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Finland Has Cool Storms - 96%

violentrestitution, December 3rd, 2011

I had always sort of ignored this band and shrugged them off as being nothing special. Regarding the image the band sets off, the lousy NSBM tag and the silly pictures (you know what I'm talking about) I never had much interest in checking this out. I kept hearing about them day after day so I gave in and got this album, I wasn't expecting anything at all. Some generic black tremolo black metal that I'd get bored of halfway through or something. Boy was I wrong. Everything I had thought this band was going to be surprisingly was wrong.

For starters this has some of the best vocals I've heard in black metal. The vocalist is simply awesome. It's mixed above all the rest of the music mostly because of his sheer expression and ability to do some really cool stuff. Its really raspy, but not to the point where you cant understand a word he says. Its quite understandable, raw, throaty, and very loud. Great. Next, the riffs on this thing are just catchy as fuck. I honestly didn't expect anything like this, the song 'Alone' was stuck in my head for days just after one listen. It's very melodic and even has acoustic folk melody throughout the whole song, lovely! However the music isn't so clean that all rawness and atmosphere is lost. The guitar tone is still rips and tears above most finnish black metal i've heard, plenty of distortion and haziness flowing throughout its veins, sometimes ripping solo's out from nowhere still in the freezing winter spirit of black metal. Bass is included and is fun to listen to, bouncing around the tracks dropping little bits here and there. The drumming on here is standard but works really nicely, keeps you interested and keeps the music flowing. Plenty of fast tempo's and have a loose sounding snare but rich cymbals.

On 'Bitter Winter of Depression' you get some interesting ambient stuff going on, same with the self titled track 'Finnish Steel Storm' There's even some clean vocal parts on some songs that sound awesome, even if it is just minor chanting. This album is full of great riffs, I can think of a handful of great ones just off the top of my head without even listening to the album. At times the album can feel really punky, but never thrashy. At times it can be upbeat, downbeat, letbeat, rightbeat. The creative juices never stop flowing. I don't know about the band being NSBM nor do I really care, but the music does have a certain pride Finland than anything, nothing really strikes me as them being NSBM. Lyrics are..weird, kinda. You have songs like 'Alone' that is basically as the title says, but the song is really upbeat, you have your expected snowy forest dwelling lyrics like Immortal's Winter, and prideful songs like 'Der Sieg des Ziegenmondes' and 'Forest of my Native Soil'

There's no abundance of instruments here, you have it all. Tuba's, Tin Whistle, Flute, Keyboard, Acoustic guitar, Rhythm guitar, lead guitar, choir vocals. Provides interest every time you listen to it, I found myself picking up on things I had missed the fifth or sixth time around which is something I don't normally do in black metal. Everything about this album sounds direct and analog, the production here as I say again is fantastic. I'm not sure about the debut album but I've heard that its much more raw than this and I don't know if fans will approve of the cleaner change in the music, but it shouldn't be a problem as this is just great.

This should appeal to fans of folk metal, black metal, punky black metal, people who want memorable riffs, people who love a wide variety of instruments in black metal, people who want to try something different.
Bottom line, just get this. Don't miss out, because I almost did.