Finnish Prog metal in focus

I have been checking out some Finnish bands recently, just a quick share of some finds here:

Simulacrum

New album Sky Divided out now, will review soon

excellent!

Silent Voices

also known as “the other band” of Henrik Klingenberg, the keyboard player and Pasi Kauppinen, the bass player of Sonata Arctica

This is a new single, maybe new album soon? Impressive

Oddland

Where did these guys spring from? This is their debut, and it just kicks ass.

I could go on watching these fast fingers forever

C√ėNSTANTINE

Heavy and intense … I like the vocals a lot

Hve fun checking these out ūüôā

SILENT VOICES announces new singer and new label

silentvoices_2_2013Finnish progressive metallers SILENT VOICES has announced that their new front-man is Teemu Koskela (Winterborn). Teemu has already been singing 3 successful shows with SILENT VOICES in the UK and Czech Republic earlier this year.

“We are very excited to finally share with everyone that Teemu Koskela is the new vocalist of SILENT VOICES. Teemu is an incredible vocalist and a great guy. His voice is a very strong addition to the SILENT VOICES family.”

SILENT VOICES have also inked a new deal with the Swedish label Inner Wound Recordings for the release of the bands up-coming album “Reveal The Change“. More information will follow.

“The entire band and all the people we are working with are very excited about this new album. We cannot wait for everyone to hear the new songs and to be back on tour again.”

Silent Voices is also known as “the other band” of Henrik Klingenberg and Pasi Kauppinen of Sonata Arctica.

http://www.silentvoices.net/

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‚Äôs a side project, yes, but it‚Äôs 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

New album by Dreamtale

The Finnish power metal band Dreamtale put out a new album this Spring

World Changed Forever is another impressive melodic power metal release that you should absolutely listen to

Heavy, catchy, well produced and well executed this release incorporates just a sprig of prog as well and like most Scandinavian metal it is neither bombastic nor cheesy but straight between the eyes. Go get it:

 

STRATOVARIUS And AMARANTHE Teaming Up For Nordic Nexus Of Nemesis Tour 2013

STRATOVARIUS and AMARANTHE are teaming up in a doulbe headline bill next spring. The Nordic Nexus Of Nemesis Tour 2013 will kick off in Munich, Germany on March 20th, 2013.

http://www.metalfromfinland.com/news/2012-10-16_19:45/stratovarius_and_amaranthe_teaming_up_for_nordic_nexus_of_nemesis_tour_2013

Confirmed dates include:

March
20 – Backstagehalle – Munich, Germany
21 – Stadtgarten – Erfurt, Germany
22 – Masters Of Rock Cafe – Zlin, Czech Republic
23 – Club 202 – Budapest, Hungary
24 – Majestic Club – Bratislava, Slovakia
26 – Szene – Vienna, Austria
27 – Hirsch – N√ľrnberg, Germany
28 – Matrix – Bochum, Germany
29 – Gr√ľnspan – Hamburg, Germany
30 – De Pul – Uden, Netherlands
31 – La Cigale – Paris, France

April
2 – La Laiterie – Strasbourg, France
3 – Le Kao – Lyon, France
5 – Razzmatazz 2 – Barcelona, Spain
6 – Arena – Madrid, Spain
7 – Rock Star – Bilbao, Spain
9 – Z7 – Pratteln, Switzerland
10 – Alcatrazz – Milan, Italia
11 – Rockfabrik – Ludwigsburg, Germany
13 – PPM Fest (Festival) – Mons, Belgium

Source: bravewords.com

Dreamtale

Finnish power metal band formed in 1999. They had their first success supporting Synergy ( a  band formed by the then Dimmu Borgir keyboard player Kimberly Goss and In Flames guitarist Jesper Strömblad). Their first records made a big hit in Japan, but they never played a live gig there, indeed, their first gig abroad was 2011 in Russia, and that same year a mini tour in Italy followed. A headliner tour in Russia is going to happen this Nov. They supported Stratovarius twice.

Their music is a very melodic style of power metal, in my opinion they are very underrated, maybe because they never really left Finland for touring a lot.

cover art
Discography

Beyond Reality (2002)
Ocean’s Heart (2003)
Difference (2005)
Phoenix (2008)
Epsilon (2011)

1. Firestorm
2. Angel Of Light
3. Each Time I Die
4. Where Eternal Jesters Reign
5. Fly Away
6. Reasons Revealed
7.¬†Strangers’ Ode
8. Mortal Games
9. Lady Of A Thousand Lakes
10. March To Glory

lineup:

Rami Ker√§nen –¬†Guitar,¬†Vocals¬†(1999‚Äď2002)
Petteri Rosenbom¬†–¬†Drums
Erkki Sepp√§nen¬†–¬†Vocals
Seppo Kolehmainen¬†–¬†Guitar
Akseli Kaasalainen¬†–¬†Keyboards
Heikki Ahonen¬†–¬†Bass

http://www.dreamtale.org/

Excalion

EXCALION is a progressive power metal band from Finland started in  2000, members were then between 17 and 19 years old.

First demos were recorded in 2001 and 2002 through to 2003, it came as a surprise to the band when they were offered a chance to make a real album. At the end of 2003 the band signed a deal with a small Portuguese metal label, and the recording of Excalion¬īs debut album was fixed for autumn 2004. The tracks to be recorded included new songs and some reworkings of the older songs.¬†The debut album¬†Primal Exhale¬†was released in 2005,¬†marked by virtous playing, long songs and overall some clear prog metal influences.

The second album Waterlines was recorded by a new line-up and released in 2007 on Limb Music. The compositions were much more straightforward, less progressive.

High Time, the third album was released in 2010cover art

  1. Enter A Life
  2. From Somewhere To Anywhere
  3. Sun Stones
  4. The Flags In Line
  5. Bring On The Storm
  6. The Shroud
  7. Firewood
  8. Lifetime
  9. Quicksilver
  10. A Walk On A Broken Road
  11. Foreversong

Jarmo Pääkkönen (v)
Jarmo Myllyvirta (k)
Vesa Nupponen (g)
Henri Pirkkalainen (d)
Tero Vaaja (b)

http://www.excalion.com