Album Review – Sata Kaskelottia / Sata Kaskelottia (2015)

One hundred sperm whales playing heavy music? Not only that’s real, but the final result is also pretty good.

Rating5

SK_album_coverAlthough English is considered the universal language of music, especially if a band or artist wants to be heard and recognized overseas, sometimes singing in their mother tongue becomes not only an essential part of the music, but what differentiates the band from the others. That’s what makes such amazing bands like Eths, Teräsbetoni and Rammstein so entertaining, and now the same can be said about Finnish Stoner/Progressive Metal band Sata Kaskelottia and their self-titled debut album Sata Kaskelottia.

If translated to English, “sata kaskelottia” curiously means “one hundred sperm whales”, but obviously do not expect to listen to that amount of cachalots singing in Finnish like one of those nature compilations with the sounds of whales and dolphins. What we have here is pure heavy music crafted by a very talented Helsinki-based quartet who mixes elements of Stoner Rock, Sludge Metal and Progressive Metal in their music, without limiting themselves only to these genres. The final result is very solid, legit and, who knows, might even inspire you to learn some Finnish.

You will truly enjoy the raw and direct musicality found in the opening track, Huuto (“Scream”), with the very aggressive vocals and riffs by both Eetu Kauppinen and Matti Kangaskoski adding a lot of energy to the song, which by the way should sound amazing when played live. The following track, Yö On Ohi (“The Night Is Over”), showcases a stronger Stoner Rock/Metal vein, with its riffs and drums the likes of Down and Crowbar. Moreover, in my opinion this song would be an excellent choice for introducing a badass character in a movie, don’t you agree?

Sata_kaskelottia_2Based on what I could find online, Ikuturso means “The Eternal Turso”, a malevolent sea monster in Finnish mythology, which perfectly fits the sonority found in this track. It’s interesting how vocals and riffs complement each other throughout the entire song, with bassist Jukka-Pekka Kupi and drummer Ville Salonen helping elevate the overall progressiveness of it. Then we have Veden Alle (“Under Water”), a song full of progressive elements similar to what Dream Theater do, with of course a heavier approach thanks to its guitar solo totally inspired by Stoner Rock, and the longest track of the album, Kyntö (“Plowing”), which despite starting with a smooth and progressive intro, suddenly turns into somber  Stoner Metal. Not only that, the intense screams used during the song are very effective in making it even darker and more interesting.

Suljetun Huoneen Samurai (which should mean “Samurai In A Closed Room”) is a faster and more direct tune, with highlights to the excellent job done by all band members, especially to drummer Ville for maintaining such a high level of aggressiveness during the entire song; while Jumalan Ääni (“The Voice Of God”) is the perfect example of what happens when Stoner Rock and Progressive Metal walk hand in hand. Even if you don’t understand a word in Finnish you can enjoy the vocal lines so fun they are, plus a soulful guitar solo to end this song on a high note. Finally we have the excellent headbanging tune Kansalainen Zombie (“Citizen Zombie”) and its fuckin’ heavy riffs commanding the rhythm, with its last part being a delight to fans of good old rock music jamming, and the more introspective Merimies (“Seamen”), which despite having some melancholic passages also offers us that fierce and technical Stoner Metal we all enjoy so much.

Go support this promising band by checking them on Facebook and SoundCloud, and by purchasing their music on iTunes or Amazon. If you want to take a listen at the potent sound that one hundred sperm whales can generate, Sata Kaskelottia is by far your best option.

Best moments of the album: Huuto, Suljetun Huoneen Samurai and Kansalainen Zombie.

Worst moments of the album: Veden Alle.

Released in 2015 Inverse Records

Track listing
1. Huuto 2:51
2. Yö On Ohi 4:34
3. Ikuturso 4:04
4. Veden Alle 4:46
5. Kyntö 6:31
6. Suljetun Huoneen Samurai 2:26
7. Jumalan Ääni 3:15
8. Kansalainen Zombie 3:43
9. Merimies 5:43

Band members
Eetu Kauppinen – vocals, guitars
Matti Kangaskoski – guitars, vocals
Jukka-Pekka Kupi – bass
Ville Salonen – drums, percussion

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