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Album Review: Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun

75579_insomnium_shadows_of_the_dying_sunAlbum:  Shadows of the Dying Sun

Songs:  11

Length:  63 Minutes

Record Label:  Century Media

Release Date:  29 April 2014

Style: Melodic Death Metal

Home:  Finland

Discography:  In the Halls of Awaiting (2002); since the Day it All Came Down (2004); Above the Weeping World (2006); Across the Dark (2009); One for Sorrow (2011). Read the rest of this entry

Song Of The Week: Nerve End – Thrive

I didn’t have to think twice about what song to pick for this week; Nerve End‘s two EP’s have been played almost obsessively every day in my house the past two weeks, and ‘Thrive’ is one of my favourite songs from them. After you press play, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. They are an unsigned four piece metal band from Finland and play energetic progressive/alternative metal with some of the catchiest, greatest melodies I’ve ever heard. Combined with excellent songwriting, interesting arrangements and a vocalist in possession of a very sexy voice, this is a band to look out for. I can’t wait to get my hands on a full length album from these guys!

Album Reviews: Taketh – Ignorance Is Strength and Noumena – Death Walks With Me

a1775136158_10Taketh – Ignorance Is Strength

Taketh is a Swedish melodic death metal band and this is their second full length album. It contains ten tracks of typical sounding melo death, with growling vocals, melodic choruses and middle paced songs. The songs are well written and well performed and although the lyrics are a bit simple and too cliché, it still works out okay. After a couple of listens it gets a bit repetitive, both the music and the vocals don’t have much variation to them and some riffs seem a bit overused. I like the guitar solos and the more screamy, powerful vocals that appear at times. More of that and a little more diversity and maybe it could have been a more than average release. The last song is titled “Mind Numbing Crap” and makes me suspect the band isn’t overly serious about this release and when I hear it ends with someone saying “Oh well, shut up” in Swedish, I smile to myself and think my suspicions were probably right. But I hope Taketh are having fun when creating music, which is all that matters in the end!

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Album Stream: Embassy Of Silence – Antler Velvet

In anticipation of its release date on the 20th June, Finnish prog-goth newcomers Embassy Of Silence have uploaded their album Antler Velvet for streaming. Their sophomore album, it’s a 50-minute ride through catchy tunes drenched in Finnish melancholia, just as that country can do so well. The female vocals are front-and-center, a pleasant mid-range which recalls something of the Dutch scene, and the instrumentation focuses more on dark emotion than technical wizardry, as befits the genre. There’s a rock-steady basis to each track, adding to the catchiness of songs such as “Conundrum” and lead single “Unconverted, and some faint growling for atmospheric effect. The requisite folky ballad “Harbour Of Naryon” has an appropriate doomed maritime feel to it, with haunting guest vocals from Ilpo Paasela of The Chant. My personal favorite is “Through Unknown Gateways” with its soaring chorus and (relative) uptempo feel compared to the rest of the album. Antler Velvet then closes with an almost Amorphis-like feel in “Touch The Zenith”, a great track to round off a solid release from these Finns.

An album teaser is at the bottom of this post, or to hear the full thing for yourselves, go over to Those who speak Finnish (or Google Translate) can read track-by-track descriptions from vocalist Ines Lukkanen.

E.P. Review: Vermivore – Zero Vector

When it comes to metal I have my favorite subgenres; Thrash and Death metal primarily.  I love most other metal:  Folk, Power, Doom, and Progressive, to name a few subgenres.  When I was introduced to metal beyond the Bon Jovi and Def Leppard days of the 80’s, it was Thrash (Big Four) and Death (Death, Obituary) metal that occupied my time as it still does today.  So, when a new band describes their musical style as a combination of Thrash/Death, my interest level amplifies 10-fold.  Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to a debut E.P. from Vermivore, a Thrash/Death metal band from the northern reaches of Oulu, Finland.  The other selling point – they are from Finland!  I don’t think anything bad has ever come out of that country.   If heavy metal sold shares on the stock market, I would invest in Finland metal!

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Crash Course In Amorphis

It seems that in my experience of showing people the following band, most people have heard the name but are not overly familiar with their albums. This is fairly understandable given the width and breadth which their discography covers, so I intend to provide a crash course into the band’s various styles, for your education and entertainment. Amorphis (taken from the word amorphous, meaning shapeless) have shifted their sound a surprising amount since their formation in 1990, taking elements of melodic death metal, doom-death, folk metal, and some psychedelic influences. I intend to take you as the reader on a journey through their albums, but for the sake of brevity I will divide their career into four eras.

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Theme Thursday – Why is Finland So Metal

Over the past few years, when I catch wind of an awesome new band to check out, more often than not, I find out they are from Finland.  Stratovarius, Nightwish, Moonsorrow, Ensiferum, Insomnium, Finntroll, Children of Bodom, Ghost Brigade, Norther, Amorphis, Korpiklaani.   These aren’t little known bands, in the metal circle the mentioned bands have made quite a huge buzz and there’s many, many more creating tons of buzz and gaining international fame.  What is it about Finland that makes them so metal?  Hell, for every 4 people there’s 1 metal band, making it the country most dense with metal bands, and the vast majority of them top quality.  I was curious about why Finland is so metal, so I did a little digging around the web to try to find an answer to that question.  And here is my opinion on why Finland is the Promised Land of Heavy Metal.

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Music Video Mania- Finnish Metal

If heavy metal had a Mecca right now I would say it is Finland.  The cold country seems to be the breeding ground of a myriad of high quality metal bands spanning through many genres.  I don’t know what the Finns are drinking (maybe some of that ceremonial thunder brew that was the inspiration for Korpiklaani‘s latest album Ukon Wacka), but if there is one thing that they can do, it’s write some of the best metal that the world has to offer.  According to many statistics, Finland has the most metal bands per person with for every 4 people there’s 1 metal band.  That’s a lot of metal.

This updated repost of a Music Video Mania I did last year will be the first part of a 2 part series.  Next week I will take a look and give my opinion as to why Finland has so much great metal going on in the country.  If any Finnish readers (or any readers) would like to give their opinion why Finland is so rich with metal, I’d really love to hear it!!!  Enjoy the videos!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Video of the Week – From Afar

This week’s video is from a band that is going to grace us with a new release in 2012.  Check out From Afar by Ensiferum.  I really have nothing much to say about the band more than you may already know.  I am just excited for their next installment.  If you never heard them before this is a good video to get you started.  Have a great safe weekend!

Korpiklaani are in the Studio Again!

I don’t know how these guys do it. These Finnish party animals have been releasing quality album after quality album on a near yearly basis since their first album hit in 2003. With their latest release Ukon Wacka hitting store shelves under a year ago, Korpiklaani, have headed into their studio in Finland to start recording a new album.  The title of the album is still under discussion but we can expect another fun filled album to be in our hands sometime in 2012. This time the album will take much inspiration from the Finnish national epic The Kalevala. One of the songs set to be released on the upcoming album, “Metsälle” (“Off to the Hunt”), was entered to compete for a spot in the popular Eurovision music competition.  Unfortunately it wasn’t selected, but I was honored as one of the best that didn’t make it. You can hear a taste of it in the small demo version posted below.

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