “Eye of the Tiger” vibe thanks to the classic beats delivered by Sammy.

After a brief Interlude the band offers our ears the very melodic and whimsical Our Story Isn’t Over, a classic 80’s Hard Rock tune with Lauri being flawless on vocals supported by his bandmates’ spot-on backing vocals, and the rumbling bass by Lauri dictates the pace in the Sleaze Rock extravaganza Going Down In Flames, while Tommy brings fire to the music with his riffage, sounding dense and piercing while alternating between more delicate moments and sheer adrenaline. Then an amazing bass and keys combo by Lauri and Alex respectively will inspire you to raise your fists in the air in the name of Rock N’ Roll in Rock In The City, presenting all elements we learned to love in the genre, whereas although One Minute To Midnight is obviously not “Two Minutes to Midnight”, it lives up to the legacy of 80’s Hair Metal, and you better get ready to sing along its catchy chorus together with the band while Tommy is on fire with his stringed axe . The album’s second to last song, the power ballad Long Road Home, is not bad at all but it lacks the extra punch from the rest of the album, and finally the quartet offers us all an ode to rock music (straightforwardly) titled Anthem For Rock’n’Roll, where Lauri and Sammy will make the stage tremble with their groovy kitchen supported by the electrifying keys by Alex.

After all is said and done I’m sure you’ll get addicted to the music by Bad Baron, especially if you’re a longtime admirer of Sleaze Rock with an European touch, with Ace Of Hearts representing more than just the first step in their promising career but an amazing addition to the Finnish rock front. Hence, don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and on Instagram, to stream more of their music on Spotify, and to purchase your copy of Ace Of Hearts from the Pride & Joy Music webstore or from Apple Music, keeping the flames of Hard Rock burning and, consequently, bringing some heat to our hearts and obviously to the land of ice and snow.

Best moments of the album: Edge of Our Dreams, Going Down In Flames, Rock In The City and One Minute To Midnight.

Worst moments of the album: Long Road Home.

Released in 2022 Pride & Joy Music

Track listing
1. Edge of Our Dreams 3:11
2. Can You Love Someone (For Just One Night) 3:15
3. Breakdown In Communication 3:47
4. Hungry 3:48
5. Rebel Heartache 4:54
6. Lights Go Out 3:57
7. Interlude 0:46
8. Our Story Isn’t Over 4:04
9. Going Down In Flames 3:20
10. Rock In The City 4:27
11. One Minute To Midnight 3:20
12. Long Road Home 3:50
13. Anthem For Rock’n’Roll 4:39

Band members
Lauri Huovinen – vocals, bass
Tommy Widdow – guitar
Alex Kron – keyboards
Sammy South – drums

Album Review – Depressed Mode / Decade of Silence (2022)

One of the most interesting names of the underground Finnish scene returns to action after almost 13 years with a brand new album of stunning and symphonic Doom Metal.

Established in Pori, a city and municipality on the west coast of Finland, in 2005 by vocalist and composer Otto Salonen, the amazing Symphonic Death/Doom Metal act known as Depressed Mode is set to release their long-awaited third full-length album Decade of Silence, almost 13 years after ..for Death.., released in 2009. Recorded by the band’s guitarist Teemu Heinola and the aforementioned Otto Salonen at Ansa Studio, mixed by the same Teemu, and mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios, Decade of Silence will bring a humungous dosage of symphony and doom to your avid ears, showcasing all the talent and passion for heavy music by Otto and Teemu together with their bandmates Henri Hakala on bass and Iiro Aittokoski on drums.

Death Walks Among Us is sinister and obscure from the very first second, with the orchestrations by Otto giving it a cinematic vibe while his deep guttural will haunt your damned souls for all eternity, all spiced up by the vicious riffs by Teemu. Then featuring Veronica Bordacchini of Fleshgod Apocalypse as a guest vocalist, Endless November starts in the most lugubrious way possible, evolving into a sluggish, phantasmagorical Doom Metal song with Blackened Doom nuances, not to mention all symphonic elements sound and feel majestic; whereas back to a heavier and more symphonic mode it’s time for Iiro to dictate the pace with his pounding drums in Dissociation of the Extinguished Mind, featuring a guest guitar solo by Jarkko Kokko of Mors Principium Est. Veronica is back in As the Light Dims, another bold, multi-layered creation by Depressed Mode that starts in a serene way to the sounds of the piano and cello, offering our ears nine nocturnal minutes of stunning Doom Metal.

Just as imposing and grim as its predecessors,  Parasites of Mind explodes into a brutal fusion of Symphonic and Death Metal led by the venomous riffs by Teemu and the inhumane roars by Otto, smashing your cranial skull without a single drop of mercy, whereas drinking from the darkest fountain of Doom Metal you can think of, Kaamos (Land of Winter) brings forward the pounding beats by Iiro and the crushing riffs by Teemu, penetrating deep inside your soul while more of their sluggish, grim sounds permeate the air in Serpents, with sheer darkness flowing from both Otto’s vocals and Henri’s hammering bass. Eternal Darkness is another stunning creation featuring Veronica’s mesmerizing vocals, with the orchestrations by Otto sounding beautifully haunting while Iiro pulverizes his drums in a lesson in Symphonic Doom Metal. Finally, prepare your senses for 12 minutes of atmospheric passages, darkened skies and endless heaviness in the form of Aeternus, where Otto’s deep guttural brings a touch of Blackened Doom to the overall result, flowing darkly until its climatic and Stygian ending.

