a band like Finnish Waltari you have the feeling that they can sit down
and play just about anything they like.
And they do.
Be it death metal or rap, they incorporate it if they’re in the mood.
And they are. On their latest release, “Blood Sample”, they are,
is their eighth studio album (depending on how you define studio album,
of course - nothing is quite normal with this band) is as eclectic and
diverse as all of their predecessors.
band can actually celebrate their 20th anniversary this year
but didn’t deliver anything that was noted outside Finland
before 1992’s “Torcha!”. Back then it blew a lot of people away
with its odd mix of styles and the underlying heaviness. I, for one,
fell in love immediately.
follow-up, “So Fine!”, was no less full of surprises and even
contained a hit song that got the band into the charts for a while. The
same year they played a blast of a concert at the Roskilde Festival –
the memory of which can still soothe my heart in tough times.
never losing their charm and sense of humour, Waltari seemed to be more
or less forgotten by the international scene from the 1995’s “Big
Bang” and onwards. The quality of the songs on albums like “
” (1997), “Radium Round” (1999) was less captivating, perhaps
because we simply got too used to the diversity of the material or
because Kärtsy’s voice grew too quirky.
me, the time is ripe for Waltari again. Between all the weirdness,
“Blood Sample” is focused, tight and has a great production. It
offers the diversity one would expect from the capable Finns, who
present everything from the dark pop of “Digging Inside”, the death
grind of “Exterminator Warheads”, the techno rock of “Fly Into the
Light” as well as thrash, goth, funk and rap in different shapes.
There’s even an intro played on a Nokia phone…say no more…
All, but “Wide Awake” is one of the best rock ballads I’ve heard
in a long time.