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Laurenne Louhimo - The Reckoning

Laurenne Louhimo
The Reckoning
by Chris Hicklin at 05 October 2021, 1:19 PM

It’s a good time for fans of Melodic and Power Metal, the genres have never been stronger, and female fronted bands are also performing better than those in other areas of Rock and Metal. Here we have the latest offering from Finland, pitting the lead vocals of two of the country’s most exciting metal bands in BATTLE BEAST and SMACKBOUND against each other, or perhaps more fairly put, uniting them in a vocal marriage. Like the bands they hail from, the sound is rooted in powerful melody, but the lyrics have a more contemporary feel, giving this more of a traditional Heavy Metal edge.

“Time To Kill the Night” starts the album off with a classic sounding Heavy Metal riff, I’d love to tell you who played it, but it seems to be some sort of secret as the names of any other participating musicians, or who played what, are not mentioned anywhere on the release notes or the band’s website or Facebook. Nonetheless, it is immediately clear that a very talented selection of artists has been put together and the two vocalists sound excellent together.

Second is the title track of the album “The Reckoning,” this is deceptively short track that manages to pack a lot of punch into a small package, with an acoustic intro followed by a crunching Hard Rock riff, multi-layered back vocals, a great tune to sing to, and a superb guitar solo. Conventionally structured, the song makes good use of a complex chord sequence that is unique to the guitar solo, that then leads into a clever middle eight that introduces some soaring vocals, before exploding again for the final verse. Hard to believe they packed all of that into less than three minutes.

“Tongue of Dirt” treats us to another stunning guitar solo, and the lyrics are interesting, sounding like an angry vengeful person promising a comeuppance for their enemy, and with lyrics like “We will praise the day you hit your knees, pay for your deceit, That's how sweet revenge feels to me” you believe them.
“Bitch Fire” is the first single from the album, and one that represents the best qualities of the band well. Led off by a great drum intro, this is fast and exciting stuff with a killer groove to the guitars. The rhythm section work is superb, and the song is a furious lament to the hopeless inadequacies of humans. They sound really pissed off, and rightly so.

Bringing us back down to earth is the first proper ballad of the album “Hurricane Love,” eschewing the raucous guitars, for a gentle keyboard led sound, we have plucked violins, piano, and some soul-searching vocals. It’s a very well-built song from a production view, many layered sounds create a relaxed soundscape that sounds great on headphones. The song writing on this one is more predictable though; I’m probably not going to be singing it in my head tonight.

“Viper’s Kiss” brings us into more traditional softer Rock, coming off a bit like HEART, with those big choruses and harmonised guitars.  “Walk Through Fire” is back to something much heavier, this is a very strong track for the rhythm section, the drums are excellent in this track, pounding double bass pedal work is punctuated by intricate percussion breaks and the bass fires off like a machine gun, all while the guitars swerve wildly from groove riffing to highly fluid STEVE VAI like soloing, this guitarist has a very large musical vocabulary. It’s got a bit of everything, thoroughly entertaining stuff.

Last up is the Eastern inspired “Dancers of Truth”, easily the longest track on the album it’s a sprawling epic that covers a lot of ground. Featuring some of the only growling vocals on the album, the song moves effortlessly from light to dark and back again and has an almost operatic feel to it in places as it climbs to new heights of complex composition.

The production on this album is excellent, and indeed it would have to be as you simply cannot half-arse production in this genre, each instrument has its own space, and the vocals are crisp and clear. The song writing is strong throughout with lots of memorable melodies and interesting structures, and the musicianship never less than awe inspiring. It is going to appeal to any fans of the original bands these singers are from, but also to fans of bands like UNLEASH THE ARCHERS, as well as lovers of traditional Heavy Metal like SABBATH or MAIDEN and progressive hard rockers like DEEP PURPLE.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Time to Kill the Night
2. The Reckoning
3. Tongue of Dirt
4. Striking Like a Thunder
5. Bitch Fire
6. Hurricane Love
7. To the Wall
8. Viper's Kiss
9. Walk Through Fire
10. Dancers of Truth
Netta Laurenne - Vocals
Noora Louhimo - Vocals
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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