Aleksander Susi – Transformations Inverse Records Release Date: 19/03/2021 Running Time: 29:52 Review by Wallace Magri 8/10
Aleksander Susi played in several Finnish bands, such as ALEXANRED, A:S:Örchestra and ”a.s.andtheloudorchestra”, and also was founder and ex-member of 2 Wolves and ex-member of the Death Metal outfit Scent Of Flesh, during the first decade of this century. He is also associated with various other bands and projects in his homeland.
Since 2020, he decided to launch himself into a solo project, called simply, Aleksander Susi, his given name, where he plays all the instruments, sings and takes care of the programming, as well.
Gothic Rock with Dark Electro elements is what defines most of what is heard within the 10 songs performed on “Transformations”, his first full-length, after releasing several singles and one EP, that takes only 30 minutes long to make its point clear.
Aleksander Susi kept everything pretty simple on the songs, hugely influenced by Type O’ Negative, especially due to the vocals lines on songs like ‘Industrial Zone’ and ‘Green And Grey”. Sometimes that Pete Steele’s seminal band influence comes packed in a much more Electro vibe, thanks to Darwave programmed ambiences, that adds an even more obscure approach on such songs as ‘Children Of The 80’s’!
Some songs bring a pop dance appeal into the mix, turning ‘World Has Changed’ into a radio friendly kind of track, bringing to my mind Linkin Park in their darkest hours (‘One Step Closer’, for instance), but yet palatable to Darkwave Electro Pop fans.
Honestly, I got a little bored during the listening of the full record, but even though, I guess I was able to understand the musician’s proposal – after almost 20 years, he got tired of bandmates and the business part of music and decided to care only about expressing feelings about the world we live in nowadays, with deep sincerity and no concerns about market exposure.
That is something to be applauded and which has also allowed him to get all the way into the, already mentioned, Type O’ Negative Gothic Metal emptiness, met halfway with 80’s Synth and Darwave, giving a kind of post-punk aura, what is noticed on the minimalistic ‘Office Driver’ and ‘The Gates With Two Songs’, that closes the record, flirting with elements from The Mission and The Sisters Of Mercy.
Yeah, “Transformations” provides the listener a really linear listening experience, with nothing exactly new, but full of sincerity that reflects the transformations Aleksander Susi is going through in his musical career, deciding to isolate himself in his own musical state of mind.
I’d definitely like to listen to the next material from Aleskander Susi, bringing more diversity into the arrangements and caring a bit more about the programming sessions and the synths lines, in order to keep things more dynamic. But, even so, it is a good choice to listen to during a short walk outside in the woods, on dark rainy days.
‘Children Of The 80’s’ (Audio)
TRACKLISTING: 01. The New Songs 02. Industrial Zone 03. Green And Grey 04. Our Star 05. Officer Driver 06. Children Of The 80’s 07. Life Is A Funnel 08. World Has Changed 09. Our Peaceful Green Path 10. The Gate With Two Suns
Aleksander Susi – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keys and Programming.
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Dark The Suns – Suru Raivosi Sydämeni Pimeydessä Inverse Records Release Date: 09/04/2021 Running Time: 44:17 Review by Beth Jones 7/10
Finland has always looked like a fascinating place to me. Situated in the frozen north, on the Baltic Sea, with rugged countryside full of forests and lakes, steeped in folklore, myth, and legend. Given its powerful natural beauty, it’s not surprising that so much great music emanates form it’s shores, and Melodic genres are a firm favourite. Dark The Suns, the subject of my musings here today, are a Finnish duo, who like to dabble in the Melodic Metal genre, but with a very blackened, gothic edge, and their 4th studio album, “Suru Raivosi Sydämeni Pimeydessä,” has recently been released.
Musically, this melancholy duo fuse sweeping strings and synth with heavy guitars, haunting piano melodies, and more death/black vocals that you may expect from the opening few bars of the album. It’s a very expansive sound, that encapsulates that feeling of lore and legend I associate with their geography.
The opening track, ‘Spirit In The Dark,’ is pacey and begins with a cacophony of discordant melodies and harmonies, giving it a real sense of frantic movement. It makes me visualise a witch’s coven, deep within a forest, preparing for their next ritual. The dark vocals, which have a lot of effects piled on them, add to this vision. It’s certainly a fiery start to an album, and it does make you sit up and listen.
The album continues in this vein, with intricate piano melodies and accompaniments woven throughout. Being a pianist, this pleases me, as keys often play second fiddle to the guitars. However here, they sit nicely forward in the mix and play a huge part in the overall sound.