In a nutshell, the guys from Depressed Mode definitely know how to blend the heaviness of Doom Metal with the finesse of symphonic and orchestral music, and Decade of Silence is not only the perfect representation of that stunning fusion of sounds, but also a beyond strong comeback by those Finnish metallers. Hence, don’t forget to follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram to know more about their music, to stream all of their wicked creations on Spotify, and of course to purchase Decade of Silence from the band’s own BandCamp page or from the Inverse Records webstore sooner than you can say “doom”. After over a decade of silence it’s a pleasure to witness the return of such interesting name of the underground Finnish scene, and let’s hope that we don’t need to wait another ten years to listen to more of their awesome music.

Best moments of the album: Endless November, Eternal Darkness and Aeternus.

Worst moments of the album: Serpents.

Released in 2022 Inverse Records

Track listing
1. Death Walks Among Us 5:53
2. Endless November 7:43
3. Dissociation of the Extinguished Mind 6:56
4. As the Light Dims 8:58
5. Parasites of Mind 6:39
6. Kaamos (Land of Winter) 6:16
7. Serpents 5:50
8. Eternal Darkness 5:46
9. Aeternus 12:09

Band members
Otto Salonen – vocals, orchestrations
Teemu Heinola – guitars
Henri Hakala – bass
Iiro Aittokoski – drums

Guest musicians
Veronica Bordacchini – vocals on “Endless November”, “As the Light Dims” and “Eternal Darkness”
Jarkko Kokko – lead guitars on “Dissociation of the Extinguished Mind”

Album Review – VVORSE / Kurjien Elegia (2022)

This demented Finnish Neo-Crust and Hardcore quartet will smash your skull mercilessly to the sound of their sophomore album, diving deep into dystopian and existential levels.

Forged in 2014 in the bitterly cold fires of Jyväskylä, a city and municipality in Finland in the western part of the Finnish Lakeland, the venomous Neo-Crust/Hardcore four-piece outfit that goes by the stylish name of VVORSE will smash your cranial skull to the sound of their sophomore album, entitled Kurjien Elegia, or “evil elegy” from Finnish. Comprised of Jussi and Lauris on vocals and guitars, Jaakko on bass and Topi on drums, the quartet is on absolute fire throughout their newborn beast, blasting a high-octane fusion of metal and punk while diving into dystopian and existential levels. In other words, if you’re craving some dissonant, infernal music made in Scandinavia you must take a shot at Kurjien Elegia, with the additional fact that all songs are in Finnish and not in English making the whole experience of listening to the album even more unique.

A wicked intro explodes into a metallic Hardcore feast titled Kenen valta? (“whose power?”), where Jussi and Lauris bark manically accompanied by the vicious drums by Topi, not to mention their incendiary, Slayer-ish riffage as the icing on the cake. Then drinking from the same Punk Rock fountain as renowned acts the likes of The Exploited it’s time for the quartet to hammer our heads with Käännyn hiljaa pois (“I turn quietly”), showcasing piercing riffs and a headbanging rhythm while alternating with somber, sluggish passages to the evil bass by Jaakko, followed by Varjoaine (“contrast agent”), another frantic, demolishing creation by VVORSE where their demented screams walk hand in hand with their own Neo-Crust riffage, always supported by the thunderous kitchen by Jaakko and Topi. I have absolutely no idea why the title for Nevar tā blakus līdzi just (“you can’t feel it next door” from Latvian) is not in Finnish; anyway, musically speaking it’s another onrush of Hardcore sounds blasted by the quartet played with tons of rage, therefore keeping the album at a high level of acidity.

Get ready for a sonic attack blending the dementia of Punk Rock with Hardcore elements in the title-track Kurjien elegia, all of course spiced up by their wicked vocalizations in Finnish and with their guitars once again penetrating deep inside our minds, making an instant bridge with the demolishing Luovuta (“surrender”), where the quartet needs less than three minutes to decimate our senses, spearheaded by the razor-edged riffs by Jussi and Lauris. It can’t get any more Hardcore than this, whereas in Haluan kuolla rauhassa (“I want to die in peace”) the band carefully adds hints of Black Metal to their core sonority, resulting in what’s perhaps the darkest and heaviest of all songs with Jussi and Lauris roaring nonstop, while Jaakko keeps punching us in the face with his bass jabs. Finally, ending such infernal album of Hardcore we have 1990, which starts in a much more melodic way thanks to the guitars by Jussi and Lauris; however, it’s not as electrifying as the rest of the album despite its more atmospheric vibe.

Kurjien Elegia can be enjoyed in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but if I were you I would certainly purchase a copy of the album from the band’s own BandCamp page, from Record Shop X, from Apple Music, or from Amazon, to properly show all your support to those Finnish rockers. In addition, don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and so on. The band might be called VVORSE, but they’re in fact getting better as time goes by, with Kurjien Elegia representing a huge step forward in their sound and, therefore, leaving all doors wide open for another round of their demented music in a not-so-distant future.

Best moments of the album: Kenen valta?, Varjoaine and Luovuta.

Worst moments of the album: 1990.

