2019 has come to an end. Whether this year has been a great success to you or a complete disaster, it’s undeniable that throughout these 365 days a lot of brilliant music was released. 2019 was one of the biggest years for metal in quite a while with a couple of long-promised new records that we have been looking forward to for years.
Tuonela Magazine‘s staff took a look at all the releases, and each member of the staff choose their favorite ones for each category. Given our focus on young bands and rising stars, we also want to share several talents from the Finnish metal scene that have managed to capture our attention within the past year. We refer to these bands as local bands, even though some of these bands are growing incredibly fast. Think of them as the most promising acts the Finnish metal scene hosts. These are the five albums of such bands that managed to capture the attention of our staff the most.
5. Ikinä – Milleniaalin itsehoito-opas epävarmaan elämään
IKINÄ have definitely raised the bar with this second album, moving on to a more experimental direction. The hybrid experiment can sometimes feel forced, which ruins the whole drive behind it, but IKINÄ seems to have figured out how to blend styles as it comes naturally for them. (JDB)
4. Palehørse – Palehørse
Overall, I’m so happy that I got the opportunity to get introduced to PALEHØRSE band because of Tuska. What I was most impressed about in this album is the vocal performances, and just how diverse they were. It often reminds me of how great of a singer DEVIN TOWNSEND is and how he easily manages to blend in his peculiar styles in his music. Musically the band reminds me of alternative rock acts such as QUEEN OF STONE AGE, but with a bit more progressive elements in their music. It feels often like the instrumental parts of the songs are a bit nostalgic in that way, but it’s the vocals that definitely lift them up to the next level. With their debut album, PALEHØRSE is hitting all the marks! This album will end up high on my list of top 2019 albums from Finland. (LT)
Read more: Palehørse – Palehørse (Review)
3. Everfrost – Winterider
“Winterider” is not only written fantastically, but it also shows the talent of skilled musicians, great vocal delivery by Mikael Salo, often groovy bass lines by Allan C Hassanen (and Atso Kukkavuori who also has contributed to the bass lines on this album), pounding drum sections along with outrageous blast beats by Jope Salminen, outstanding guitar work by Markus Laito, and great choirs adding depth to the songs. (LT)
2. Metal De Facto – Imperium Romanum
With organic and edgy production, the heavily guitar-oriented tracks come across as nostalgic, but at the same time manage to keep a modern identity. METAL DE FACTO has managed to give us one of the best power metal releases of the year, nay decade! So, put on your finest tunic or your most precious toga, raise a cup of the tastiest wine to Jupiter, listen to his token of appreciation in the form of “Imperium Romanum” and awaken your inner true Roman legionnaire! (LT)
1. Wheel – Moving Backwards
Throughout these seven tracks, WHEEL managed to draw me in with a set of strong and unique moments in every song, ensuring that you don’t lose focus in any of their songs, even the longer ones. “Moving Backwards” is explorative in every meaning of the word, it reaches new heights, it delves into controversial political topics, and hunts for inventive sounds altogether such as the beautiful rhythmic sections in “Skeletons”. On top of that, the album has an outstanding production, where I definitely am a fan of how well-balanced the album sounds like, and of course, the drums. I can only conclude with the fact that “Moving Backwards” is an album that needs to be listened to. It’s not the kind of album that you listen to once or twice and then get the big picture. Every minute you listen to this album you will explore new details in the layered songs, it will take some time to sink in, but the songs will stick with you. (LT)