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Warmen - First Of The Five Elements Award winner

First Of The Five Elements
by YngwieViking at 04 November 2014, 12:29 AM

This side-project lead by Janne Warman (Keyboardist of CHILDREN OF BODOM / ex-MASTERPLAN fame) and his young brother Antti (NO MAN’S LAND) on Lead Guitar, is among the most underrated act of the Finnish Metal history, the misconception and the narrow minded people are guilty of this fact. This kind of demanding music isn’t for everyone that’s for sure, however it stand as one of the most creative and eminent bunch of talented musicians with audacious and ambitious goals, clearly a breath of fresh air in the sometime sclerotic Panorama of Modern music business full of mediocrity.

The Warman brothers are, of course, at the helm of this album, but the remaining recording members are also in a very prominent situation, those virtuosos musicans are more than gifted, notably the newbie bass player, Jyri Helko, who deliver a fat slab of overdriven-heavy-bass licks, nevertheless the real-wonderful-awards goes to Pasi Rantanen (STRIKE / THUNDERSTONE / ex-REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE). This incredible and ultra skilled vocalist, is an experienced singer, well known in his native Finland, a voice immensely attractive, full of abilities with an impressive range and an easy access in the transmission of emotions.

After the first instrumental, the thrilling “Intromental”, and his alternate frenzy switching between Keys and Guitar solos and right away the amazing track “The Race” -with his brilliant riffage and the ultra fast syncronized unison fills-(in the great Malmsteenian's legacy) and the even more brilliant vocal line, so typical of Scandinavian Metal : it’s already easy to predict a complete triumph…Indeed!

“The Red Letter” featuring for the first time, Jonna Geagea, is also quite interesting displaying a slow groove, with a discret but solid vocal performance by Miss Geagea and yet as always some superb fistful of technical playing by the boys!

“Ruler Of Your World” mark the big return of THUNDERSTONE’s front man Pasi Rantanen in a sonic bang, with a high-speed pace, a sharp riff above an atmospheric keys and another sublime vocal parts in the DIO's heritage with a superb solos spots by Jyri/Janne/Anti.

Built around a fierce barrage of Thrash riffage with Alexis Laiho as guest-vocal on “Suck My Attitude” obviously it sounds pretty much like C.O.B. with maybe a more adventurous method like the great idea in the dissonant chords in the chorus, it was chosen as first excerpt to introduce the album.

“When Worlds Collide” & “Devil In Disguise” are conceptualized in the same schema fat guitar introduction with ultra dark verse where Pasi can display all his talent, a nice progression and a very classy melody in the chorus and of course plenty of Shredding fury in the middle, the fans of NARNIA/AT VANCE and Co will love those pieces!

The title track is a hell of a Neo-Classical instrumental, with still a strong Keyboard/Harpsichord presence but more surprising an even stronger Bass dominance with also a Drum solo break provided by Mirka Rantanen (ex-THUNDERSTONE / ex-TUNNELVISION / ex-KOTIPELTO)!

The Metallized version of “Like A Virgin” is ok, I mean that it’s funny but I think the trick is a little worn out after their early renditions of "Separate Ways" by JOURNEY/ "Black Cat" by J. Jackson and most of all ROCKWELL's "Somebody's Watching Me" with Alexis…The surprise FX don't work anymore.

Back to a more serious mood with a couple of cut celebrating the Heavy Metal orthodoxy, “Anger” is very comparable to TAROT and then “Human Race” is even more exalted, designed in the classic Steel mode, once again the vocals of Pasi Rantanen are the asset of those songs and clearly the stupefaction of the whole disc. Closing number is another fun track, the Poppy ALICE COOPER's "Man Behind The Mask" showing Alexis Laiho (CHILDREN OF BODOM / SINERGY) struggling with the singing but a nice relaxed way to conclude this demanding disc.

This fifth album was self financed thru a hyper successful Pledge campaign and I was one of the many contributors, proudly I stand and I’m particulary glad to be a tiny part of this glorious adventure with the WARMEN.

4 Star Rating

1. Intromental
2. The Race (Feat. Pasi Rantanen)
3. The Red Letter (Feat. Jonna Geagea)
4. Ruler Of Your World (Feat. Pasi Rantanen)
5. Suck My Attitude (Feat. Alexi Laiho)
6. When Worlds Collide (Feat. Pasi Rantanen)
7. First Of The Five Elements
8. Devil In Disguise (Feat. Pasi Rantanen)
9. Like A Virgin – Madonna Cover (Feat. Jonna Geagea)
10. Anger (Feat. Pasi Rantanen)
11. Human Race (Feat. Pasi Rantanen)
12. Man Behind The Mask – Alice Cooper Cover (Feat. Alexi Laiho)
Pasi Rantanen - Lead Vocals
Mirka Rantanen - Drums
Antti Warman - Guitars
Janne Warman - Keyboards
Jyri Helko - Bass
Alexi Laiho - Guest Vocals
Jonna Geagea - Guest Vocals
Record Label: Spinefarm Records


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Edited 27 June 2019

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