Released in 2022 Off Records

Track listing
1. Kenen valta? 4:05
2. Käännyn hiljaa pois 6:32
3. Varjoaine 3:29
4. Nevar tā blakus līdzi just 4:00
5. Kurjien elegia 5:07
6. Luovuta 2:34
7. Haluan kuolla rauhassa 4:01
8. 1990 4:44

Band members
Jussi – guitar, vocals
Lauris – guitar, vocals
Jaakko – bass
Topi – drums

Album Review – Battle Beast / Circus of Doom (2022)

Welcome to the circus ruled by the one and only Battle Beast, featuring ten tracks that blend true Heavy Metal with pop and rock vibes.

Since their inception in 2005 in the city of Helsinki, Finland, the Heavy/Power Metal and Hard Rock bulldozer known as Battle Beast has been on an unstoppable ride, releasing an array of albums that can already be considered metal classics such as their 2015 opus Unholy Savior, and contemporary gems like their 2017 album Bringer Of Pain. Now in 2022 our beloved frontwoman Noora Louhimo and her bandmates Joona Björkroth and Juuso Soinio on the guitars, Eero Sipilä on bass, Janne Björkroth on the keyboards and orchestrations, and Pyry Vikki on drums are back in action with Circus of Doom, the follow-up to their not-so-good 2019 album No More Hollywood Endings. Recorded, produced, engineered and mixed by Janne Björkroth at JKB Studios, mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios, and displaying a classy artwork by Jan “Örkki” Yrlund of Darkgrove Design, Circus of Doom features ten tracks that blend true Heavy Metal with pop and rock vibes, putting the band back on track and showing us all why they’ve become one of the most important names of the current European scene.

A quick circus-inspired intro evolves into the melodic and wicked title-track Circus of Doom, showcasing classic Power Metal lyrics declaimed by Noora (“The lions are hungry / And filled with rage / Afraid and angry / Locked in a cage / Ah / The circus is coming to town”) spiced up by the whimsical keys by Janne, whereas Wings of Light can be considered a journey back in time to their Bringer of Pain sound, with Pyry dictating  the song’s headbanging pace while Joona and Juuso keep slashing their guitars in the name of Heavy Metal firing riffs and solos that exhale pure electricity. Master of Illusion, one of the first singles of the album, brings forward the band’s more recent creations, mixing heavy music with pop in a theatrical manner, and once again it’s Noora who steals the spotlight with her powerful voice; followed by Where Angels Fear to Fly, another tune where the band focuses a lot more on their Hard Rock vein than on Heavy Metal while Janne kicks ass with his keys and orchestrations from start to finish. Then happy, strident riffs permeate the air in Eye of the Storm, an upbeat metal tune spearheaded by Noora’s soaring vocals and Pyry’s rhythmic drumming.

In Russian Roulette, witty words are powerfully sung by Noora (“In this game of Russian roulette / The room is filled with sin, would you let me in? / Tonight might be the night / As troubles disappear, the moon seems so near / Beneath electric starlight”) while her bandmates deliver a solid balance of Heavy Metal, Disco and Rock N’ Roll, whereas Freedom is an imposing, pounding composition that will please all fans of the early days of Battle Beast, bringing to our avid ears the galloping drums and bass by Pyry and Eero, respectively, not to mention how epic the backing vocals sound. The Road to Avalon sounds and feels extremely melodic, inviting us all to dance together with those Finnish rockers while Eero’s rumbling bass goes hand in hand with the old school riffage by the band’s guitar duo, and sharp vocalizations ignite the groovy and exciting tune Armageddon, bringing forward another striking performance by Noora on vocals supported by the stylish riffs and solos by Joona and Juuso. Last but not least, it’s time for a Power Metal feast entitled Place That We Call Home, where the sound of the guitars makes a potent paradox with the keys by Janne, putting a climatic ending to the album. As a matter of fact, if you go for the Digibook edition of the album you’ll be treated to two excellent bonus tracks, The Lightbringer and Tempest of Blades, both definitely worth the extra investment.

You can enjoy Noora’s soaring vocals and the thunderous Heavy Metal played by her henchmen in Circus of Doom in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course purchase a copy of the album by clicking HERE. In addition, don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel (if you haven’t done so yet, of course). Battle Beast might not sound as metallic as in their early days, but they managed to find an awesome balance between Heavy Metal and pop music that turns their more recent releases (with the exception of No More Hollywood Endings) a beyond enjoyable listen to any fan of good music, it doesn’t matter if that person is a metalhead or not, and that only contributes to elevate their name in the metal scene even more. In other words, welcome to the circus of Heavy Metal by Battle Beast, and don’t forget to bang your head nonstop to each one of the “attractions” of the show.

Best moments of the album: Wings of Light, Freedom, Armageddon and Tempest of Blades.

Worst moments of the album: Where Angels Fear to Fly.

Released in 2022 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Circus of Doom 4:57
2. Wings of Light 4:07
3. Master of Illusion 4:08
4. Where Angels Fear to Fly 3:56
5. Eye of the Storm 4:26
6. Russian Roulette 4:16
7. Freedom 3:44
8. The Road to Avalon 4:30
9. Armageddon 3:43
10. Place That We Call Home 3:47

Digibook bonus tracks
11. The Lightbringer 4:23
12. Tempest of Blades 3:32

Band members
Noora Louhimo – vocals
Joona Björkroth – guitars, backing vocals
Juuso Soinio – rhythm guitars
Eero Sipilä – bass, backing vocals
Janne Björkroth – keyboards, orchestrations, backing vocals
Pyry Vikki – drums

Album Review – Flames Of Fire / Flames Of Fire (2022)

Hailing from Sweden, Norway and Finland, these fired up musicians will rock your world to the sound of their debut album of old school Heavy Metal.