These two are obviously very talented musicians and they make a great sound. But it’s at this point that I kind of run out of things to say about the album. It might just be me, but I’m finding the whole thing a little bit ‘samey’ throughout. Every song has pretty much the same rhythm, regardless of pace, and they don’t really explore outside of the minor key. There’s some choral accompaniment to a few choruses, but that’s really where the exploration stops. It’s left me feeling a little flat. Annoyingly. My other irk is the snare drum sound. For me, it’s too ringy, has too much reverb, and is way too far forward in the mix, which makes it stick out like a sore thumb.
Apart from that, I can’t really knock this album, so if you can get past those things, and love a bit of dark melodic metal, then this is for you.
‘The Secrets Of Time’ (Official Video)
TRACKLISTING: 01. Spirit In The Dark 02. Everywhere 03. Suru Raivosi Sydämeni Pimeydessä 04. Hope in Our Hands 05. The Secrets Of Time 06. Seeker 07. Storm Of Fire 08. Taivas Itki Tulta 09. Shadows In The Void 10. Enkelsiipi
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Soulwound: The Suffering Inverse Records. Release Date: 11/09/2020 Running Time: 48:10 Reviewed by Tammy Lomax 9/10
Hello lovely people. Today I have the amazing privilege to review Soulwound’s new album “The Suffering” which was released in September via Inverse Records. It’s the third album from Soulwound, who formed in the 90’s, and come from a small village called Myllykoski, Kouvola, in Finland. They offer fast, brutal aggressive metal with a hint of old school.
Their motto (which I love) is “fuck what anyone else thinks”, and to be fair, it is spot on. One thing I’ve learned in my life is, it’s human error to judge. We don’t even realise we do it sometimes, but we do.
Personally, my family never really understood my passion for metal music. My mother calls it the ‘Devil’s Music’, which I accept, as it’s her opinion. Doesn’t mean I agree though! Nor will I waste energy debating to try change her mind. Instead, I’ll go sailing in my music bubble boat, ready to press play on this album.
‘The Waste Of Life’ opens the album. There’s definitely some suspense, and my instincts screamed at me that something was coming. As the track developed, I found myself waiting for the unknown. I’ve never heard any Soulwound until now, so I had no idea what to expect. Then BOOM! Absolutely crazy fast, they launch some meaty guitar solos into the mix, along with gut erupting vocals. Oh! I may not have known what to expect but by this point, I felt extremely excited.
Wasting no time at all, track ‘Ritual Cleansing’ appears. The drums made me dribble, they were so incredibly intense and fast. Wow these guys have some huge balls that’s for sure. My face felt like it had been set on fire! I was barely inside the album and had already started jumping about like a chicken who’d lost its head! This track had got me thinking, “I am unsure if I will be mentally sound after listening to this album in its entirety!”
The next track, ‘Pleasures’, is perfectly placed. I REALLY enjoyed the deep doomy gloomy vibes here. Vocalist IIkka Valkonen’s range and variations have me in absolute awe. It’s a weighty 6 min track, with some belting guitar work, especially when the solo comes flooding in. Why have I only just now heard of these fellas?! ‘The Cult Of I’ follows this, and you really feel their passion in it. They are drip feeding us bit by bit throughout the album, adding something a little extra, something a bit different, totally opposite to ramming it all in straight away.
‘Meat Puppets’ keeps the consistency going after ‘Hivemind’, however it’s more together than ‘Hivemind’. I am not lying though, when I tell you I kept running out of breath as I listened. I just kept getting smashed repeatedly, it’s absolutely relentless!
I couldn’t have begged harder for, or been happier, when ‘This Hatred’ arrived. It gave me just a moment to take everything in, because ‘Error In The System’ broke me a little. I am astounded that a band has managed to do this to me! They literally are the full pudding. Well, for a few moments anyway, before they slaughter you up all over again. You can’t deny that these guys fit their own personal mould. They are literally peeing on everything, claiming ownership.
The last tracks on this monster album are ‘Apex Parasite’ and ‘Death Of The Sun’. And they literally left me speechless, I no longer have any words! They do calm it down massively at the start of the final track, but they make it work. I actually preferred this after what I’d just gone through. I felt all sway-ey and black metal-y with ‘Death Of The Sun’. However, I got a feeling they would close the album the same way they opened it, and I wasn’t wrong! Around 6 mins in, I was getting bashed to hell again 😅 I contemplated taking a break, just to go put my face in a bucket of ice!
