I was recently contacted by Eric Aittala via email who requested me to review his band's newest release Haunt Your Flesh. I chose not to do much research on the band prior to hearing it for the first time so that everything would be new.
To begin with, the music does not really match the dark and disturbing album cover, but that is not a problem. The music is much more on the traditional and progressive side of heavy metal and hard rock. So I was a little bit surprised by that at first. Again, certainly not a problem.
This is a very dynamic and versatile album musically. Eric Aittala appears to be the only member of the band, tackling all of the vocals and music, except perhaps the drums. He does not seem to like to sit still in one style for very long either. Pigeonholing the Aittala sound is extraordinarily difficult because each song is unique. At times it sounds like later-era Iced Earth with Barlow on vocals, at times it sounds like a less angry Pantera, and a whole lot in between.
Aittala is a very impressive musician with a strong melodic sensibility. He writes some pretty good riffs and solos and some damn catchy songs. Keyboards are used to good effect in backing up the music and the occasional solo. The keyboards are not overdone, which is good. His lyrical style is mostly designed to tell a story in each song.
As mentioned, this album runs the gamut, from hauntingly beautiful piece "Eden" to the aggressive riff-laden "Holocaust". "Juliet" is particularly noteworthy and is a spine-chilling power ballad. Each song is unique making this a complete album, rather than just a collection of songs.
Eric Aittala is a very impressive multi-instrumentalist forging his own path. This is his second full-length album and the guy definitely deserves a look.