When it comes to musical exports, Finland are most known for their melodic Euro-metal acts.
When it comes to musical exports, Finland are most known for their melodic Euro-Metal acts. Be it Power, Melodic Death Metal or Thrash, the Scandinavians are known for their powerful compositions, great melodic sequences and strong vocal performances. Bands like Sonata Arctica and Insomnium help fly the flag for the more accessible realms of Finnish music and are widely acknowledged as successful.
Heroes Don’t Ask Why, not so much.
‘Sound Of A Broken Heart’ is the latest E.P from this four piece, and while it’s labelled as Heavy Metal, Hard Rock and Gothic Rock/Metal, it comes across more as ‘Alternative Metal’. For the sake of splitting hairs, think of it as that generic sound; the one which was around during the prominence of Nu-Metal, but at the same time wasn’t quite Nu-Metal. The heavy distortion-based delivery combined with some synth and string arrangements, ambitious vocals and a general feel which H.I.M popularised amongst the eye-liner clad, side-parting fringe sporting ‘scene kid’/emo population.
This is a 7-track release which serves to tide over fans whilst simultaneously signaling the band’s intent in terms of musical direction. Fast paced in places, with heavy use of thick distorted chugging riffs and some intricate clean arrangements – not to mention some sporadic, yet fantastic melodic progressions – all ensure that the instrumental components are in place. It’s just the vocals which appear to let the recording down – a whiney, nasal sound overpowering a lot of what goes on behind it musically, distracting and detracting from what initially seemed like a good performance.
That being said, the seriousness and emotion in the delivery and the lyrics themselves show a band with a message and the right platform to get it across. They just lack the right voice to deliver it. ‘Wooden Box’ is a touching track about the horrors of armed conflict and war. The lyrics on this one hit close to home and if you can bite your lip and stomach the vocal delivery, you can see this song has a powerful message, one which is delivered to a rich and melodic backdrop, but one which could be even more powerful if the vocals were strong enough to carry it.
‘Poisoned Well’, which opens the release, seems to set the standard for sound and delivery (Wooden Box aside!) and from there it’s simply subpar, generic and lacking in several areas. The music doesn’t really pick up much. A few instances where the pace is switched up, some clever switches from distorted to clean and some interesting compositional approaches are in there, but nothing seems to really show off what this band could be capable of. For each well-crafted sequence, there’s a needless and ill-fitting fret-wanktastic solo shoehorned in like the square peg in the round hole. For each diverse progression or arrangement, there’s an ill-fitting vocal melody which renders it pointless.
Heroes may not ask why… But I am not a hero, and I find myself asking why repeatedly with regards to this one.
Sound Of A Broken Heart is out now, check it out via the usual outlets!