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Anthem after anthem after anthem creates...? - 71%

Empyreal, July 3rd, 2010

How much more over the top can you get? Terasbetoni are a Finnish band playing heavy, hard rockin’ power metal that seems specifically catered to serve as anthems for hockey games or something. With every single song on this thing, I can only picture a bunch of dudes skating out from sweat-drenched locker rooms, determined looks on their faces, hockey sticks at the ready, pumped up and about to dominate the opposition with everything they have! This is the most unequivocally manly, sportsmanlike and anthemic stuff out there. It’s tailored to get you up pumping those fists and shouting along – except that the lyrics are in Finnish, so you’re fucked if you don’t know that language. The cheese is gloriously exuberant.

The formula is basically crisp, clear guitars, militaristic drums and huge, belting choruses delivered by the deepest, richest Finnish accent you’ve ever heard. The songs are all pretty short, and I’d be lying if I said there was a ton of variety. Some songs start slower or have a little bit faster tempos, but they’re pretty much all in the same vein, like a vitriolic AC/DC on crack. That’s seriously the best description – a vitriolic AC/DC on crack. It’s almost self-parodic, how these guys write songs…it’s like they have a generator or something that just creates these huge choruses and military styled drum beats. Apply liberally, stir a bit, and there you go; your very own heavy rocking sports fan anthem.

The production on this is wonderful, as clear as a whistle and heavier than a bag full of anvils, and especially the vocalist sounds great – he’s right at the front of the mix, and he takes the responsibility with the balls of a mountain lion, completely energized and power-hungry, never faltering even one bit. I guarantee you that the first time you hear this album, you will be floored by the electrical surge-like power spewed out by the first four songs. These first four tracks are just great, and exemplify many things that make metal such a wonderful genre. The riffs gallop and stomp away, the singing is loud and powerful and the hooks are clad in iron.

Now, I’ve heard this one and also the band’s debut album and I notice that their main problem is that they just can’t keep up the momentum for a whole album. They always have a few songs at the beginning that hit like gale-force winds, but then the formula gets a little bit stale later on, and the energy becomes tiring. They mean well, but let’s face it: Terasbetoni’s formula is not one that lends itself to repeated listens, nor is it one that will hold up if repeated for too long. This is music to be played on a song-by-song basis, and while individual songs will please your ears, a whole album of the same anthemic choruses and stomping arena riffs gets kind of old. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t blast this album the next time you or someone you know is in a sports match and in dire need of some reinforcement. Turn it up to 11 and start hollering along the best you can. It’s fun music at heart and that’s the best way to take it.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com