On 28 June 2019, a hard-rock trio from Jyväskylä known as UNKNOWN DECOY released their first and long-awaited EP, “Seeking the Sun,” via Inverse Records. The band is known for creating an experimental mix of old school rock ‘n’ roll and modern metal, where smashing guitar riffs go hand-in-hand with melody-driven singing. For many of us, this band is a new discovery, so the musicians have put a lot of effort and creativity into preparing their debut record, starting with the name of the EP. Vocalist and bass player Aaro Viitanen, guitarist Vilho Polamo, and drummer Saku Taittonen wanted to find a theme that would connect the five songs on the EP. It wasn’t an easy job, since “Seeking the Sun” wasn’t meant to be a concept album, but then the trio came up with the idea of “the sun” as a symbol of the destination and band’s goal to reach success. It can also be interpreted as a symbol of mental balance, solved problems, and happiness, or a metaphor for a nuclear explosion. So even though all five songs on the EP are quite different and not connected to each other, they are still united by common symbolism.
The first song, “Davaj!,” successfully sets the mood for the whole EP – it’s dynamic, powerful, and has a classic hard rock vibe. Shooting the “Davaj!” music video was also evidently quite an adventure. While driving around somewhere, the trio noticed a van that was in the Finnish movie “Hevi Reissu” standing in someone’s yard. Without wasting any time, they grabbed the instruments and let the camera roll. It turns out that shooting a music video in such a spontaneous way works pretty well. And of course, my Russian heart was melting whenever I heard the word “Davaj” or when the Lada car was mentioned in the song.
UNKNOWN DECOY show their love for metal in “Test Animal.” Thanks to the striking guitar riffs, this tune sounds heavier and more aggressive than “Davaj!” and “Praise the Sun” has become one of my personal favorites. Stylistically, this musical piece leans towards doom metal and seems to be inspired by IRON MAIDEN and early BLACK SABBATH. Here, the punchy and captivating guitar riffs by Vilho Polamo and the powerful singing of Aaro Viitanen create a perfect headbanging mixture. The band continues following the metal path in “The Men,” but unlike previous compositions, this song definitely refers to more modern metal due to its aggressive – even a bit electronic – sound and rapid tempo. UNKNOWN DECOY wrap up their debut EP with the “Flash,” another classic rock piece that has a small surprise in it – a beautiful accordion and violin solo played by the band’s high school friends Milja Naskali and Katariina Harjunen respectively. The waltz originally started as a joke, but then they decided to keep it and give the song more contrast by adding extra instruments, bringing a very authentic and unique sound to this song to make it stand out. It’s a perfect way to finish an EP, if you ask me.
On the whole, UNKNOWN DECOY have created a great-sounding EP that perfectly shows their genre preferences and what they can do in full force. The band masterfully mixes styles and creates a one-of-a-kind sound. The nontrivial approach to making music (or music videos) makes them sound fresh and different. This trio is not afraid to experiment, which is a good quality that many young musicians can utilize, as it gives them freedom and allows them to enjoy the process of creation and have fun… and isn’t that what music is all about?
Written by Victoria Korpun
- Test Animal
- Praise The Sun
- The Men
Aaro Viitanen – vocals/bass
Vilho Polamo – guitar
Saku Taittonen – drums