Formed in the spring of 2021 by vocalist Christian Liljegren (Narnia, The Waymaker, Audiovision) and guitarist and composer Mats-Åke Andersson (Zaragorn), but with its history going back to 1987 when the duo met for the first time in their hometown Jönköping, a city on the shores of Lake Vättern, in southern Sweden, the newborn Heavy Metal entity known as Flames Of Fire is ready to show us all what they got with the release of their self-titled debut album. With multi-instrumentalist Jani Stefanovic (The Waymaker, Solution .45, Miseration), bassist Per Schelander (House of Shakira, Astrakhan, Royal Hunt, Pain of Salvation) and guitarist Stephen Carlson (Brotthogg, Peter Carlsohn’s The Rise, Tales, Viva) completing the line-up, this Sweden/Norway/Finland-based squad is highly recommended for admirers of the music by Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force and Dio, among others, delivering the awesomeness of metal music in their new album while also displaying a crystal clear and very professional overall production and sound quality.

The sinister intro New Dawn warms up Flames of Fire to strike us all with their high-octane sound in Gloria, with Jani dictating the pace with his fierce drumming while at the same time he embellishes the airwaves with his classy keys, all of course spiced up by the powerful vocals by Christian in an old school, no shenanigans Heavy and Power Metal hymn by the quintet. Mats-Åke, Jani and Stephen keep slashing their guitars in the battle song that carries the name of the band, Flames Of Fire, supported by the thunderous bass by Per. Needless to say, it will inspire you to keep fighting for heavy music no matter what; whereas Madness brings to our ears classic Melodic Metal with that trademark European harmony, also presenting a pleasant pace with Jani kicking ass with his rhythmic beats. Then in I Am the band drinks from the same mystical fountain as bands like Helloween, Blind Guardian and Iron Maiden, while Christian’s soaring vocals add an extra touch of magic to the musicality accompanied by the galloping bass by Per.

It’s time to bang our heads to the electrifying fusion of Melodic and Power Metal found in Time To Live, showcasing traditional guitar riffs and solos, a breathtaking pace and the always visceral vocals by Christian, not to mention Per’s stunning bass lines. Are you ready for 10 minutes of epicness and a deep passion for metal music? That’s what the band has to offer us all in Solution, a heavy-as-hell aria by Flames of Fire where Christian darkly declaims the song’s wicked words. Moreover, it has a strong Black Sabbath vibe from their Dio-era, resulting in almost a metal opera with the massive drums by Jani making your head tremble mercilessly. The band has one final metal onrush for us all in the form of Soldiers Of The King, tailored for diehard fans of the genre, with their guitar triumvirate Mats-Åke, Jani and Stephen being on absolute sync until the very last second, flowing into the outro End Theme, which puts an atmospheric ending to the album.

After carefully listening to Flames of Fire, you’ll easily notice how professional and focused those Scandinavian metallers are, which explains why the album sounds so thrilling from start to finish. Hence, in order to show them your support and admiration, you can start following the band on Facebook for news, tour dates (if they will do that one day, of course), plans for the future and other nice-to-know details about them, and purchase your copy of the album from the Melodic Passion Records’ webstore or by clicking HERE. Having said all that, are you ready to rock and bang your head in the name of Heavy Metal together with the guys from Flames of Fire? You won’t get disappointed at all, showing you once and for all that Scandinavia is and will always be a fantastic source of heavy music for your metallic heart.

Best moments of the album: Flames Of Fire, Time To Live and Solution.

Worst moments of the album: Madness.

Released in 2022 Melodic Passion Records

Track listing
1. New Dawn 1:25
2. Gloria 4:15
3. Flames Of Fire 3:16
4. Madness 3:55
5. I Am 4:31
6. Time To Live 4:07
7. Solution 9:58
8. Soldiers Of The King 5:05
9. End Theme 1:32

Band members
Christian Liljegren – vocals
Mats-Åke Andersson – guitars
Jani Stefanovic – guitars, keyboards, drums, backing vocals
Stephen Carlson – guitars
Per Schelander – bass

Album Review – Lordi / Lordiversity (2021)

Over four hours of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Thrash Metal, Progressive Rock, Disco, Industrial Rock and so on, masterfully brought into being by the most beloved horde of monsters in the world of music.

Four hours and 43 minutes of music. That’s what you’re going to get in Lordiversity, the brand new (and awesome) boxset by Finnish Heavy Metal and Hard Rock monsters Lordi, containing the band’s eleventh to seventeenth studio albums, those being Skelectric Dinosaur, SuperFlyTrap, The Masterbeast from the Moon, Abusement Park, Humanimals, Abracadaver and Spooky Sextravaganza Spectacular. Recorded right after the COVID-19 pandemic hit as the band had to postpone their tour in support of Killection, Mr. Lordi and his crew decided to use the extra time to start working on more material to release a week after the postponement, and the final result in Lordiversity is simply monumental.

