Label: Ranka Recordings
Date: October 2nd, 2020
Finland in my head and by maps looks so far away and even more cold for us south people. First thing that comes to my mind from the dreamy cold North is Santa and beautiful landscapes full of untouched snow and ice. People whose physical look I can’t compare to any other nation in the world are something very unique there also. As a person who listens to metal coming from the North mostly, I can say those people really know how to make some good music.
To be completely honest, I have never heard for Viikate before my friend recommended them like a new material for my playlist. From the start I found it weird. Listening to it song by song, I liked it! Still, the mix of heavy metal and folk rock makes this unique band. Every song from the album “Rillumarei!” is different in its unique way, with the closing composition of the album making one symbolic circle. The beauty of being in love with music is a chance to find out something new every day. Like that, I found “rautalanka”, a specific genre Viikate is playing almost 25 years combined with rock and metal.
Listening to the intro I was expecting some heavy metal for the rest of the album and I mustn’t say I was wrong, but certainly not totally right. I found it similar to a black/doom metal opening, as many are expecting from Finland, right? “Hallava”, with riffs similar to some Alkonost songs caught my ear because of those really progressive breaks at the end of the song and mystical atmosphere. “Susivirsi”, well, most of metalheads I know won’t find it heavy but it has that power/heavy metal feeling that leads us through the song and leaves its own trademark. We are slowly coming to a song that has a ’60s rock riff in the background on keyboards but guitars made it so powerful. I am not that big of a fan of ’60s and its style but when you have musicians this good, I can’t expect anything bad. By first listening I was reading a book and as the time passed I thought that I’m listening to the same song but I was wrong. Every single one is a story for itself. Beginning of every song here is in a style of heavy metal and even if the listener isn’t a fan he can find it interesting. „Viilušaketti“ I have to separate from the rest of the album. Motorhead riffs with folk breaks are such a good combination. My favorite song from the album so far which gives refreshment from generally a calm sound. The last song is closing, as I said, a circle. Back vocals made the song as I like to say “dawn awaking” because I can imagine beautiful wintery morning in Lappland drinking coffee on the porch with this Viikate song in the back. Good start of a day, ha?
I must mention that I am really glad that all lyrics are written in the Finnish language, though sadly I do not speak it. So I can’t judge the lyrics properly, but from what I could gather with the powers of Google Translate, they are poetic, but sometimes dark. All in all, smoothly following a song’s mood which gives a specific note to this great music. The cover picture is the most beautiful I have ever seen. There is only one way through the gate of trees, and that way leads to treasure…music. This mystical album cover goes along with the band name. I hope I will listen to these guys live someday, it would be much fun. This was a new experience for me and one more good band for the opus of my music library.
When we put it all together, “Rillumarei!” is one smooth combination of folk rock and metal with a mystic atmosphere. Thanks Santa for this good musical gift for this year.