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Solution 13 – Chapters From Private Hell

Solution 13
Chapters From Private Hell
by Paul LaPlaca at 28 September 2021, 6:36 AM

If there were 12 previous solutions, I’m going to be pretty skeptical that the 13th is going to work. I’m an asshole, I know. These guys have been around for a while, going back to 2000 and they have some pro-level experience when it comes to band members resumes (former SENTENCED bassist) but to be honest, I’m not crazy about this. The music is pretty cool, I’m digging the raw, grungy, sound paired with some really tight interplay between the guitar chugging and kick drums. I’m getting some VELVET REVOLVER, METALLICA, and DANZIG albeit in small doses. Production is raw and unpolished without sounding amateur hour. Songwriting is pretty tight too, there are some nice hooks and decent writing.

I just can’t get past the vocals. RISTO STENROOS has a style that sounds like he’s gargling yoghurt, kind of a hard rock LOUIS ARMSTRONG. Only MARINO FROST is allowed to do this! His approach feels highly affected and like he’s trying way too hard to sound HARD. You don’t notice it until track 4., “Never Unbroken” which begins with a gentle acoustic intro and the vocals are more reminiscent of GEOFF TATE than CC BANANA (RIP). Track 8., “Tortured Son” is a real standout track. Full of dynamics and textural shifts, it takes you on a real journey. Here is where STENROOS sounds the most sincere. The clean sections have him singing from the heart, not trying to push a sound or style, just singing.

“What I Need” kicks off with a nod to “Colony” era IN FLAMES with dual guitar harmonies. It’s a duet with some female vocalist, I couldn’t find her listed anywhere and it’s not a great performance. The melodies are all over the place and make little sense until you get to the chorus and even then it feels like it was written by some cheese-eating high-school boy. “Turn To Dust” closes the album with a surprise, sort of bluesy shuffle- it’s almost American Southern Rock. Again, vocals are on point when he isn’t doing the gargle thing.

Overall, this band has the musical chops to be really good. I think an outside producer who would really shake things up in terms of guiding the vocalist to a more honest approach would really benefit this group, tweaking the songwriting a bit to elevate the lyrics and polishing the mix and master. It really just feels like an unfinished demo at this point but one with huge potential.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. My Private Hell
2. When the Night Falls Down
3. Sweet Surrender
4. Never Unbroken
5. My Civil War
6. I Don’t Believe in Miracles
7. Storm
8. Tortured Son
9. What I Need
10. Turn to Dust
Lineup:
Risto Stenroos – Vocals
Petri Sääskö   – Guitar
Sami Kukkohovi – Bass
Tarmo Kanerva – Drums
Record Label: WormHoleDeath Productions
     


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