REVIEW: From Grotto – Monuments of Our Time


FROM GROTTO are a local psychedelic rock band from Helsinki, who released a self-titled debut in 2017, before they were tasked with making a (magnificent, if I may say) soundtrack for the critically-acclaimed video game, Noita. After releasing these soundtracks in 2019, 2020, and 2022, the band have finally found some time to write some more material of their own, culminating in an album called “Monuments of Our Time,” which is set for independent release on September 1st, 2023.

Though the band’s own material and the material featuring Niilo Takalainen from the Noita soundtracks has always shared a lot of features, this newer album certainly retained a lot of the mystical nature from Noita, which is definitely a good thing. This can be heard right away in the first track, “Wildfire,” which has an extremely mystical, psychedelic vibe right off the bat. Worth noting, as well, the band had a singer on their original album, who was probably the main reason I couldn’t enjoy the release more than I did… I had kept wishing it had been an instrumental album. The vocals are nowadays done by both Antti Pasonen and Riku Hyötyläinen, and are a definite, immediate improvement over the past. Already by “Shigir,” we hear some different vocal production styles, with the vocals in “Wildfire” sounding echoey and infused with that mystical sound, while the vocals in “Shigir” are less totally-washed-out by effects, yet nevertheless still infused with psychedelic vibes. It seems to be different in every track!

“I Remember Summer” is a very chill, laid-back groove-out that is, frankly, perfect for an album coming out on the first day of September. The synth trills layered over all sorts of gentle funky sounds are magnificent. “Turso” seems to be named after a sea monster/war god from the Kalevala (the same one from which the band TURISAS derived their name), with lyrics in-keeping with that theme. The tune is pretty psychedelic jazz, which is a completely fun and new take for me, as someone very used to hearing about this stuff almost exclusively from metal music.

Speaking of songs with interesting names, we then reach “Discovery of a Tear,” which dances a little closer to classic psych rock, but still with that distinct flowing, jamming vibe that these guys do so well in their music. “Das Boot” takes a more ominous, lurking turn, which made me wonder how I knew that term (you know, aside from when it’s briefly referenced in a later season of HIMYM). I couldn’t say if the song relates to the novel or any of its accolades, as it doesn’t sound like a war-song, atmospherically. It’s a fully instrumental track, a little danker in mood, but still fits very well into the overall album feel.

“Dandelion Tea” stands out for its stylish use of saxophone, as well as the strange, trippy vocal inclusions, asking if you’d like more dandelion tea – dandelion tea isn’t a psychedelic substance, but this song sure makes it seem like it is. There must surely be an interesting story behind that one! The album then wraps up with “The Unfolded Eye,” which has more vocals than most tracks up front, as well as a shifty sound that brings me back to a few Noita tracks, but in less of a soundscape-y way. However, it doesn’t sound like a Noita OST song on the whole, but rather a journey through a multitude of sonic soundscapes, with all sorts of fun, fiddly little moments and great instrumental parts to enjoy.

On the whole, “Monuments of Our Time” is an awesome step forward for FROM GROTTO and shows a metric shit-ton of growth and development of their style. Not only do they sound brilliant, but they’re finding fun ways to work with vocals and are expanding their style and sound magnificently. If mystical psychedelic rock is in any way your jam, you should definitely check this album out on September 1st when it’s released!

Written by Bear Wiseman


  1. Wildfire
  2. Shigir
  3. I Remember Summer
  4. Turso
  5. Discovery of a Tear
  6. Das Boot
  7. Dandelion Tea
  8. The Unfolded Eye


Antti Pasonen – guitars, vocals
Riku Hyötyläinen – bass, vocals, flute, synths
Pekka Takalainen – drums, percussions, synths


Independent (Rohto Records)