Though placed on their Official Vimeo Page just the other day, I could not attend to this news until right now but not to worry, its nothing that’s late at all when it comes down to it. We’ve arrived at the time of the year where hundreds and hundreds of Progressive and Power Metal fans converge in a single location in Atlanta, GA for the annual ProgPower USA Festival. The four-day affair is ticketed as the first two days and then the second two days. Generally speaking, the weekend shows are the biggest draw and the announcement video is online for all to examine. I think they reveal this for the audience on the second day of the happening so let’s take a look at it. Please be advised that while this is a long clip, it’s got a lot of awesome music to enjoy so here we go.
The Lineup: Wind Rose, Subsignal, Barren Earth, Psychotic Waltz, Orden Ogan, Seventh Wonder, Sorcerer, Jad Panzer, Caligula’s Horse, Poets Of The Fall, Threshold, Demons & Wizards.
The other day I saw some sad news posted on the Facebook page of our friend in Metal one Mr. Mikko Kotamaki who announced that he was leaving the lineup of Barren Earth. This saddened us a little bit I will admit.
It’s without question that Finland has been delivering some seriously amazing Metal bands to the scene for the last few years and while there are numerous favorites among the fans, I have to cite that Nightwish was my first foray into their provisions. I first heard of the band in 1999 and was not even doing my Metal Scribe thing yet but they remain one of my own personal top picks to this day. From this point I began to look into some of their other groups such as Sonata Arctica, Finntroll and so on. All of these wondrous sounds would come in handy to my mental musical palate once I began to write about it. Since becoming the Master and Commander of the PiercingMetal universe I have attended a score of concerts that the Finns have brought to our shores and based on the coverage on the site have been fortunate to meet a lot of wonderful musicians from this faraway land.
Today this bountiful provider of Metal celebrates their 94th Independence Day and I just wanted to send them all a hearty “Happy Independence Day” and raise my glass with a very loud “Kippis”. To celebrate the occasion I copied the tag for “Finnish Metal” which was used on every concert piece that features one of their bands. Clicking the Finnish flag below will launch that search and you can enjoy the findings. My hope is that most of you know all the bands already but if you do not, then it is high time to do a little research and eventual purchasing. I am pretty sure you will like what you hear. The core website can be searched for those bands via the main page.
One day I will get myself over there and absorb a little more of their culture. Having seen some of my friends photos and knowing there is even more cool music makes me pretty firm in this idea. When I do that you can be rest assured that there will be both Metal and Personal blogs written up about the journey. Of course I will need to learn a little Finnish but luckily I have Sammy The Ambassador to help me along in that regard. Stay tuned.
Artist: Barren Earth Title: “Our Twilight” Label: Peaceville Records Release Date: Genre: Doom Metal Rating: 4.5/5
Fans of the bands Swallow The Sun, Moonsorrow, Amorphis and Kreator have something new to be excited about and that is the collaboration of six musicians who’ve all honed their skills in those bands for years and now let those influences take new life in a crushing new band called Barren Earth. Before I get deeper into this infectious EP they call “Our Twilight” let me tell you who is in the group. It begins with vocalist Mikko Kotamaki (Swallow The Sun) who is joined by two former members of Amophis in Olli-Pekka Laine (bass) and Kasper Martenson (keyboards). Guitars are adeptly handled by Janne Perttila (Rytmihaino) and Sami Ylisimio (Kreator) with Marko Tarvonen on the drums. It’s quite a lineup but one that you fear might will sound “too much like” their previous or existing bands but this is not the case at all. There are some similarities which we find as the opening tune “Our Twilight” begins, but it’s a similarity of how one might see the band Amorphis and Swallow The Sun coming off if the two had merged into one unit. Crushing groove at the onset which leads into warm and almost ghostly clean vocals. This adventures even further by bringing an Opethian level of Prog-Death Metal to the mix and in the end tie all of these feels together. The second tune is “Jewel” and it begins with warm piano and crushing riff working together as if they were always meant to do so. Mikko wins me over with the deep resonance of his clean vocal in this one more than the growls and what was incredibly impressive was how the turn takes a very Tull meets Renaissance Progressive Rock turn with its middle section. You might be surprised at the reference of the Classical Art Rock band, but listen to a couple of their extended jams and tell me you disagree with me. Whew was all I could muster as this interlude blasted through my speakers. Needless to say I was hooked from the beginning with this one. Continue reading “Our Twilight” by Barren Earth→