Lordi Lordiversity Limited 7 CD Boxset

Mr. Lordi stated that “It was clear that it is the time to start planning the new album, even though Killection was released not even two months before. I was thinking that the most boring thing we could do after Killection, is to do another basic Lordi album. And I was very much enjoying the different styles of song writing, recording and production on Killection, but another boring idea would have been to do a part two.” With the release years of 1975, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1995 from the fictional eras in the Killection timeline, and with each album presenting its own style and its own killer album art, Lordiversity is a fantastic musical voyage led by Mr. Lordi on vocals and his loyal bandmates Amen on the guitars, Hiisi on bass, Hella on keyboards, and Mana on drums, being not only one of the boldest releases in the history of rock and metal music, but setting the bar absurdly high for the band itself with all of their upcoming albums.

Disc 1 – Skelectric Dinosaur

For Skelectric Dinosaur, the band used the influences of early Kiss and Alice Cooper. The first album offers us all old school Rock N’ Roll and Hard Rock flowing majestically form start to finish. For instance, the very first song Day Off Of The Devil is pure Kiss from their early days as already mentioned. There’s not a single second of boredom; quite the contraty, it’s a rockin’ feast for admirers of rock and metal music from the 70’s, with songs like Carnivore inspiring you to dance in the name of Rock N’ Roll. Amen steals the spotlight in pretty much all songs with his classic riffage, supported of course by the rhythmic beats by Mana.

Best moments of the album: Starsign Spitfire, Carnivore and Phantom Lady.

Worst moments of the album: The King On The Head Staker’s Mountain.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 7: The Arrival 1:09
2. Day Off Of The Devil 3:33
3. Starsign Spitfire 3:03
4. Maximum-O-Lovin’ 2:23
5. The King On The Head Staker’s Mountain 5:21
6. Carnivore 3:30
7. Phantom Lady 3:16
8. The Tragedy Of Annie Mae 3:45
9. Blow My Fuse 3:35
10. …And Beyond The Isle Was Mary 2:15

Disc 2 – SuperFlyTrap

It’s time to hit the dance floor together with Lordi and his crew in SuperFlyTrap, inspired by the bands Earth, Wind & Fire, Boney M. and Bee Gees. As expected, it’s Hella who shines in each and every song of the album thanks obviously to her stunning keys, as for example in the melodic and fun Believe Me. In addition, the female vocals add a touch of finesse to the overall results, with catchy tunes like Macho Freak and Spooky Jive paying a beautiful and exciting tribute to the Disco years. Put differently, I bet you’ll start doing that classic move with your arm and finger up and down during the entire album without even noticing.

Best moments of the album: Macho Freak, Spooky Jive and City Of The Broken Hearted.

Worst moments of the album: Cinder Ghost Choir.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 6: Delightful Pop-Ins 1:08
2. Macho Freak 3:42
3. Believe Me 4:27
4. Spooky Jive 3:55
5. City Of The Broken Hearted 4:02
6. Bella From Hell 3:26
7. Cast Out From Heaven 3:51
8. Gonna Do It (Or Do It And Cry) 2:51
9. Zombimbo 4:52
10. Cinder Ghost Choir 6:06

Disc 3 – The Masterbeast from the Moon

      

On The Masterbeast from the Moon, the band was influenced by Rush and Pink Floyd, which is why you can expect long and sinister passages, endless progressiveness, and Hella’s phantasmagorical keys. Songs like Celestial Serpents and Church Of Succubus have a very pleasant pace and vibe, while others such as Moonbeast and Bells Of The Netherworld lack an extra kick and make the album drag for a little longer than it should. If Progressive Rock is your cup of tea you’ll have a very good time listening to the entire album; otherwise, you can take one listen at it just because it’s part of the boxset and then go for the heavier albums.

Best moments of the album: Celestial Serpents and Church Of Succubus.

Worst moments of the album: Moonbeast and Bells Of The Netherworld.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 5: Transmission Request 1:35
2. Moonbeast 6:29
3. Celestial Serpents 6:07
4. Hurricane Of The Slain 3:00
5. Spear Of The Romans 5:46
6. Bells Of The Netherworld 3:01
7. Transmission Reply 0:20
8. Church Of Succubus 11:58
9. Soliloquy 1:51
10. Robots Alive! 4:09
11. Yoh-Haee-Von 1:17
12. Transmission On Repeat 1:04

Disc 4 – Abusement Park

Set on a fictional timeline of 1983 and 1984, Abusement Park has a classic Heavy Metal sound influenced by W.A.S.P., Twisted Sister, Kiss and Scorpions, and includes a Christmas-themed single, entitled Merry Blah Blah Blah. The band wastes no time and begin slashing their sonic weapons already in the title-track Abusement Park, with Mr. Lordi kicking ass on vocals. And that’s the formula followed throughout the album, with Amen delivering his trademark solos nonstop in a lecture in 80’s classic Heavy Metal. In other words, if they had launched only this album, that would have already been awesome.

Best moments of the album: Abusement Park, House Of Mirrors, Pinball Machine and Rollercoaster.

Worst moments of the album: Ghost Train.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 4: The Carnival Barker 0:54
2. Abusement Park 3:33
3. Grrr! 3:48
4. Ghost Train 3:18
5. Carousel 4:24
6. House Of Mirrors 3:51
7. Pinball Machine 3:34
8. Nasty, Wild & Naughty 3:10
9. Rollercoaster 4:45
10. Up To No Good 4:02
11. Merry Blah Blah Blah 4:05

Disc 5 – Humanimals     

The AOR influenced sound in Humanimals is influenced by Bon Jovi, Desmond Child and Alice Cooper, and Mr. Lordi and his band of monsters make sure that’s crystal clear in all of the songs form the album, such as in Borderline. Mana and Hiisi are the stars here always generating an upbeat vibe with their respective beats and bass lines, turning songs like Heart Of A Lion and Like A Bee To The Honey into dancing feasts, always spiced up by Hella’s whimsical keys.

