AMORPHIS vocalist Tomi Jousten has become a household name within the metal sphere. Given his brilliant vocal style, it’s easy to see why. This versatile vocal work can be heard on upcoming offering The Broad And Beaten Way from Finnish Metallers SINISTHRA. As most of us know, Finland is a brilliant breeding ground for household names within metal. Judging from the mesmerising music on this record, SINISTHRA could easily join this list of legends.
Album opener Eterne gets straight to the point with a blast from the guitars and an atmospheric instrumental piece. As most of us know, the album opener is either supposed to hit us with a bang or be enough to pique our interest to want to listen to the rest of the album. It’s fair to say that Eterne does a bit of both. It comes down with a bang but also gets our curiosity going.
Closely Guarded Distance is the longest track on the album. Thing with long tracks, they have to have enough elements that work well together to keep the listener interested. With the case of this track, they definitely succeed within this department. Tomi Jousten is one of my personal favourite vocalists and this track showcases his vocal work brilliantly. He has bold tones against the distortion and brutality. He has delicate tones during the quieter sections of the track.
The transition from Closely Guarded Distance to Halfway To Somewhere Else seems abrupt but that’s not a bad thing. In this case, it works as Halfway To Somewhere Else has a different vibe going on. A more chilled out and mind-numbing vibe. The song lives up to its title. It makes you feel numb to everything else but this track is your soul focus. The guitar work is excellent here, the contrast between mellow and bold is brilliant. Markku Mäkinen and Marko Välimäki’s provide us with brilliant riffs and solos.
Morningfrail is an unusual yet interesting track. When contrasting two clear opposites, it can either work wonders or fail miserably. With the case of Morningfrail, it triumphs massively. The track starts off quietly, it’s just Tomi’s mesmerising vocalsand keyboardist Timo Vainio’s stunning melodies to begin with. Completely stripped down. The moment I started to wonder if this is what the rest of the track would sound like, the heaviness drops in. These two contrasting volumes work together well to create a soaring track that will take your mind away for a few moments.
The transition between Morningfrail and Safe In The Arms Of Everlasting Now is so smooth that you could mistake it for one track. Safe In The Arms Of Everlasting Now has similar vibes to Halfway To Somewhere Else, but not so much where they sound completely the same that it’s hard to tell the tracks apart. Markku and Marko’s versatile guitar work between mellow and bold can be heard in this track.
The album closes with Ephemeral. For those who don’t know, the definition of ephemeral means lasting a short time. So, this track can be interpreted in many different ways. It’s a beautiful track that keeps up the intriguing sounds I have heard on this record. One that leaves me wondering what I have experienced and leaves me hankering for more.
SINISTHRA are not a band you can put in just one sub-genre box; they have their own thing going on and this album is solid proof of this. They appeal to fans of both sides of the metal spectrum. The Broad And Beaten Way isn’t just an album, it’s an insightful journey that every metal head should experience.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
The Broad And Beaten Way comes out tomorrow via Rockshot Records.
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