Warmen – Japanese Hospitality

Warmen is a progressive metal band featuring guest vocalists.

Just before the finishing of the new album I delved into the last release, Japanese Hospitality (2009)

cover art

01 Japanese Hospitality
02 Eye Of The Storm
03 Goodbye
04 My Fallen Angel
05 Don’t Bring Her Here
06 High Heels On Cobblestone
07 Switcharoo
08 Black Cat (Janet Jackson cover)
09 Unconditional Confession
10 Separate Ways (Journey cover)

The first and title track is an instrumental and had me going wow, gimme more. Because there’s no doubt that these instrumentalists know what they are doing. Mind you, founder of this group is Children Of Bodom keyboardist Janne Viljami ‘Warman’ Wirman, born in Finland, who also played on the first Masterplan album.

But then … (citation from their homepage): ‘It’s a side project, yes, but it’s not just Janne Warman who shines here … completing the cast of characters are the varying voices … featuring Stratovarius vocalist Timo Kotipelto, Children Of Bodom screamer Alexi Laiho, raspy rock voice of ex-Thunderstone Pasi Rantanen, the resonant, progressive approach of ex-Tunnelvision Marko Waara and finally, to give the album the much-needed feminine touch, long-time friend Jonna K. … ‘

Please, oh please someone tell me why a feminine touch is much needed? I never heard of this Joanna K. before and her and also Marko Waara’s contributions made listening to the rest of the album a torture. Why does a heavy progressive band like that invite a pop-rock singer to croon lines like ‘I can still smell your skin – Run my fingers through your hair – Hear your laugh And I cry – Don’t know Why he told a lie – So I couldn’t say goodbye – Don’t know why you made him lie – Why you didn’t say goodbye?’ (Track 3 – Goodbye) after mainstream radio fashion, adding appalingly banal vocal melodies delivered in an infantile vocal performance ? Vocals I can do without. OMG

‘Don’t Bring Her Here’ is slightly better, but still not good; while the Janet Jackson cover ‘Black Cat’ just leaves a big question mark in my mind, why touch this at all, why do it that way, why release it? it’s just another 4 and a half minute torture; Unconditional Confession sung by Waara leaves me with an impression of out of tune vocals and a failed composition. The screaming vocals on ‘High Heels On Cobblestone’, Alexi Laiho’s contribution probably are ok, they go with the music, but personally again, I could do without them.

‘Eye Of The Storm’ featuring Timo Kotipelto and ‘Fallen Angel’ featuring Pasi Rantanen are much more to my liking, and though the material is in no way different from what hundreds other bands are doing at least these tracks come near to being enjoyable.

The really high moments on this album are the instrumental parts when the musicians let rip, and these are too scarce and far between. All in all, a weak album, disappointing expectations got high by instrumentals with mediocre to really bad vocals.

BTW, the band released a cover version of ‘Easy Lover’ on youtube, sounds like they just added guitars and new vocals to the original track, again I ask myself why, oh why?

 Lineup

Janne Warman (Children Of Bodom) – keyboards
Antti Warman (The Scourger) – guitars
Mirka Rantanen (Thunderstone) – drums
Jyri Helko (For The Imperium) – bass

http://www.warmen.org/warmen.html

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