Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dead End Finland: Season of Withering (2013)

I have said it before and it bears repeating: Finland has taken over the throne of melodic death metal from Sweden.  Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, and several other bands have continued to succeed where In Flames, Soilwork, and others have fallen by the wayside.  Well now add Dead End Finland to the list.  Despite the regrettable name, Dead End Finland are another fairly impressive Finnish melodeath band.

The opening title track sounds very much like Raintime, the now-defunct Italian band.  The combination of the reliance on keyboards for atmospheric effects, crunching guitar riffs, and clean-and-extreme vocals have been a staple of that band's catalog.  Dead End Finland definitely focus far more on the melodic side of things for this genre.  Those going into this expecting a straight-forward melodeath album will likely be disappointed because of the focus on melody and catchiness.

This is not to say that the death metal parts have been lost, there are still frequently heavy parts.  Extreme vocal styles do show up from time to time.  There are some crushing riffs and pounding drums.  It is just that these moments are combined with more melodic elements, such as symphonic-sounding keyboards or cleaner vocals.

Above all else, this is an infectious album.  It is a fun listen and this means that replayability is high.  Those seeking something really extreme will likely be disappointed.  This is just a good time album, and there is something to be said for that.

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