Blood Sample

Release date: March 20th 2006
Bluelight/Dockyard 1
Provided by: VME (Denmark)
Website: www.waltarimusic.com

Rating: 86/100
Cover artwork rating:
Reviewed by:
Thomas Nielsen
May 12th 2006

With 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, anyway.  

This 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.  

The 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.  

The 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.  

Although 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 “ Space Avenue ” (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.  

For 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…  

Recommended: All, but “Wide Awake” is one of the best rock ballads I’ve heard in a long time.