Well, what can I say?! That was intense. All hell broke loose in my lounge. Soulwound’s music is created and crafted by guys who know what they like and know exactly how to bring it. They mention “It will probably take repeated listens to take in all the details embedded in the songs” I see no problems with this statement, I have stored it into my playlist anyway, y’know, so I can do all that to myself again!
‘The Suffering’ seems to me to be an evolution of Soulwound’s journey. Go and check them out.
And one final thought. Let’s be more accepting of others liking different things. Don’t make anyone feel outcast because they like a particular something that you don’t. One day in the future, humanity will accept others, regardless of race, religion, likes, or dislikes. Let’s carry each other. ❤🖤
TRACKLISTING: 01. The Waste Of Life. 02. Ritual Cleansing. 03. Pleasures. 04. The Cult Of I. 05. Hivemind. 06. Meat Puppets. 07. Error In The System. 08. This Hatred. 09. Apex Parasite. 10. Death Of The Sun.
LINE – UP: IIkka Valkonen – Vocals. Niko Huusari – Guitars. Mikko Huusari – Guitars. Join Järvenmäki – Bass. Janne Huusari – Drums.
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
King Satan – I Want You To Worship Satan Inverse Records Release Date: 22/11/2019 Running Time: 41:28 Review by ‘Dark Juan’ 10/10
Welcome to the Netherworld, you obsidian questing souls of black. If you wish to follow the Left Hand Path, I am Dark Juan and I will be your guide as you descend the circles of hell to find your own special brand of damnation. Or I will in a short while as I am currently fighting off food induced lassitude and am lounging upon my Satanic sofa after consuming my own body weight in provender earlier this evening.
“Bewildered and weak, yet with colossal chippy tea replete, I won’t be hungering for anything apart from copious quantities of fucking slamming industrial metal from Finland. And perhaps a very cheeky IPA that caught my eye in Shamansbury’s! Citrusy, bitter and fruity! Just how I like the keyboard players in fucking slamming Finnish industrial metal bands!”
Well, that Cradle Of Filth quote went totally wrong, even if it was indeed factually accurate. Sorry, Dani. Tonight, for a change, boys and girls, we are going to just plunge into a record review instead of you all having to wade through pages of entirely 100% true stories of what occurs in my life. Never have I lied to you, my flock. Never…
King Satan are from Tampere, Finland, which explains the fact that they are quite stupendously more bonkers than Evil Scarecrow, Nazi shitbiscuit, Varg Vikernes and an entire cheerleading squad off their tits on magic mushrooms dancing to Boney M songs on a mirrored revolving dancefloor. In space. Oh shit. I hate my imagination sometimes. Now the song has changed to Baccarat’s “Yes, Sir, I Can Boogie” and they are all wearing roller-skates. Fucking hell! FOCUS, DARK JUAN!
Yes. King Satan. A band that sounds like nothing I have ever heard. Like Cubanate without the grimness and the iron greyness! Like Combichrist with sexy, molten dollops of metal guitar slathered all over Andy LaPlegua’s vigorous torso. Like Rob Zombie’s technicolour horror universe if he had discovered techno at a formative age. Like aggrotech, metal and hellektro met and had a frenzied, bloody three-way in a filthy Venetian back alley after meeting when wasted on PCP. All underpinned perfectly with the gut-wrenching roar of King Aleister Satan. This is violent shit, man. You’re losing limbs in a King Satan moshpit. We all know I am partial to a bit of industrial music now and again, and you’re probably all quite sick of me spouting on about aggrotech on a heavy metal website, but this is a bit fucking special. There’s everything in here. It’s schizophrenic musical promiscuity in its purest form! There’s utterly murderous industrial metal a la “Houses Of The Mole” era Ministry overlaid with the strident sonic warfare of Christ Analogue, then there’s waves of synth fuelled fury over 1980’s New Jack hip hop beats. This transcends mere metal, and welds it into a wholly different musical form. THIS is what terror EBM and metal have been threatening to do for years and their love child is frankly terrifying.
