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Halysis - Cerulean

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 13 July 2020, 11:07 AM

Formed in 2015 in Finland, HALYSIS release their debut album here, titled “Cerulean.” There is very little info about this band available on the WWW, so we need to just get to the music here. “Echoes” leads off the album. It’s a short two-minute mood setting piece. Dark and mysterious tones lead the charge here, followed by charming acoustical guitars…despondence abounds. I have always maintained that there is beauty in the darkness. “Fatefalls” is heavy and aggressive out of the gate, with some fanciful lead guitar work. The vocals are clean at first, with melodies in the background. “Modern Metal” can be a cue for Metalcore, which is basically what we have here. Harsh vocals mix in…anguished screams.

“Temple of Endless Skies” is a quick three-and-a-half-minute burner, registering on the heavy side of the genre. Harsh vocals lead the charge this time, with again some advanced lead guitar work. The leads dance over the bed of heavy, charged rhythms. “Arbiter” features some nice opening lead guitars and bass work. The song has more cleans than harsh vocals, and a bit of melancholy. These Fins are quite good at building guitar harmonies. “Celestial Vortex” features Haikonen’s bass quite well. He is talented and can really work around the guitars. The vocals are harsh and raging here. I like the sound they have developed here. It’s sad and angry at the same time.

“Ephemeral” is just over six-minutes in length. It opens with clean vocals and some dexterous guitar and bass work. The drummer is no slouch either, keeping a varied rhythm along the way. The clean vocal chorus is depressing but the harsh vocals keep it edgy. “Luminous” opens with lead guitar melodies and solid structure. One thing that I will say is that the clean vocals need a little improvement…they are too “down” sounding, and don’t really provide an element of energy as they should. The despondent style however is worthy of mentioning. I get that is what they are going for. “Frailty” makes good use of handy guitar work out of the gate. The twin guitarists here are talented for sure. This track is very well put together, and the tightness of which the band performs is on full display.

“Animus” is another, super-tight track, and this album seems to improve with each passing track. The guitar solo is a real burner to boot. I think the band does better with these harsher, more angry songs than the clean vocal passages. Just my opinion. “Nocturnal Fall” is a much shorter and more intense song. It rages on the low E chord in the beginning and then branches out from there, with clean vocals in the chorus, still with that sadness I mentioned before. The title track closes the album, slowly at first, with deep spoken words that warn of something to come. It has a similar sound to some of the early tracks, with the sad clean vocal passages, followed by moments of rage with the harsh vocals.

For a debut album, it’s pretty solid. Where the band sets themselves apart from the thousands of others in the genre is their musicianship. You don’t often get as high a level in the genre here. They play like a well-oiled machine that have been together for much longer than they actually have. The guitar work is fantastic, as are the harsh vocals. The clean vocals however need a little work. They are just too doleful for my tastes. But, give these guys some attention, because with this level of musicianship, they are poised to release a real banger in the future.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Echoes
2. Fatefalls
3. Temple of Endless Skies
4. Arbiter
5. Celestial Vortex
6. Ephemeral
7. Luminous
8. Frailty
9. Animus
10. Nocturnal Fall
11. Cerulean
Samuel Arola – Drums/Vocals
Santeri Salminen – Guitars
Jose Pynnönen – Guitars
Santeri Haikonen – Bass
Record Label: Independent


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