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EgoKills - Mellowhead

by Jon Conant at 11 June 2018, 10:35 AM

Finland is pretty much known as the land of metal, often being cited for having the highest number of metal bands per capita out of any country. So it’s no surprise they’re also the ones who pump out some of the newest, most original, and weirdest metal out there. Enter EGOKILLS, self described “hippie metal” out of Tampere, with their 3rd full length album “Mellowhead”. It’s the most wild combination of metal/folk/rock/grunge/blues that I have ever heard. With a disappointingly lackluster level of production value to match, it truly just feels like a bunch of hippie dudes from Finland who are jamming together. At times this can be boring and/or tiresome, but for the most part the vibe and sound actually succeed pretty well. The verses are groovy and driven by a strong guitar and drum presence crafting the melodies and often djent styled rhythms, and the choruses in particular showcase the unique and catchy lead vocals, with melodies that are often quite catchy. The vocals are almost entirely cleans, but lead vocalist Janne Selo often incorporates the occasional half scream and plenty of scratchy vocals with a classic grunge rock feel.

Opener “Nibiru” kind of throws you for a loop. It’s much more rock oriented, has lots more proggy experimentation, and generally has a more upbeat and grunge feel. But immediately into track 2 “Hollow Promises”, the ultimate sound of the album is established, which is a much more metal feel. This was surprising to me following “Nibiru”, suddenly the album becomes quite a bit heavier than expected. “Hollow Promises” begins with an immediate and pulsating metal riff that is a complete 180 from the previous track. Then, into the first verse, they djent. They literally DJENT. Amazing. A seriously catchy chorus kicks in, and suddenly we have a very complete track with immediate variety. The trend continues throughout the entire album until closer “Karmageddon”, the most chill track on the album.

Despite the classic rock opener and mellow closer, “Mellowhead” is surprisingly metal album through and through, albeit one that is heavily folk rock and grunge influenced. It truly is: hippie metal. I gotta say, I’m feeling it. Lots of songs with more relaxed melodies and catchy choruses interlaced throughout, and plenty of proggy experimentation, but not without plenty of heavy chugging moments. And yes, even djent. Which I fucking love to be certain. Aside from “Hollow Promises”, “Evolve” and “P.D.M.” are the heaviest and chunkiest songs on the record with those awesome djent vibes. “Evolve” is particularly fantastic boasting an epic chorus to match the heavier sound.

If you’re down to try something new and are open to all the exciting possibilities contemporary metal has to offer, give “Mellowhead” a try. You’ll probably enjoy it.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 9
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Nibiru
2. Hollow Promises
3. White Flags
4. Evolve
5. Dysfunctional
6. P.D.M.
7. Mellowhead
8. Karmageddon
Janne Selo - Vocals
Niko Viita-aho - Guitar
Paavo Pekkonen - Guitar
Mika Pusa - Bass
Vilho Rajala - Drums
Record Label: My Fate Music


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Edited 05 June 2020

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