Album Review – Sata Kaskelottia / Sydän On Vuori (2018)

The most unconventional gam of sperm whales hailing from Finland strikes back with more of their flammable fusion of Stoner and Progressive Metal.

After three long years of writing and recording, the most unconventional gam of sperm whales hailing from the Finnish capital Helsinki is back with a brand new album, ready to show us all that the human heart is a mountain. If that doesn’t make any sense to you, then you should definitely take a listen at Sydän On Vuori (Finnish for “heart is a mountain”), the brand new album by Stoner/Progressive Metal act Sata Kaskelottia, following the success of the band’s 2015 debut self-titled release while experimenting with new sounds and nuances and exploring the breaking points of life, points in which difficult choices have to be made.

Sata Kaskelottia’s combination of progressive, darker tones and often catchy, lighter and strangely triumphant mood produces a unique musical blend that walks its own path, with Sydän On Vuori introducing the band’s evolved sound and songwriting. Comprised of Eetu Kauppinen on vocals and guitar, Matti Kangaskoski on the guitar, Markku Suoniemi on bass, and Ville Salonen on drums and percussion, Sata Kaskelottia, which means “one hundred sperm whales” (if you don’t know that already), are beyond sharp and electrified in Sydän On Vuori, and if you’re a fan of the music by bands such as Mastodon and Baroness I’m sure you’ll have a good time listening to the nine tracks of unrelenting rock and metal found throughout the album.

We need only a few seconds in the opening track Aamumandaatti (“the morning mandate” from Finnish) to know we’re dealing with the “Finnish Mastodon”, with the guitars by Eetu and Matti sounding as sharp as a sword, not to mention you’ll certainly feel compelled to sing along with the band even knowing nothing in Finnish. Just as psychedelic and heavy as its predecessor, Leskentekijä (“widow’s origins”) is a well-balance hybrid between Stoner and Progressive Metal, with Ville bringing an extra dosage of electricity with his intricate beats while Eetu keeps firing his wicked vocals nonstop; followed by Parantaja (“the healer”), where the whole band speeds things up a bit sounding more aggressive, rawer and denser, with the music being led by the crushing riffs by both Eetu and Matti. In addition, the bass guitar by Markku sounds thunderous and metallic, adding an extra dosage of heaviness to what’s by far one of my favorite songs of the album.

Samarkand might be known as a city in modern-day Uzbekistan and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia, but from now on it should also be recognized as a lesson in Progressive and Sludge Metal, with its guitar lines and rhythmic beats inspiring you to bang your head together with the band, whereas the title-track Sydän On Vuori begins in an atmospheric, almost psychedelic way, evolving into a dark and deep Stoner Metal feast with Markku and Ville smashing their respective instruments, therefore creating a beyond obscure background of sounds. And in Ennen Kuin Sateet Alkavat (“before the rain begins”), Sata Kaskelottia deliver sheer electricity through their music weapons in a top-of-the-line fusion of Stoner Metal with old school Rock N’ Roll and modern Hard Rock, with highlights to the fantastic job done by Eetu with his demented vocal lines.

Bringing elements from traditional Heavy Metal to their musicality (which ends up giving it an epic vibe), the band offers the listener the vibrant Musta Tähti (“black star”), once again showcasing Eetu and Makki in absolute sync with their riffs; while Lumimies (“abominable snowman”) lacks the same punch and energy from the rest of the album, despite presenting melodious guitar lines and a solid performance by Markku on drums. And lastly, instead of another hard and heavy tune, Sata Kaskelottia surprise us all with a pensive ballad titled Ovet (“doors”), closing the album in a unique and very interesting manner, with Eetu leading the sonority with his introspective vocals until the song’s somber finale.

What are you waiting for to dive into the sea of Progressive and Stoner Metal ruled by Sata Kaskelottia? You can listen to their new album in full on Spotify, follow them on Facebook for new and tour dates, listen to more of their music on YouTube and on SoundCloud, and buy a copy of Sydän On Vuori from their BandCamp page, from Record Shop X, on iTunes or on Amazon. As you might already know, there’s nothing better than listening to the potent nad harmonious metal music blasted by one hundred sperm whales, and the new album by Sata Kaskelottia is here to show us that.

Best moments of the album: Aamumandaatti, Parantaja and Ennen Kuin Sateet Alkavat.

