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Suotana - Land of the Ending Time

Suotana
Land of the Ending Time
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 16 July 2018, 7:08 AM

SUOTANA is a Finnish Melodic Death Metal band that are unleashing their third full length, “Land of the Ending Time,” onto us.  Even if I had not mentioned it, their sound would probably give away their country of origin.  Much like fellow Finns WINTERSUN and CHILDREN OF BODOM, their sound is a frozen mesh of higher pitched Death vocals, melodic guitars that border on Power Metal, epic keys, and faster paced songs. And there isn’t a damn thing wrong with that. If anything, they are carrying the flag forward. WINTERSUN continues to go more Prog and COB get heavier as they go so it is actually nice to hear a sound that hearkens back to the frozen melodies of the late 90’s/early 2000’s.

Alku,” is a short but sweet intro that focuses on clean keys and some light symphonic elements.  It leads perfectly into “Troutrace,” which begins with some quick drum attacks before the lighting fast riffs kick in. Ville and Pasi play with quick fingers, echoing early BODOM of course but also some of the faster moments of Power Metal bands like LABYRINTH and fellow Finns STRATOVARIUS.   The highlight of the song is the unique keyboard solo from Tommi who clearly knows his way around the keys.  I appreciate that much of the time he doesn’t go overboard in adding extra elements the band does need—he uses a lot of clean key strokes and the solos are never out of place.

The third track, “Sorrowl” is blanketed with both symphonic and clean keys that introduce the track.  It comes to a stop for bassist HARRI to shine through before some slick riffs rip the song open.  Tuomo’s vocals are suprisingly catchy here; he has a high pitched shriek that throws in some low end growls here and there.  It isn’t Black Metal but he definitely has some venom to his voice and his vocal patterns are placed well. “Thousands of Forests,” is almost immediately impressive.  The guitars are impressively tight, showcase speed, melody, and heaviness all at once.  When Tuomo says, “GO!” the song really picks up with some brutal low growls and the entire band jamming out.  The last minute and a half is a splattering of bass and keys taking over and then melodic guitar solos appearing before the song suddenly ends with screams and those fast played notes.

The next track, “Autumn Awaits,” has clean guitars and simple keyboard sounds before the distortion kicks in with a jaunty cascade of riffs and keys battling out for your attention.  The whole song is great but towards the end the keys and guitars become one melodic metal beast that really goes all out with imaginative atmosphere. “Mission Suicide,” is the album’s highlight.  It is the longest track and it packs a whole lot of different stuff into it.  The beginning is immediately attention grabbing.  The drums are furious, a nonstop battering ram at times.  The guitar solo is full of emotion and the accompanying clean guitar and keyboards afterwards are icing on this frozen cake. If you miss the early stuff of CHILDREN OF BODOM or are tired of waiting for SKYFIRE to release a new full length, this is the album you have been wanting and waiting to hear.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Alku
2. Troutrace
3. Sorrowl
4. Into The Ice
5. Thousands of Forests
6. Autumn Awaits
7. Wolfchasers
8. Mission Suicide
9. Land of the Ending Time
Lineup:
Tuomo Marttinen – Vocals
Ville Rautio – Guitars
Pasi Portaankorva – Guitars
Tommi Neitola – Keyboards
Harri Portimo – Bass
Rauli Juopperi – Drums
Record Label: Reaper Music
     


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