Best moments of the album: Borderline, Heart Of A Lion and Like A Bee To The Honey.

Worst moments of the album: Humanimal.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 3: Scarctic Circle Telethon 1:20
2. Borderline 4:12
3. Victims Of The Romance 3:47
4. Heart Of A Lion 4:33
5. The Bullet Bites Back 4:07
6. Be My Maniac 3:40
7. Rucking Up The Party 4:07
8. Girl In A Suitcase 4:07
9. Supernatural 3:49
10. Like A Bee To The Honey 4:15
11. Humanimal 3:53

Disc 6 – Abracadaver     

Now this is the real deal. Set on a fictional timeline for 1991, Abracadaver is inspired by Anthrax, Metallica and Pantera, which makes it by far the heaviest, fastest and most demonic of all seven albums. It’s impossible to stand still to the sonic devastation blasted by the most awesome monsters hailing from Scandinavia, with the title-track Abracadaver sounding not only heavy and piercing, but also spooky, which is always a good thing. You’ll bang your head, raise your horns and scream together with Mr. Lordi in songs like Rejected, Raging At Tomorrow and Beast Of Both Worlds, just the way we all like it in heavy-as-hell music.

Best moments of the album: Devilium, Abracadaver, Beast Of Both Worlds and Bent Outta Shape.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 2: Horricone 1:18
2. Devilium 3:46
3. Abracadaver 3:41
4. Rejected 3:44
5. Acid Bleeding Eyes 3:28
6. Raging At Tomorrow 5:01
7. Beast Of Both Worlds 4:59
8. I’m Sorry I’m Not Sorry 3:34
9. Bent Outta Shape 5:05
10. Evil 4:35
11. Vulture Of Fire 3:47
12. Beastwood 0:56

Disc 7 – Spooky Sextravaganza Spectacular       

The last record, from 1995, is a machine-made beast titled Spooky Sextravaganza Spectacular. That means the band added electronic elements to their music, flirting with Industrial Metal and Rock the likes of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. It’s quite impressive how a Hard Rock band like Lordi was capable of sounding so industrial in all songs of the album, with Demon Supreme, Skull And Bones (The Danger Zone) and Shake The Baby Silent being strong candidates to spice up any Rock N’ Roll party, including yours. Needless to say, Mana’s classic beats and Hella’s electrifying keys are the main ingredients throughout the album, adding a welcome industrialized touch of insanity to the overall result.

Best moments of the album: Demon Supreme, Skull And Bones (The Danger Zone) and Shake The Baby Silent.

Worst moments of the album: Goliath.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 1: The Ruiz Ranch Massacre 3:26
2. Demon Supreme 3:31
3. Re-Animate 4:13
4. Lizzard Of Oz 4:08
5. Killusion 3:09
6. Skull And Bones (The Danger Zone) 3:16
7. Goliath 4:41
8. Drekavac 3:28
9. Terror Extra-Terrestrial 4:30
10. Shake The Baby Silent 3:36
11. If It Ain’t Broken (Must Break It) 3:24
12. Anticlimax 0:18

After listening to each and every track from the seven albums from Lordiversity, I personally found it truly impressive how Lordi managed to keep the whole project fresh and exciting from start to finish, avoiding repeating themselves or sounding basic or bland depending on the style chosen. That, my friends, undoubtedly required a lot of creativity, hard work and passion for what they do, and if you want to show your admiration for those unstoppable Finnish monsters you can give them a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel, stream more of their amazing creations on Spotify, and of course purchase the ass-kicking Lordiversity from several locations such as Napalm Records, AFM Records and Record Shop X. And as soon as you put your hands on Lordiversity, simply block your agenda for the rest of the day (or even the entire week or month) because a massive, breathtaking Rock N’ Roll party is about to start and has no time to end.

Released in 2021 AFM Records

Band members
Mr. Lordi – lead and backing vocals, guitars, programming, whistle, orchestration
Amen – guitars
Hiisi – bass guitar
Hella – keyboards, backing vocals
Mana – drums, backing vocals, programming

Guest musicians
Ralph Ruiz – vocals
Dylan Broda – vocals
Tracy Lipp – vocals, backing vocals
Michael Monroe – saxophone on “Like a Bee to the Honey”
Annariina Rautanen – flute on “Moonbeast” and “Yoh-Haee-Von”
Tony Kakko – backing vocals on “Rollercoaster”
Joonas Suotamo – Chewbacca voice on “Grrr!”
Kari A. Kilgast – vocals on “Like a Bee to the Honey”
Hulk the Bulldog – voice on “Beastwood”
Maki Kolehmainen – cowbell, backing vocals
John Bartolome – vocals
Lara Anastasia Mertanen – intro lead on “Drekavac”
Jessica Love, Maria Jyrkäs, Kaarle Westlie, Ville Virtanen, Olli Virtanen, Isabella Larsson, Noora Kosmina, Katja Auvinen, Riitta Hyyppä, Josefin Silén, Minna Virtanen, Antton Ruusunen, Niki Westerback, Marja Kortelainen, Tom Roine, Netta Laurenne – backing vocals
Lumen Broda, Leia Broda, Lili Wasenius, Aviana Westerback, Roxana Westerback – children vocals

Album Review – Swallow The Sun / Moonflowers (2021)

Jyväskylä, Finland’s own Doom Metal unity returns with another stunning album, offering us all eight beautiful, captivating songs blooming in misery.