Opening song ‘The Killing Of God’ sets the tone for the album in stunning style, with Ultraviolence style gabber keyboards over serrated, precise riffing – kind of like a slower, less intense, more musically minded Berzerker song. The throat ripping vocal style fits the violence in the music perfectly. The only other band I have heard in the industrial genre who is as musically diverse is one man French horror show Obszon Geschopf, and even they are not close to the level of savagery King Satan display. The amusingly (and accurately) titled second song is ‘Fuck Yoga’. Quite! Anyway, it kicks off with full on techno keys and beats before settling into an almost Rammstein sort of groove. But faster! The guitar work (and how it dovetails with the keyboards) on the whole record actually reminds me a lot of the work of Neue Deutsche Harte bands like Rammstein, Eisbrecher, Stahlmann and Megaherz. You know, the endless pursuit of perfection in the riff and the metronomic precision of the palm muting…
Synth player Katherine Boss also shares vocal duties, and her demented cutesy little girl meets Mike Patton at his most insane when he was in Mr. Bungle voice adds another level of madness to an already clearly psychologically fucked up band. Peak “Oh shit, they are madder than a box full of tiny pissed Ozzy Osbourne’s next to an historic monument” moment hits three songs in on ‘Psychosadomasochism’ which can charitably be described as deranged. And that’s being nice to them because they are approaching the levels of insanity Dark Juan normally operates at. If you want a picture of what the inside of my head looks like, listen to this song and then run away. Save yourself…
Oh, hang on. I thought they had finally purged the madness. This was not the case. They’ve gone completely off piste again. Just when sanity had temporarily restored itself with a most satisfying slab of industrial grind, they are back again with church organ overlaid with techno beats, one of the most incongruous guitar solos I have ever heard and yet more girlish babbling on ‘Fuck The World’. ‘The Antichristification’ is pure hardcore techno with fucking killer guitar – exactly how I imagine Cubanate picturing their acidic music when they were developing their sound.
I fucking love this record. I’m on my third spin through the album already and I’m not losing interest. It’s vaudevillian, carnival music for demon hellspawn… It’s perfect music to flagellate your dogboy to. It’s filthy, dirty, musically slutty, coruscating, shockingly heavy and dense music. It is BDSM in musical form. It’s black latex covered in blood and sweat, unguents and lubricants. It is whip welts on alabaster flesh, livid scars over intricate tattoos of inverted pentagrams, a Chelsea smile on a beautiful girl’s face. It’s savage, violent, unpredictable and utterly impossible to resist. I can’t see how King Satan will ever top this. It’s absolutely fucking insane.
If you are musically adventurous, you’ll love this. If you are like me and have a foot in both the camps of metal and EBM, you’ll fucking love this. If you appreciate demented humour, you’ll like this. If you’re a purist, you might not, but I beg all of my acolytes reading this nonsense, give this record a chance. If you listen to nothing else on my recommendation ever again, listen to King Satan. I truly do think they are that good.
Holy fuck. Just… holy fuck.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Patentoitu Dark Juan Blood Splat-luokitusjarjestelma – there’s umlauts in there somewhere) is currently sitting silent in a darkened room wondering whether he should quit his Satanic ministry and just join King Satan instead, and awards 10/10 for the industrial record I always dreamed of.
01. The Killing Of God
02. Fuck Yoga
04. I Want You To Worship Satan
05. All Magick Is Chaos Magick
06. Fuck The World
07. The Antichristification (Is that even a real fucking word?)
08. Circus Of The Mind
10. Raison D’Etre
11. The Portrait Of Darkness
LINE-UP : King Satan are: fucking mental!
King Aleister Satan – Vocals and programming
Katherine Boss – Synths and vocals
Jerry Rock ‘N’ Roll – Bass
Pete Hellraiser – Drums
Frater E.F. – Live guitars
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Marianas Rest – Ruins Inverse Records Release Date: 26/04/2019 Running Time: 55:24 Review by Lotty Whittingham 9/10
Finland is a well-known breeding ground for current and future household names in Heavy Metal. Children Of Bodom, Nightwish and Ensiferum are just a few of these, the list is endless. With the melancholic sounds of their second album “Ruins”, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Marianas Rest added to this growing list of metal legends.
“Ruins” explores how the mind can slowly crumble; introversion, putting up walls and eventually disappearing into your own mind. Teemu Aalto (Insomnium/Omnium Gatherum) is the man behind the mixing of the album. Both Marianas Rest and Teemu get across the frightening effects of poor mental health perfectly. Having had experiences with bad mental health myself, these effects were hard hitting, raw and relatable.
The album starts off with the song ‘Kairos’. This track has contributions from Timo Virkkala on the cello and Insomnium’s Niilo Sevanen reciting Lord Byron’s poem. The rapid tones and prevailing brutality set off the ambience for what’s to come on the rest of the album. The effects of the record and the content it possesses are raw and revealing.
The introduction to the track ‘The Spiral’ lures you in with a seemingly smooth guitar riff; the senses heighten when you hear the heart beat sound effects. This part of the track reflects what anxiety feels like on a daily basis. The transition to the screaming and brutality is sharp and abrupt, very much like the mind when it’s experiencing a frightening time.
