Monumental metal 3 – Finnish Epics

This playlist comprises of epic Finnish metal tracks. It ranges from melodic death metal, to folk influenced metal, progressive rock, post-metal and black metal to industrial.

1. The New Beginning is one of the best tracks of Insomnium but was never released as a “real” full-length track. It’s been released in Where the last wave broke EP and as a bonus track of Across The Dark.

2. On Lonely Towers is the centerpiece of Barren Earth’s 2015 album and welcomes them back into form. Especially welcoming is the great vocal performance by the Faroe Island native Jón Aldará (also known from Hamfero). That is not to say the previous vocalist Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow The Sun) didn’t do a good job on previous albums, but after about 10 albums that I’ve heard him sing on, the more powerful voice of Aldara is a really welcome change.

3. An epic Finnish metal collection without Amorphis wouldn’t be perfect, which is why My Kantele, in my opinion the best track of their discography was chosen for this record. It is also suitable transition from Barren Earth who have their ex-keyboard player and have drawn a lot of influence from Amorphis, to Kingston Wall. Kingston Wall in turn is one of the biggest influencers of Amorphis.

4. You can read more about Kingston Wall from my previous blog post if you are interested further.

After a few greats, I decided to go underground with a lot less known bands (5.) The Chant and (6.) Crib45. Neither is yet classic material but have produced a few fine records, most notably the ones which best tracks are featured here.

7.  Jotunheim is as close to nature Moonsorrow has yet reached. I truly adore most of their longest tracks.

8. Iiwanajulma, with its Finnish lyrics produces a pessimistic, self-hating, melancholic but staggeringly real picture of the current Finnish mentality at its worse. The closing track 2014 album Hallelujah is one of the most fantastic lyrical pieces of Finnish metal really.

Suomi on maa jossa eksyneen lapsen silmissä loistaa 666 – se laskee maailmanloppuun ja kansansairaudessa on Suomen tulevaisuus

Suomi on maa jossa ahdistunut kansa nukuttaa lapsensa yhä tukenevassa jurrissa ja herää joka päivä pahenevassa darrassa

Suomi on maa jossa kiputiloissa tehdään töitä opiaateissa – meillä on historia ja se opettaa lukihäiriöistä kansaa maan tavasta

Kaikki samassa raamatussa, icd-10 -tautiluokittelussa, yhteiskunnan bipolaarisessa mielialahäiriössä

Kerro kerro kuvastin ken on on maassa ahkerin – muotihuumepäisissä duunipäivissä saisko olla sun kaltaisesi ronex, tenox vai venlaflaxin

Ritalinia saa äidinmaidosta ja kaikki on hyvin täällä meidän lintukodossa.

P.S. Not translatable by Google Translate

The Chant, Crib45, Hanging Garden @ Vernissa, Vantaa 05.02.16

The gig Vernissa hosted could be described as a tremendous set of affordable atmospheric Finnish metal. Each of the bands is yet to gain the attention they deserve, probably because the members of each band aren’t kids anymore. They seem to be mainly around and plus 30s and have more in life than just bands.

The Chant may not be in metal-archives but they still have plenty of kick in them with the atmospheric late Anathema like soaring. Crib45 represents modern Post-Metal at its basic majestic form and Hanging Garden a sort of mixture of melodic death, again late Anathema/Katatonia, and perhaps a pinch of doom as well (combined with shameless pop hooks and idiotic cover art).

The gig was allowed for all ages but for once the drinking area for people over 18 was smartly placed. Pretty much the whole place was 18+ except the side where people came in. Far too often these areas seem to be designated for keeping people with alcohol crammed as far away as possible. Not this time, excellent Vernissa!

cover_173103152014_rThe Chant was a great opener. Their playlist included tracks like Minotaur, Falling Kind and Earthen which are my personal favourites of their 2014 release New Haven. Falling Kind managed to set up a good amount of goosebumps too. Stage was quite crowded, was it 7 or 8 people on it? It did not result in wall-of-sound though, the dynamic was very much present.

The last track Come To Pass caught me by surprise as I did not remember it being such a blissful build up. The album version does not do full justice to its magnitude indeed.

406990Crib45… or like my Belgian friend says it needs to be pronounced NOT “Crib fortyfive” BUT “Crib neljäviis” (as they call their band that in their stage banter)  …presented an expected heavier boost to the gig. They’ve been accused of being a carbon copy of Cult of Luna, and they do sound very alike. The difference between a blatant copy and Crib45 is that Cribneljäviis does their thing so damn well and the passion is so present it is very hard to accuse them being just a copy.

Again the last track Into The Abyss was the highlight. Its end with minutes of robotic posturing with a repetitive riff leading to epic end with surprising dual vocals works magnificently in a live setting.

Only thing that I do not think is very impressive on album or live is the end where music fades out but clean vocals and growls continue on for a long while. Friend accurately commented it sounding “like a humour band”. It is a brave move nevertheless. I was also glad to hear Waiting For Deliverance. I am only familiar with their newest album, 2014 Marching Through the Borderlines though. Their slot was under 1 hour, so these two monsters took about half of it already (some I missed because of beer and scenic Vantaa riverviews).

Hanging Garden‘s setlist seemed to be similar as their Lahti gig warming up Swallow The Sun a couple weeks earlier. They started with Borrowed Eyes where I am always taken aback on how much the vocals sound like Pasi Koskinen (ex-Amorphis 1995-2004). Only in the first lines though. Embers with its piercing piano lines and melancholic popdoom worked pretty damn well. Yeah I just made that genre up.


The Vinyl cover art is pretty damn nice (and their shirts)

I was pleased how good HG sounded after strong efforts by The Chant and Crib45. Also the final track before last encore 10 000 cranes from At Every Door (2013) grew a lot since last, and first time I have heard it (in Lahti-gig). I still can’t get over that when they present the track it sounds like the vocalist says “ten thousand creams”. This gets me trying to mishear the lyrics as baking references:
I command you, bake
Bake the cake, with a furnace
Bake the cake, with darkness
Burn I command you, burn 

After the audience convinced the surprised band to come back to a second encore they ended the gig with a cover they stated they hadn’t trained much. Jeff Buckley’s Dream Brother (which I thought was something by Tim Buckley, whose Starsailor I’ve had a brief acquaintance with, Jeff is actually his son).


The cover vomit of HG’s Blackout Whiteout does not do the album justice. Get a fucking room, ugh.

Especially the drummer did not seem to mind the cover as drumwork was a joy to follow. Upon further googling that song does actually appear in Hanging Garden’s Backwoods sessions Live ep from July 2015. Apparently only in Youtube. They are definitely a band that I will want to see again in the future. Their newest Blackout Whiteout is also a real grower of an album, highly recommended.