A Sound Here to Stay
Since their inception in 2007, hailing from the dark and bitterly cold city of Helsinki, Finland, Barren Earth has released three albums and one EP, and have just released their newest album On Lonely Towers.
Classifying themselves as Finnish melodic death metal, the band absolutely tears through this album in the most epic fashion. The first song on the album – an epic one minute and 25 second piano-based piece titled “From the Depths of Spring” – sets the stage for the massive riffs to follow. “Howl,” the second track on the album races out of the gate with a speedy riff and a spot on drum fill. Then that voice. The dark brooding growl from lead singer Jon Aldara, effortlessly turns into a soaring vocal. Very melodic, but remains true to the heaviness they’re trying to deliver.
“Forzen Processions,” the third song on the album shows a bit more of Barren Earth’s pop sensibility. Guitars riff away a la Iron Maiden, as Aldara’s vocals add a sense of a hook, which in the case of a melodic death metal record really can be a detriment. Not here though. Again, it’s delivered in just the right dose to not overtake the song. “A Shapeless Derelict,” the album’s fourth track, plays like a slow grind, a molasses-like groove with anvils, just a slow brooding tune. That is until you reach the five minute mark. By then the song battles its way from slow to fast and returns to the death metal vibe that Barren Earth is known for.
Dramatic melodic death metal isn’t your normal genre. But one can imagine that if that is your choice of music, you already own this record. It seems as though it defines a genre. But don’t take my word for it. Just know that melodic death metal from Finland is alive and well, and will hopefully be there to stay for years to come.