Nine years after the previous album “March into Firelands”, Flame is here again with this EP from Finnish label Primitive Reaction and this is, while fairly short, a very welcome addition to their discography. Even the first listen shows that their frostbitten and dark sound is still there and the steel remains.
In that light, Crush the Insects is a surprising follow up to the debut because it takes several VERY different tacks on the band’s patented take on the genre: namely, it bothered being accessible in a way their other full lengths really aren’t. Whereas that first album was innately gripping, by virtue of its riffs and the way the band painstaking arranged/structured the way each passage glacially flowing into one another in lieu of conventional hooks, Crush… was very clearly an attempt at crafting a more traditionally memorable record than its predecessor ever attempted. It’s the closest thing to a “fun” album the band ever crafted; the band themselves even cheekily pointed it out with a sticker on the original CD issue of the album as “The Biggest Sell-out in True Doom”. Go figure.
I confess to not having more than a passing acquaintance with Lord Vicar as a project until fairly recently. Oh sure, I’d known him as one of the key figures in Reverend Bizarre, but after that group had broken up, I only really checked out the debut and then just kinda forgot about it for the longest time. That is, ‘til someone mentioned they were still around as a project and that they’d put out a new album at the end of April. And thus, here we are today…
Reverend Bizarre are a rather difficult band to reckon with at first. I can tell you myself that I had a difficult time getting a handle on them for years.
Hailing from the cold north of Finland, Chevalier play a brand of uncompromising, dungeon-like speed metal inspired by acts such as ADX, Brocas Helm, Omen, and Savage Grace just to name a few. The band already has 2 EPs under their belt and is now finally ready to unleash their debut album, Destiny Calls, this week. You can find our review of that album here. We caught up with founding member and guitarist Tommi to discuss the upcoming album.
The time period we call a year, that is entirely based on our small planet and our star, probably has no significance whatsoever in the grand scheme of the universe. However, it is a great interval to use as containers and compare the art that is crafted in one within itself and the popularity of end-of-the-year lists seems to support this approach. This helps human brain to catalogue and categorize experiences when people think back about the past. Sometimes schedules of the artists align and we end up with good release after good release in the span of a year. It is the reason we hear from people things such as “1984 was a great year for traditional heavy metal”, or “do you think 2016 was a better year than 2011 for heavy metal releases?”. I strongly believe that when looking back in ten years, 2019 similarly will be remembered as one of the strongest years of contemporary heavy metal history.
You are the drummer of a band taking its cues from the early heavy metal sound and from several 70s rock inspired NWOBHM bands. What do you do in your own free time between working on the albums of your band? The answer for Oskari Räsänen, Mausoleum Gate drummer, is apparently to write some melodic heavy/proto metal for his side project. That side project which initially began as a solo act, Iron Griffin, has been where he channels his creative output lately. Taking the reins all by himself this time around, Räsänen would still aim for a very old school, mature sound like his main band but this time it is more melodic, calm, epic, and grandiose than ever before.