Worst moments of the album: Lumimies.

Released in 2018 Rhoska Records

Track listing
1. Aamumandaatti 5:03
2. Leskentekijä 4:54
3. Parantaja 3:30
4. Samarkand 5:19
5. Sydän On Vuori 5:16
6. Ennen Kuin Sateet Alkavat 4:01
7. Musta Tähti 5:39
8. Lumimies 5:14
9. Ovet 4:56

Band members
Eetu Kauppinen – vocals, guitar
Matti Kangaskoski – guitar, vocals
Markku Suoniemi – bass, vocals
Ville Salonen – drums, percussion

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Album Review – The Passion Of Our Souls / Soulmates EP (2015)

Enjoy this first-class fusion of pop and heavy music by a promising dynamic duo from Finland.

Rating4

THE PASSION OF OUR SOULS - Soulmates cover artOne day you’re walking down the street or hanging out at the mall, and you see that guy or girl that makes your heartbeat “match the beat of the universe”, as perfectly quoted by American author Joseph Campbell. That’s the moment when you finally find your soulmate, the person you want to spend the rest of your life together, and that’s exactly what Finnish Melodic Death/Pop Metal dynamic duo The Passion Of Our Souls want to express with their excellent debut EP entitled Soulmates.

Hailing from Hämeenlinna, Finland, and formed in 2014 when lead singer Julia Mattila and multi-instrumentalist Samuli Tuomas Mäkelä met each other and began to carry out together their passion for music (which by the way was the inspiration for the name of the band), The Passion of Our Souls offer us all what can be considered a concept EP, with all four tracks talking about passion and love. Moreover, the music itself is very well-crafted and effectively illustrates the message the band is sending to the listener. Add to that the beautiful combination of the band’s logo, designed by Argentinian graphic designer Victoria Pelejero, and the album art, created by Mexican graphic artist Angat Calavera, and you have a full-bodied final result which will please all fans of heavy and melodic music.

Give Me Your Soul already explains what the band wants to say with “Melodic Death/Pop Metal” due to the dark sounding of its Doom Metal riffs blended with the voice of Julia Mattila, who travels between demonic growls and mainstream clean vocals, creating a unique pop/metal atmosphere. Besides, its lyrics could easily belong to a pop music hit so passionate they are (“Your smile and eyes are like drug to me and / This is something that the whole world will see”). Then we have the thrilling Everything, which begins somehow like the new songs by Arch Enemy, reminding me of their latest single “War Eternal”: it’s a headbanging tune with a strong melodic vein, and you will love the guttural and clean vocals together in its catchy chorus. It’s so professional it doesn’t sound the band has only two members, although I wonder how Julia will be able to do both voices at the same time live. Well, that’s just a minor detail, at least for now.

THE PASSION OF OUR SOULS band photoThe even deeper guttural vocals in What Tomorrow Brings showcase a more contemporary Melodic Death Metal side of the band, where heavy riffs and somber but smooth passages go really well together; while the blast beats in Till Death Do Us Part keep the song a million light-years away from being commercial. This track has simple but intelligent lyrics about the whole concept of marriage, plus an exciting rhythm thanks to the amazing job done by Samuli. Not only that, its chorus couldn’t be more melodic and emotional (“Please marry me / And I’ll be yours forever / I’ll love you till the end / Till death do us part”), in line with the whole concept of the EP.

When Soulmates is over you will be craving for more of The Passion Of Our Souls, so let’s hope they do not take too long to release a full-length album with more of their amazing music. In the meantime, there are several places where you can know more about the band and enjoy their work, such as BandCamp, YouTubeSoundCloud, ReverbNation and BandPage. If I had to summarize the EP in just a few words, I would say it’s a topnotch fusion of pop and heavy music highly recommended for you to enjoy with your soulmate.

Best moments of the album: Everything is in my opinion the most appealing of the four tracks.

Worst moments of the album: Let’s wait until they have a full-length album to select a bad moment, right?

Released in 2015 Independent

Track listing
1. Give Me Your Soul 3:25
2. Everything 4:57
3. What Tomorrow Brings 3:53
4. Till Death Do Us Part 5:15

Band members
Julia Mattila – growls, clean vocals (Seele, Julia)
Samuli Tuomas Mäkelä – all instrumentation (Kara Darahu, Snovonne)