Finnish Metal

Counting Hours – The Wishing Tomb Review

Counting Hours – The Wishing Tomb Review

“Tears freezing in the cutting winter winds. Life’s blood staining the freshly fallen snow. These are the things that bring Steel to the graveyard. Naturally, I love my sadboi doom as well, and the long-defunct Finnish act Rapture in particular. Their style of highly melancholic melodoom resonated deeply in my cold dead chest cavity, and though they’ve been gone since 2005 I still go back to those albums regularly. When the two guitarists of Rapture reunited to form Counting Hours and dropped the excellent debut The Will back in 2019, I was ecstatic. It was as close to getting new Rapture material as we were ever going to get and they hit all the same grim feelz as they fused the early days of Katatonia with Dawn of Solace into a cold grave of an album. Now a few years later we get the eagerly anticipated follow-up.” Counting hours and tears.

Blood Red Delusion – Ruthless Behaviour Review

Blood Red Delusion – Ruthless Behaviour Review

“Riff-focused yet stuffed to the gills with exuberantly melodic leads, Blood Red Delusion’s second salvo strikes me as something fans of classic melodic death metal albums by In Flames and At the Gates—along with more modern records like Parasite Inc.’s Time Tears Down—might flock towards. Ruthless Behavior’s no-frills, no-nonsense, and aggressively death-metal-forward approach to the genre forgoes all traces of the sweeter and smoother caresses of lushly adorned modern melodic death metal records.” Blood and poor behavior.

Byron – Chapter II: The Lotus Covenant Review

Byron – Chapter II: The Lotus Covenant Review

“As metal spawns an ever-growing army of combo meals, sometimes it’s nice to go back to the basics. Finland’s Byron, previously reviewed here by our gone-but-not-forgotten Huck n’ Roll, peddle a brand of occult rock with dashes of NWoBHM. Led by drummer Johannes Lahti—styling himself as Byron V—the band has emerged four years after their debut The Omega Evangelion with follow-up Chapter II: The Lotus Covenant.” Tentacle tantrums.

Kalmah – Kalmah [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

Kalmah – Kalmah [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

“I’ve seen surprisingly little hype about Kalmah’s self-titled album. It hasn’t popped up on mainstream end-of-year lists. Alongside bands like Children of Bodom, Kalmah held the reins of Finnish melodic death metal in the early 2000s. Blending blistering melodic riffs with prominent synths, Kalmah defined their sound twenty years ago and has reveled in it ever since. Emerging five years after Palo, Kalmah’s self-titled shows them doing what they do best.” Kalmah down!

Presenting Mrs. Ramsbottom’s Second Grade Class Christmas Recital, Starring Tarja, as Described by Liam Collins, Age Seven

Presenting Mrs. Ramsbottom’s Second Grade Class Christmas Recital, Starring Tarja, as Described by Liam Collins, Age Seven

“Hi, I’m Liam. I’m backstage right now because we’re doing a Christmas recital tonight. Everyone in my class is in it except for the Horowitz twins. Ezra and Esther don’t have to for some reason. Our music teacher Mrs. Ramsbottom was supposed to be here too but one of her organs blew up and she had to go to the hospital. It’s called an appendix and I’ve got one inside me too but my Mom says mine is ok and probably won’t blow up. Mrs. Ramsbottom was going to play the piano and we were going to sing but when she got sick we got a substitute teacher. Her name is Miss Tarja.” A night at the school opera.

Convocation – No Dawn for the Caliginous Night Review

Convocation – No Dawn for the Caliginous Night Review

“In the wretched realms of death metal, Finland’s Lauri Laaksonen is a known commodity. After a five-year stint in Sear, LL, as he’s credited on most liner notes, founded the beastly Desolate Shrine in 2010. We here at AMG have for the most part fawned in a most undignified manner over that project’s output. On the strength of that discography alone, LL could hold his head high among his most celebrated death metal contemporaries. But his impact on the genre doesn’t end there. Since 2018, LL has released some of the very finest slabs of demoralizing deathly doom in recent memory through his band Convocation.” Dark days in Finland.

Death’s-Head and the Space Allusion – LUC-II-FARUL Review

Death’s-Head and the Space Allusion – LUC-II-FARUL Review

As I surfed the AMG promo wave, Finland’s Death’s-Head and the Space Allusion (DHATSA) caught my eye. It was the attached “Modern Melodic Metal” tag that made me curious. It’s the kind of descriptor that lacks substance since the terms “modern” and “melodic” are often thrown around to the point of meaninglessness. I found myself almost instantly assuming the music would be trite and overproduced. I’d wager that some of you reading this did as well. But in truth, that’s hardly fair to DHATSA.” In space no one can hear your Death Head.

Sigir – Rainmaker Review

Sigir – Rainmaker Review

“Us metalheads have an above-average reverence for classic bands, I feel, but the genre is doomed to die without ample young blood. Finland, officially the most metal country in the world, is fertile ground for such saplings to sprout, and Sigir is among its freshest crop. After a previous project named Ritual of Terror never made it off the runway, three of its members found a new guitar player and plowed on. Rainmaker is their debut, the first full-length any of the foursome ever released, promising a fresh take on black-infused melodic death metal. A bold claim from a troupe of greenhorns; can they live up to it?” Making it rain (blood).

Cardinals Folly – Live by the Sword Review

Cardinals Folly – Live by the Sword Review

“What a gloomy place Finland must be to produce so much doom metal. While you’ve likely encountered the doom giants Lord Vicar, Spiritus Mortis, or Reverend Bizarre in your travels, it is within the murky depths of the Finnish doom underground that you might stumble upon Helsinki-based Cardinals Folly. The band’s press loves to point out their status as an underground band, which feels strange.” Doom for improvement.