The narration leading you to put walls up and not let anyone in hit home with me personally. When the mind starts to crumble, it has you believe that you are entirely alone and you feel that opening up to someone will make you a burden. The lyric stating that you are safe within the walls your mind has put up reinforces this.
‘Unsinkable’ is more melodic and still keeps to that raw brutality from the previous tracks. From what I can hear in the lyrical content, it talks about memories coming back and reminding you of either past mistakes or remnants of a life you once had. I like the song structure here; the verses are stripped back a little to reveal the regrets and wishes. The chorus has a brutal presence that I think reflects the hopelessness and loneliness we feel when we realise what we have done or given up.
“Ruins” ends on a poignant note with the track ‘Omega’. The introduction of the track lures you in slowly; surely there is a glimmer of hope by the end of the album, right? Guess again. After this very sombre opening, ‘Omega’ allows the listener to experience one last blast of brutality and misery before coming to an end.
It’s rare that an album gets you to scratch the surface and dig deeper, “Ruins” allows you to do just that. It is an album filled with hopelessness and despair and portrays the frightening side effects of what goes on in the mind.
02. The Spiral
03. Hole In Nothing
04. The Defiant
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Wrestling – Ride On Freaks Inverse Records Release Date: 14/09/2018 Time: 47:21 Reviewer Tsarina Wilson 9.5/10
Wrestling are a Heavy Metal band from Oulu, Finland and “Ride On Freaks” is their debut album. From the very first track ‘Let’s Get Born’ you’re on an epic ride of frantic drumming, the tempo is crazy, and the guitar riffs keep this track as fast at the end as it was from the start.
The band consists of guitarist Risto Nyman, vocalist Tommi Saha, and drummer Janne Kela, the original old school metal band members, who have been joined by bassist Riku Rousu and guitarist Pekka Moilanen, making this a complete, well mixed metal band. All members have played in other bands for years and you can tell, from this album, that their talents blend well together, making them the band they have become, with each having something to “bring to the table.”
There is a definite Ozzy Osbourne hint to the sound, which is great especially in the track ‘Venom Makes Me Stronger’ but there is also a touch of punk and a lot of speed metal. You will definitely not be bored with this album at any point. The vocals, which hit notes I didn’t think possible by a metal singer, are intense and the guitar riffs, especially in the track ‘Kitsch In America’ are insane.
Then comes the track ‘WrestleMania VI.’ Having spent many years forced to watch wrestling on television thanks to a son who was and still is crazy on it, this track takes you right back to those good old days. It’s a power driving, body slamming song which any wrestler would love to have as their walk out track. In fact, it is a salute to the late wresting hero James Brian Hellwig, otherwise known as “The Ultimate Warrior” and, wow, it really does him justice. The lyrics were co-written by Antti “Rota” Junttila from the band FM2000 and is mostly spoken but it easily transports you back to those days of watching the wrestling and all the carnage that went with it.
Some tracks are seriously 80’s metal, but this is not a bad thing and composer Risto did actually write some of the lyrics back then. There is a hint of Motorhead with the gruff voice and fast guitars and, like Motorhead, this sort of metal is timeless and just brilliant.
Wrestling certainly give it all in this album and then a little bit more. “Ride On Freaks” is such a great album and once you think you have it figured out, they completely change the direction of it. The vocals that change from gruff and low to insanely high, the drumming that goes 100 miles an hour and such awesome guitars, really take this album to a whole different level. You are shattered just listening to it, it’s that insane.
The final track is very dark and very deep. Its inspiration was taken from the mass suicide that took place in Guyana in 1978, given the name “Jonestown Massacre.” There have been several songs about this but not from this point of view and this moody, dark track makes you think, but hey that’s what tracks are for, to provoke thoughts so well-done guys.
Overall, I love this album. “Ride On Freaks” is a blend of crazy, dark, fast, brilliant metal. The guys have so much talent and mix it up so there is not a chance that you will not be left wanting more. I seriously love this album.
The album was recorded at Anvil Road Studio and mixed and mastered by Harri Eksyma (Earmore Studios)
TRACKLISTING: 01. Let’s Get Born 02. Surreal Killer 03. Venom Makes Me Stronger 04. Kitsch In America 05. Drunk And Alone 06. Wrestlemania VI 07. Beyond The Limits 08. Feels Like Midnight 09. Driving All Night 10. The Solution To All Your Problems 11. See Delight
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.