DAR – Dynamic Arts Records helping spread Finnish Metal to the world

 

{mosimage}Finnish Metal is undoubtedly worldwide respected and it´s surely not a fad. It didn´t happen out of the blue for no reason though, it is what it is for the extreme competence of the rock & metal bands that come from that tiny, isolated and cold country.

 

 

 

Doing the best you can on whatever you do, studying hard, researching and being extremely professional are cultural characteristics you see a lot in the entire Scandinavia and when the subject is Heavy Metal, let´s say that Finland and Sweden are at the top.

Dynamic Arts Records ( DAR ) – recording company from the city of Tampere – is a very respected company lead by people who really understand of rock & metal and help the scene be spread to the world. They´ve been doing a great job promoting their bands sending material and in this section Hard Blast will talk about 3 of these big metal promises.  

 

{mosimage}MASTERSTROKE – Melodic Power & Heavy Metal 

The band was formed in 2002 and has two albums released, Apocalypse (2006) and the great Sleep, released by DAR in 2007.You don´t need more than 30 seconds listening to realize what´s going on here – very good music, strong, powerful, with great melodies and guitar solos.The line-up is formed by Niko Rauhala ( v & g ), Janne Juutinen ( d ), Markus Kekoni ( g ), Jussi Kulomaa ( k ) and Marko Kolehmainen ( b ) and you can check them out on www.myspace.com/masterstrokefinland or on DAR homepage.

The album is composed by 10 tracks. Niko´s singing is different from what we are used to listening when the subject is melodic power metal, there aren´t very high notes. Vocals are melodic but heavy and it´s possible to feel a “Blaze Bailey´s atmosphere” in his tone but with a lot more power. Guitarist Markus also makes very different solos more focused on the melody than on the speed, which I consider a great advantage since in melodic power metal it´s usually more common to listen to very fast and exaggerated virtuous solos, .

The same happens to the keyboards, present 100% of the time showing great melodies and arrangements and not a 'keyboard X guitar duel'.Musicians who are able to play well saving notes, emphasizing melody to speed and paying attention to the musical environment of the work they want to show are very rare nowadays and I believe this is a great differential.

I recommend Masterstroke as one of the best bands I´ve heard recently. 

 

{mosimage}SILENTIUM – Goth/Dark Metal 

The band exists since 1995 and has a discography of 5 full-length albums and 3 singles. The most recent release, Amortean, came out in January of 2009 and have been getting great feedback from fans and press since then.The band´s career was full of ups and downs and line-up changes until 2003 but after this time the line-up was settled. Silentium is: Toni Lahtinen ( g ), Matti Aikio (b & groaning), Riina Rinkinen ( v ), Jari Ojala ( d ), Juha Lehtioksa ( g ), Sami Boman ( k ).

After signing with DAR in 2005 Silentium recorded Seducia, album of great success that could really make people pay attention to them. The most recent work, Amortean, shows very high quality female singing Goth Metal. Riina sings beautifully with a strong voice which does not follow the actual pattern of the ‘opera’ singing. She explores her natural tone and singing personality. Her voice is strong, deep and makes Silentium even more interesting.Songs are rich, full of keyboards and orchestral arrangements, there is a strong concern with climate and particularities that would make fans recognize their music right from the intro.

Drumming also deserves to be highlighted in Silentium´s work. Jari Ojala plays strong and fast being also a very creative drummer on his kickin´ arrangements. The album is very well produced it´s very musical having some 'taste' of pop that makes Riina´s voice fit even better on it. You could easily listen to them on the radio. Amortean shows melancholic and deep songs just as the style demands though. For those who enjoy heavy music with female singing, Silentium´s album is for sure a very good buy. Check them out at www.myspace.com/silentiumband or go to DAR homepage to get more info. 

 

 

 

ANGEL BLAKE – Metal 

Angel Blake is the solo project of guitarist Marko Tervonen ( The Crown ) and besides himself it counts on the musicians Tobias Jansson ( v ), Anders Edlund ( g ), Örjan Wressel ( acoustic bass) and Janne Saarenpää ( d ).

 

{mosimage}

 

Although Marko and Janne are Finns, the band is based in Sweden, where the other members are from. The album The Descended, released in 2008, shows what could be called 'real nordic metal' with all specific characteristics that make those who research about the style recognize the bands. I don´t mean it´s cliché cause it´s not. It´s particular, there is a specific personality when you listen to the base guitar with its fast palm mutting, the creative drumming and vocals that can vary from clean and high to groaning, always very strong and present.

It´s perfect music for head banging, air punching and stage diving. The kind of atmosphere that puts you really into a metal mood.It´s curious that bassist Örjan plays the acoustic bass giving a special sound to the lows of the songs making them even heavier and fuller of punch. Angel Blake is a band that surely deserves to be heard.

Check them out at www.angelblake.com and find the true Scandinavian metal into their heavy riffs.   

 

Photos: www.dynamicartsrecords.com