REVIEW: Tocornal – Before The Satellites


Tocornal, a band hailing from Kuopio, plays heartbreak rock. A genre that they invented themselves due to their lyrical themes. Even though the band is currently unsigned, that has not stopped them from performing over a hundred shows from small pubs to the festival’s stages in Finland and abroad. The band was originally formed in 2015 but started to get the ball rolling in 2016. Tocornal is releasing their debut album “Before The Satellites” on 2 November 2018. 

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“Before The Satellites” opens with an atmospheric intro where we get immediately introduced to the sometimes powerful, sometimes fragile voice of Lotta Ruutiainen. The soundscape then evolves in “Violent Waters”, which is also the band’s latest single. A straightforward, addictive song with hard rock fueled riffs and epic solos. “Desperado” is a short Western inspired stoner intro that leads up to the softer “Aftermath”, which shows a completely different side of the band. The song is groovier, towards the chorus a bit more aggressive in the vocal lines and again, very catchy. It’s the type of song that gets you moving. “Life Goals” starts with a funky guitar intro, combined with fitting vocals. So far, the songs have proven to be very versatile, taking influences from different musical genres into account while having a definite hard rock vibe going on. From funk to groovy, to jazzy, Tocornal seems to be exploring a lot of different approaches to their heartbreak rock. This keeps all the songs very refreshing, creative and interesting. Yet, they have a very distinct sound that often reminds me of Finnish hard rock talents such as Shiraz Lane, or Santa Cruz, but feels more progressive and diverse. From the addictive “Shake It” that sounds like a song people will most definitely sing along to during a live show to a song like the jazzier “God Bless”. Everything seems to be a possibility with this band. The band is not shy to use groovy basslines, catchy melodies, and heavy riffs. “Take Me Home” takes the tempo down a notch, and proves to show a more sensitive and fragile side of the band, whereas is a very atmospheric rock song with that touch of emotion that’s necessary to leave the listener craving for more.

When we talk a bit about the production of the album, I have to say that it sounds a bit raw. The quality perhaps could be better, but keeping in mind with the kind of music the band is playing, I actually quite enjoy a production like this. Tocornal’s music, in my opinion, doesn’t need to be over-polished to attract a lot of listeners. So in a case, even though the production could have been better, it lifts up the album. All instruments are well-balanced out in the mix.

Generally speaking, Tocornal is a band that has a lot of potential. Their refreshing and unique style is a welcome addition to the Finnish rock & metal scene. Those who like bands like Shiraz Lane, Santa Cruz, Led Zeppelin, and Heart will definitely enjoy Tocornal’s approach to the hard rock genre. Groovy, fragile and with a lot of attitude!

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Tracklist01. Aurora (intro)02. Violent Waters03. Desperado (intro)04. Aftermath05. Life Goals06. Shake It07. Heartbreaking Cool08. Eclipse (intro)09. God Bless10. Take Me Home11. Crash

Lotta Ruutiainen – Vocals
Samuli Paasineva – Guitar
Marianne Heikkinen – Drums
Lassi Peltonen – Bass


For Fans Of
Shiraz Lane, Santa Cruz, Led Zeppelin, Heart, hard rock, heavy metal, blues