[V.R. Label, 2018]
Intro: Thomas Sarakintsis
15 / 02 / 2018
The Finnish Sisare is a quartet composed of Severi Peura (guitars, vocals), Timo Lehtonen (guitars), Hermanni Piltti (bass) and Rauli Elenius (drums). They were formed in 2008 and their artistic target was to serve the metal genre, but with a distinctive melodic and atmospheric tone that would offer clean vocals as opposed to high-pitched as well as lyrical guitar passes. Already from their first album in 2008 entitled Paintings, Sisare unveiled a structural compositional pattern that aimed to marry metal with more melodic and artistic expressions, reaching the limits of progressive metal / rock. The release of their debut album, that came after a short break, formalized the style they wanted to adopt, and after reducing the extreme metal elements were dedicated to a softer and much less metal sound that flirted with progressive rock and some modern aspects of hard music such as post-rock.
A lot to expect in the future
The harmony in the exquisite cover painting with the beautiful colors and the reindeers brings Mastodon’s Blood Mountain and Remission to mind, but any similarity with the Americans is exhausted in the visual art. The title Leaving the Land album, the green color and the aforementioned features of the cover create a hint of an underlying folk element. Indeed, in the background of the compositions lies the folk element, which does not appear clearly and is not a component characteristic of their musical style.
Sisare’s music recalls the most melodic and less metal moments of the past decade. To be exact, Opeth have played a catalytic role in the artistic temperament of the band. Sisare have an obsession with the Swedes (but not with their influences), and that is very apparent. The effects of Opeth’s revival progressive rock (and not from their formerly metal side) are expanding to all six compositions of the album, sometimes and more sometimes less. In particular, the style of the Finns is borne out by the melodies of Opeth’s guitar twins over time (from Åkerfeldt-Lindgren but mainly from the Åkerfeldt-Åkesson duo). The same similarities exist in the vocals, which are remarkable, but on the other hand the singer’s voice – guitarist Severi Peura is very similar to Åkerfeldt’s. The pillars of their main influences are Opeth, but after taking a close look at the details, we would notice that the Finns have elements of And If Trees Could Talk bands and the Australians Karnivool. Also, in Perception and Mountains, a melancholic aura reminds of Katatonia.
The compositions that stand out are the extraordinary Geno, Mountains and Perception, which are the top moments of the album either thanks to wonderful vocals and beautiful refrains (Perception) or because of a sweet sadness (Geno, Mountains) that fits the style of the Finns. Shattered, although it is the most Opeth-like moment of the album (along with Geno) is a remarkable piece, while Pace does not offer much. Finally, the opener Escape with its funky rhythm that pops up in the middle is a piece that gets very interesting with every new listening.
The very positive thing is that album is embellished with an atmosphere that wishes to enchant. The album is entirely based on guitars and this is more than well done. In the end, however, the feeling of incomplete dominates, as well as the fact that while the compositions unfold, the album follows a rather safe prog rock path. The record does not vary between compositions due to the similar atmosphere chosen by the Finns. We have a project that swings between the beautiful moments and its drawbacks. The apparent similarities noted above do not necessarily imply a negative result, but they emphasize the lack of their own specificity remains to be found. The band’s potential is great. Their playing abilities are flawless, so we expect their next step with great interest. If they get rid of their obsessions and build a more personal identity with greater sound diversity, these Finns can offer outstanding albums in the future.
7.5 / 10
Minimalism, atomospheric songs and a voice matching Michael Åkerfeldt. The second album of the Finnish Sisare contains less metal and more atmosphere and progressive passages. The goal of the band was to create a record where each track would be a step towards another utopia. The most characteristic element of Sisare is the extraordinary double guitars that lead the tracks and along with the vocals give the necessary atmosphere for this utopia. Though it’s not a groundbreaking release, Leaving the Land adds another band to our music radar. Recommended especially to the fans of atmospheric prog rock.
7 / 10