Formed in 2000 in Jyväskylä, Keski-Suomi, Finland by guitarist Juha Raivio, the five-piece Finnish Melodic Doom/Death Metal outfit Swallow The Sun has just unleashed upon humanity their new opus entitled Moonflowers, the eight in their undisputed career. Currently comprised of Mikko Kotamaki on vocals, Juha Raivio on the guitars and keyboards, Juho Raiha also on the guitars, Matti Honkonen on bass, and Juuso Raatkainen on drums, Swallow The Sun continue to pave the gloomy path of their previous album When a Shadow Is Forced into the Light (inspired by the loss of Juha’s life partner Aleah Stanbridge in 2016), offering fans of the most melodic side of doom eight beautiful, captivating songs in the span of over 52 minutes, being therefore the perfect soundtrack for the darkest days in your life.

The striking opening song Moonflowers Bloom in Misery is absolutely doomed from the very first second, with Mikko already delivering his melancholic, grim vocal lines accompanied by the sluggish beats by Juuso, exploding into a massive feast of Melodic Death and Doom Metal. Then in Enemy we’re treated to beautiful lyrics declaimed by Mikko (“I crawl back to my shadow / From the edge of the light / Deep down into the sea of my own rain sirens / In the eye of the… / Enemy, inside of me / Torn from a trail of light / Grail of serpents lies”) while Juho and Juha’s guitars make an interesting paradox with Juha’s own keys; followed by Woven into Sorrow, a lecture in darkness and sorrow by the band presenting gorgeous, serene guitar lines intertwined with sheer heaviness and whimsical background elements, also featuring guest backing vocals by Antti Hyyrynen from Stam1na. Not only that, t’s impressive how they manage to make their music epic and symphonic without losing their blackened core essence, which is also the case in Keep Your Heart Safe from Me, almost eight minutes of top-of-the-line doom showcasing infernal, headbanging sounds led by Juuso’s drums supported by the low-tuned bass by Matti while also presenting a more cryptic, delicate side of the band.

All Hallows’ Grieve features guest vocals by the stunning Cammie Gilbert (Oceans of Slumber), and she nails it with her soulful vocals (“Before I go, I’ll let you know / My heart was honest, for you / My heart was cruel / You believed / I’m a soul of a ghost to fight for / I believe, I believe, I lost my will to fight for”), resulting in a sensational doom aria, whereas drinking from the fountain of 80’s Gothic and Doom Metal it’s time for the enfolding and somber The Void, where Matti and Juuso once again generate a reverberating ambience with their respective weapons. The Fight of Your Life is another gentle and melancholic composition by Swallow The Sun which despite presenting all elements we love in their music is not as compelling as the rest of the album; and closing the album it’s time for an infernal composition titled This House Has No Home, where the keys by Juha walk hand in hand with both the clean vocals and the demonic roars by Mikko, putting a climatic and dark ending to the album.

In a nutshell, the very pleasant and obscure Moonflowers, which is available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, cements Swallow The Sun’s name as one of the best Doom Metal acts of the past 20 years while at the same time provides admirers of doom with something fresh, leaving us all eager for more of their stunning creations. Hence, don’t forget to follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and so on, and obviously to grab your copy of Moonflowers by clicking HERE. Keep in mind that if you go for the mediabook or boxset edition of the album, it comes with a very beautiful bonus disc with classical versions of all songs of the album recorded at the Sipoo Church in Finland by Trio N O X, comprised of Aino Rautakorpi on violin, Helena Dumell on viola and Annika Furstenborg on cello, as for example their gorgeous rendition of the song All Hallows’ Grieve. And while the moonflowers keep blooming in misery, Swallow The Sun will continue to darken the skies with their classy Doom Metal for at least another 20 years.

Best moments of the album: Moonflowers Bloom in Misery, Woven into Sorrow and All Hallows’ Grieve.

Worst moments of the album: The Fight of Your Life.

Released in 2021 Century Media Records

Track listing
1. Moonflowers Bloom in Misery 6:19
2. Enemy 5:39
3. Woven into Sorrow 7:46
4. Keep Your Heart Safe from Me 7:47
5. All Hallows’ Grieve 5:37
6. The Void 5:39
7. The Fight of Your Life 7:13
8. This House Has No Home 6:40

Limited Edition Mediabook/Boxset bonus disc (Trio N O X plays Moonflowers by Swallow the Sun)
1. Moonflowers Bloom in Misery (classical version) 4:52
2. Enemy (classical version) 3:06
3. Woven into Sorrow (classical version) 4:39
4. Keep Your Heart Safe from Me (classical version) 3:13
5. All Hallows’ Grieve (classical version) 4:58
6. The Void (classical version) 4:01
7. The Fight of Your Life (classical version) 4:16
8. This House Has No Home (classical version) 3:03

