Scars Of Solitude – If These Walls Could Talk EP

If These Walls Could Talk EP Cover Art

Scars Of Solitude – If These Walls Could Talk EP
Inverse Records 
Release Date: 26/11/21
Running Time: 21:56
Review by Simon Black
7/10

This Finnish Melodic Metal four piece have been quiet for a while. Having been around since 2015, and with 2017’s “Deformation” album being quite a long way in the past, the band have clearly been impacted by all things COVID, with this six track EP only now seeing light of day. I’ve not come across them before, and at first thought they might be British, given that they’ve got a lot in common with the more Emo sounding Bullet For My Valentine, but there’s some positively shredding guitar work hidden in there, which bizarrely sits alongside all the melancholy melodies and moody keyboards quite well. What this ends up meaning is that you have a band that, whilst clearly having one foot in the Alternative camp, also has enough touches of more Modern Metal to be interesting.

It takes a little bit of listening to, but once your ear starts to get caught by the subtle complexity and time changes going on here, you realise the depth and ingenuity that has gone into the songwriting – none more clearly than on the title track itself. At first it came across as cacophonous, but on repeated listens it becomes quite the earworm. Even when things speed up a bit, such as the Metalcore verging on Thrash ‘Lullaby Of The Ill-Fated’, the bizarre contradictions continue to work in a disconcerting but highly effective way.

Prolific output is not a trademark of these guys, given that over the years we’ve only had one album (and that’s quite a short affair), plus various singles, and as run times go, this twenty-two minute six track is a little on the short side even for an EP. But the material on here is interesting, clever and complex and leaves me hoping that a full length album with the space and depth to explore this experimental side in a meaningful way is going to be something worth waiting for.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Dark Matter
02. Left on Read
03. No Riddance
04. If These Walls Could Talk
05. Lullaby of the Ill-Fated
06. Burden

LINE-UP:
Tuomo Laulainen – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jasper Ranta-Nilkku – Lead Guitar
Lassi Pollari – Bass Guitar
Niki Kuivakangas – Drums & Percussions

LINKS:

Scars Of Solitude promopic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Stargazery – Constellation

Stargazery – Constellation
Pure Steel Records
Release Date: 29/05/2020
Running Time: 44:42
Review by Chris Palmer
9.5/10

The second chapter in my journey with Ever Metal sees me travelling to the stars with Finnish Melodic Metallers, Stargazery, as the five-piece prepare to release their third opus at the end of this week.

Formed back in 2005 by guitarist Pete Ahonen (Burning Point, Ghost Machinery), the band released its debut album, “Eye On The Sky” in 2011. Four years later saw the release of the band’s follow-up album, “Stars Aligned”, which portrayed their tableau of keyboard-driven Melodic Metal that is heavily influenced by the likes of Rainbow and Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath.

The band, which is completed by ex-MSG and ex-Snakegod vocalist Jari Tiura, Marko Pukkila (Bass), Pasi Hiltula (Keyboards) and Illka Leskelä (Drums), release a third album to a world still struggling with the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

For those still suffering the continuous ramifications of lockdown and self-isolation (like yours truly), this new release is a welcome surprise…

Entitled “Constellation” and containing ten tracks, this musical treasure chest will maintain a firm grip on you for almost 45 minutes, as this quintet will lift your spirits and leave you gazing at the stars, as you reach for the repeat button after virtually every song!

Released via Pure Steel Records, the album’s epicness is immediately obvious as the riff-driven sounds of ‘Sinners In Shadows’ blast from the speakers. Consisting of a chorus to die for, you’ll be singing along in no time, as cobwebs are blown away by the heavy rhythm section and powerful vocal attack.

The keyboard-led ‘War Torn’ is equally brilliant, as the band encourages you to close your eyes and absorb the sounds, before rising again to headbang your way through the heavy ‘Self-Proclaimed King’. After several stoppages to allow for usage of the repeat button, the beautiful sounds of the bass guitar lead you into the melodic ‘Ripple The Water’, which is followed by the beautiful, slow moving ballad ‘I Found Angels’.

The second half of the album begins with the breathless and powerful title track, which leads you into the Melodic Metal masterpiece, ‘Caught In The Crossfire’. The keyboard sections throughout are truly marvellous, as is the guitar solo during the song’s second half, but it’s the entire rhythm of the tune that’ll have you bouncing around the room with a stupid grin on your face! ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ meanwhile, turns the pace down a notch with its brilliant chugging rhythm. However, Jari’s vocal talents really shine here, as he treats listeners to a wonderful mixture of powerful and melodic moments.

Penultimate number, ‘In My Blood’, is another slab of Melodic Metal awesomeness, as it rumbles along at varying tempos and impressive riffs. The keyboard solo during the second half brings back memories of Paul Raymond and Jon Lord, as the song comes to an end. The album closes with the heavy and epic ‘Raise The Flag’, which contains a pounding rhythm that’ll have you punching your fists in the air in sheer delight.

After three quarters of an hour the silence is deafening, but your blood will be pumping and your face aching from the stupid grin imposed upon you earlier. This Finnish quintet have risen spirits and lifted your face to the stars as they’ve hurdled through ten tracks of epicness. You’ve discovered that the music has been so good, it deserves another round…

And what’s not to like? Everything a fan of Melodic Metal could possibly ask for is on display throughout. Each track takes up a life of its own, yet remains on the overall path of the album’s journey by being driven by the powerhouse rhythm section of Marko and Illka. The guitars and keyboards of Pete and Pasi offer moments of sheer beauty, while complimenting the aforementioned duo throughout each track. The solo offerings of both Pete and Pasi bring joy to the ears, as both musicians do what they do best. The entire work is completed by a superb performance from Jari, as the singer treats the listener to a vocal display of power, wonder, and beauty throughout.

“Constellation” has been a truly wonderful album to review, and will remain on my playlist for many years to come…or at least until the next chapter from Stargazery arrives! For any fan of Melodic Metal, this album is an essential purchase. The same can be said for any fan of good metal music… What a delightful listening experience.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sinners In Shadows
02. War Torn
03. Self-Proclaimed King
04. Ripple The Water
05. I Found Angels
06. Constellation
07. Caught In The Crossfire
08. Dark Side Of The Moon
09. In My Blood
10. Raise The Flag

LINE-UP:
Jari Tiura – Vocals
Pete Ahonen – Guitars
Marko Pukkila – Bass
Pasi Hiltula – Keyboards
Illka Leskelä – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/stargazery
www.instagram.com/stargazery_official/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCxR-v9ftG5Rjkud8KKiHn3g

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Palmer and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.