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Pressure Points – The Island Award winner

Pressure Points
The Island
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 01 March 2023, 9:29 AM

From their EPK, “PRESSURE POINTS is a Melodic Metal act founded in Heinola (Finland) in 2004. Its music has been described as exceptional in the field of Melodic and Progressive Metal, blending many different styles with a strong sense of melody combined with innovative and dynamic constructions.” Their newest album her has seven songs, and “Our Constellation” is the first. The electronic beat is jovial, and melodies flow from both clean and harsh vocals. Progressive elements come through as well, mostly in the way the meter is created. The backbone of the song is as strong as concrete, yet it sways back and forth with a fluidity. This is some highly creative music.

“So Ordinary” is another eccentric offering. The vocals are smooth like butter, but the music backing it is dark and brooding. The music chugs forth with heavy accents while the background fades back and forth between grey and black. This is definitely one of the more unique albums that I have heard this year. “Two Moons” begins with piano notes as tense tones slowly fill in the blanks. Harsh vocals roll in and the song takes a darker turn, but those charming piano notes are still there. The heavy, aggressive elements are nearly bested by the melodies. The listener will need to decide which takes the higher ground. The sound does a little gear shift after the half-way mark, where more bright light comes forth, and the ending is gorgeous.

“Leaves on the Road” is a straight-up more melodic song, with a more straightforward sound, yet there are still unconventional chord progressions, almost like those that you might hear on an OPETH album. Trying to definitively catch the vibe here is almost like wading through the fog to catch a glimpse of the beyond. It’s uncanny. “The Night Inside” is another oddly pleasing song. It chugs forward with both a heavy and melodic sound, seemingly flying under the radar until the half-way mark, when it dips its feet into a pool of oddly colored water. Something radiates up through you, and you begin to feel strange. A battle ensues in your body between good and evil, with neither side gaining a foot on the other. The lead guitar parts are very well-done, and they tease on the melody line.

“Collateral” is another seemingly straightforward song, until you turn it sideways, and look between the cracks. Patterns are shifting and developing so fast that your mind can’t comprehend what you are seeing. The jovial groove is as deep as a mountain gorge, and the band performs with absolute confidence. The title track closes the album. Firm, staccato accents shift below bed of dark melodies, and the clean vocals are playful at first. The song grows increasingly more complex, yet those melodies shine like a beacon through black storm clouds. This epic has bits of everything. The ending is almost surreal with its overflow of these white beams of light.

One of the toughest challenges on a complex album like this is finding enough fans who can relate to the music, or connect with the music. However, as an avid lover of Progressive Music, I found this album to be outstanding, and completely unique. OPETH is about the closest comparison that I could find to the band. It has been a number of years since their last release, yet they have clearly take steps forward in the Progressive genre. Wondrous melodies combine so well with the aggressive backbone of the music. These Fins have really pushed the boundaries of the genre with this release.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Our Constellation
2. So Ordinary
3. Two Moons
4. Leaves on the Road
5. The Night Inside
6. Collateral
7. The Island
Juha Tretjakov – Lead Vocals
Kari Olli – Guitars & Vocals
Janne Parikka – Bass
Veli-Matti Kyllönen – Keyboards
Vili Auvinen – Drums
Record Label: Art Gates Records


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