Band members
Mikko Kotamaki – vocals
Juha Raivio – guitars, keyboards
Juho Raiha – guitars
Matti Honkonen – bass
Juuso Raatkainen – drums

Guest musicians
Cammie Gilbert – vocals on “All Hallows’ Grieve”
Antti Hyyrynen – backing vocals on “Woven into Sorrow”
Jaani Peuhu – backing vocals
Aino Rautakorpi – violin on all classical versions from the Limited Edition Mediabook/Boxset bonus disc “Trio N O X plays Moonflowers by Swallow the Sun”
Helena Dumell – viola on all classical versions from the Limited Edition Mediabook/Boxset bonus disc “Trio N O X plays Moonflowers by Swallow the Sun”
Annika Furstenborg – cello on all classical versions from the Limited Edition Mediabook/Boxset bonus disc “Trio N O X plays Moonflowers by Swallow the Sun”

Album Review – Voidfallen / The Atlas of Spiritual Apocalypse (2021)

This young and restless Melodic Death Metal band from Finland comes ripping with their debut full-length album, dealing with the narrowness of the human mind.

Mixed by Juhamatti Kauppinen at Shedstudios, mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox, and displaying a sinister artwork by Petri Inkinen from Guilty Visuals, The Atlas of Spiritual Apocalypse is the awesome debut album by Helsinki, Finland-based Melodic Death Metal entity Voidfallen, a young but quickly acknowledged band formed in 2019 and currently comprised of Tommi Kangaskortet on vocals, Henri Vuorenmaa and Aleksi Tossavainen on the guitars, Lauri Myllylä on bass and Mika Lumijärvi on drums. Consisting of nine independent songs which still form the album’s own entirety, The Atlas of Spiritual Apocalypse deals with the narrowness of the human mind, the distress caused by that and the moral confrontations that follow, placing it among the must-listen Melodic Death Metal albums of the year and, therefore, representing a beyond solid step in the band’s up-and-coming career.

The sinister and cinematic intro The Atlas of Spiritual Apocalypse invites us all to join Voidfallen in their Melodic Death Metal realm to the sound of Remnants of the Heart, where Henri and Aleksi begin slashing their axes supported by the classic beats by Mika while Tommi roars manically nonstop; whereas The Hollows is even more demented than its predecessor thanks to the fulminating job done by Mika on drums, while Lauri hammers his bass mercilessly providing the band’s guitar duo all they need to shine with their riffage. Then after a serene start everything explodes into sheer savagery in The Daughters, a solid Melodic Death Metal tune spearheaded by the infernal roars by Tommi, and it’s time to bang your head like a beast in From Souls to Embers, featuring guest clean vocals by Inka Inkinen, where epic, imposing background elements elevate their core Melodic Death Metal to a whole new level.

From Embers to Fall, this time with guest clean vocals by Mikko Heikkilä (Dawn of Solace, Kaunis Kuolematon), is another rumbling, pounding creation by Voidfallen where the band’s guitar duo is on fire with their harmonious but at the same time visceral riffs; followed by the awesome Sui Generis, showcasing classy lyrics growled by Tommi (“Rise, the faithless kind and behold, your new king arrived / Now bow to me you peasants of mine / And so another chapter of this madness unfolds / Where man thinks he’s a god and the god’s a hero / Like the only star in the sky / The brightest of lights / Epitome of ego / Sui generis”) while his bandmates kick some ass with their sonic weapons in a powerful display of the band’s epic and heavy music. Featuring guest Vesa Salovaara (Ephemerald, Vorna) on vocals, The Slaves of the Echo Chambers is the second to last blast of aggressiveness with the band’s trademark melodic twist where Mika and Lauri make the earth shake with their respective beats and bass punches; and lastly, Symphonic Black Metal elements spice up the band’s sound in Seen Through Ice, allowing Tommi to deliver deeper, more demonic growls accompanied by the headbanging riffs by Henri and Aleksi.

The ruthless and extremely talented guys from Voidfallen are waiting for you on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube with more of their heavy and caustic music, news, tour dates and so on, and if you want to show them all your support and admiration you can stream The Atlas of Spiritual Apocalypse in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course purchase the album from their own BandCamp page as well as from Record Shop X or from Apple Music. Finland has always been an endless source of top-of-the-line Melodic Death Metal, and Voidfallen are no exception to that, taking the genre to new heigths with their darker-than-usual approach and visuals, and leaving us really curious to see what’s next in their aggressive and melodic path.

Best moments of the album: From Souls to Embers, Sui Generis and The Slaves of the Echo Chambers.

Worst moments of the album: From Embers to Fall.

Released in 2021 Inverse Records

Track listing
1. The Atlas of Spiritual Apocalypse 1:11
2. Remnants of the Heart 4:04
3. The Hollows 4:16
4. The Daughters 6:02
5. From Souls to Embers 5:21
6. From Embers to Fall 5:21
7. Sui Generis 4:03
8. The Slaves of the Echo Chambers 5:00
9. Seen Through Ice 5:47

Band members
Tommi Kangaskortet – vocals
Henri Vuorenmaa – guitars
Aleksi Tossavainen – guitars
Lauri Myllylä – bass
Mika Lumijärvi – drums

Guest musicians
Vesa Salovaara – clean vocals on “The Slaves of the Echo Chambers”
Mikko Heikkilä – clean vocals on “From Embers to Fall”
Inka Inkinen – clean vocals on “From Souls to Embers”