FEATURED SINGLE: Dhrona – Nozomi

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If I’m being frank, I’m not sure what DHRONA is. Is it a band? A project? A collaborative essence? You know what, it doesn’t really matter, because what they’ve shared so far – a collaborative song called “Nozomi” that features two of Finland’s most notorious Japan-lovers: Mikael Salo (EVERFROST, THY ROW, METAL DE FACTO) and Jouni Valjakka (WHISPERED) is quite tasty enough that who or what they are doesn’t matter.

I wasn’t initially going to write this song up. I feel a bit like a broken record doing features for all of Mikael Salo‘s collaborations. But what can I say? If every one is better than the last, it’s hard not to want to get hyped about it. The vocal melodies in this track are perhaps some of the best I’ve heard from him yet, with a great deal of tenderness and range displayed, and without any degree of repetition – it’s always stylishly ever-changing, yet tastefully done. Oh, but even better, this time he’s paired up with Jouni friggin’ Valjakka, who is one of Finland’s true not-quite-sung-enough composers, especially known for his Japanese flavor. Truly, this is a collaboration that is a thousand years too late, so a big thanks to DHRONA for helping this happen.

Musically too, this is one of the coolest songs I’ve heard so far this year. The folk flavor is present without being a dominating feature of the song – it’s no stronger than any guitar riff, creating a really unusual blend that works beautifully. The piano parts are à la Tuomas Holopainen in the more instrumental parts (think NIGHTWISH‘s “The Greatest Show on Earth”) and it’s epic thanks to its strong dynamics, without being cheesy. Naturally, Jouni Valjakka‘s contribution is strongly present throughout, which is a big part of the great sound as well. If you’ve been feeling like you haven’t heard a good progressive, folkish epic recently, this is definitely a track to check out!