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A Cosmic Journey - 86%

Roffle_the_Thrashard, May 1st, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, Digital, Independent

I cannot say that I have heard anything like Tulitera in my life. They emobody something that is so much more than a band of four men who love progressive metal. They are composers who see value in substance, even without lyrics, for the songs speak for themselves. They are a producer of music that will alter your mood and emotions and leave you awe struck, wanting more. Tulikaste has been one of the most dynamic albums I've listened to in terms of sound, mood, and tempo change. Although some songs tend to be a little to lengthy for their own good, the songwriting is what makes the album so memorable.

There is a definite sci-fi theme in Tulikaste. With the absence of lyrics, in theory this message would be hard to get across. But with the spacey sounding keyboards and synths, a song titled "Star Rodeo" and an album cover of a sword slicing through a spiral galaxy, the message is easily received. This theme and the quality of the music will change your mood and can even relax you. When listening to "Firedew," I can envision the triumphant take-off of a rocket destined for space and then a bumpy ride through the cosmos. It goes into a all-consuming, otherworldly journey into musical sections of lightning fast, euphoric complexity, only to return back to the triumphant beginning. The track that will send chills down your spine and goose bumps all over your body is "All Seeing Delirium." Clocking in at a whopping fourteen minutes and eleven seconds, this track is full of different movements and sections and will make you feel much different than you were before you listen to it.

In terms of song structure and length, this album is a hit and miss. As great as "All Seeing Delirium" was, it was too long for me at times, and featured parts that could've been broken up into smaller songs. Other songs like "Menticide," "Jagat," and "Firedew" all had a fitting song length to the amount of material put in them, or they possessed a good mixture of parts, interludes, and sections in which a longer song length would be fitting.

The musicianship was very good in Tulikaste. The word "artistry" would be a better fit for a group whose abilities exceed that of just a group of musicians. I see many cases of good attention to detail, a fantastic amount of sensitivity to parts other than just guitar and drums, and an overall vibe of completeness. There is quite a bit of alternate parts and harmony sections happening throughout the album. The beginning of "Cetus" is a good example of this. Not only does bass player Tommi Tolonen get a chance to shine and play a part that is different from the guitar, but he gets to provide the basic melody in which the guitar riffing of Vesa Partti and Hannu Willman can harmonize with. Also, in "Cetus" is the right and precise drumming of Tommi Nissinen. The majority of the song involves tempo and speed changes in which he must adapt to, with no room for mistake, to keep the band flowing properly. But Nissinen just kept a musical straight face and swept thought the song like a pro. He also provides a supportive groove in the beginning and end of "Firedew" (this album's best song), in which a solid beat is necessary to help the band move along properly. There is even a guest appearance by a tampura player on the track "Voidborn," which adds to the sullen mood of that song.

It's arguable that the production could be considered slick, but what can one do when a manufactured sound is what the end result of what these nine songs called for. So I'm not going to say much about Tulikaste's production because there isn't much to say, except that sometimes the guitars were put through too many filters in some songs. I simply can't wait to see what Tuliterä has in store for myself and their other fans. They provided well with Tulikaste, showed the world what they can do and represented the "space metal" theme very well. If substance and great music is what you seek then Tulikaste is for you.