If you love Japan, the unique sound of shamisen, or power metal, hopefully you’ve heard of RETRO FUTURE, or at least Mikael Salo. Yes, that’s right, Finland’s most up-and-coming local vocalist is back once more, doing guest vocals on a new collaborative single by RETRO FUTURE, who are working on global online music creations! This track, entitled “Heavy Rain,” is their fifth release, which came out on April 15th, 2021.
So what does Salo add to the band’s retro-futuristic sound mix? Why, nothing less than his full range of passion, his wide range of vocal skills (and his generally impressive range, which includes not only sharp cleans, but also some grit and grunge as needed), and his general charm and charisma. Every project he takes on, he makes it his own, so I can see why so many projects and bands are lining up to work with him. Furthermore, we get an extra taste of EVERFROST in that keyboardist and founder Benji Connelly did the production of the song via his company, Duskswitch Studio. Credit where due, as the song is nicely balanced – clearly the man knows what he’s doing.
However, the locals aren’t the only ones adding some flare to the track. One of the biggest highlights of the song is the use of Japanese folk instruments, such as the shamisen, to add a folky flavor to what is otherwise, admittedly, a bit of a standard-sounding SONATA ARCTICA-y power metal melody. As well, the song also features the talents of guests Rahadiyan Harris and Rina Hoshino on guitar and bass respectively, allow each of them to bring a bit of their own style into the track. The song also boasts a positive message in the lyrics. So even though the melody is a bit too familiar, the addition of all the unique and wonderful elements makes it delightful regardless of this minor criticism.
So, if global collaborations, heavy metal supergroups, or Japanese folk music are up your alley, this is definitely a track to check out and probably throw on a few playlists here and there! Also, be sure to check out their channel and the songs that came before!