martedì 29 novembre 2016

Rotör - "Musta käsi" (Svart Records, 2016)

Band: Rotör
Title: Musta käsi
Genre: Heavy/Speed metal
Year: 2016
Time: 31 min
Rating: 86/100

Svart Records is a brave Finnish label specialized mostly on the more experimental forms of rock & metal but, for the joy of the traditionalistic metalheads, it supports also some bands devoted to the purest heavy metal of the ‘80s. Some examples? The Swedish Night Viper or the Finnish Speedtrap. And now it’s the example of the Rotör, a young band comprised, among others, of the lead guitarist Ville Valevuo (here VPV), an unstoppable musician that plays also in Speedtrap and not only (I mean, he even plays in the ferocious punk/HC band Perikato!) Well, the Rotör have released their debut album “Musta käsi” on 30th August 2016 on Svart Records without before releasing a demo or something else. And I must already that the nostalgic metalheads will love surely “Musta käsi”, an ‘80s heavy metal album from its cover artwork (focused on one of those no-name and absurd characters of the ‘80s) to the very short and pleasant length of this opera, only 31 minutes for 9 tracks. But, at the same time, Rotör shows, as you’ll see very soon, some particularities, included the singing in Finnish language.

Said all this, “Musta käsi” shows a muscular and fast band, especially in the pure speed metal songs like “Porttokirkko”, “Roottoripää”, “Portti helvettiin” and “Käärme”. All this mixing the sonic aggressiveness and the velocity with some very good melodies, also paradoxically delicate. This is due both to the great sense of melody of the guitarists JVH/VPV (this last one is very present with his solos and his lead riffs) and to the singer VHP, surely not transcendental with his voice but very able to interpret the various songs ranging from aggressive to melodic vocals (creating some very polished lines) through also some more narrative parts.
Structurally, the songs are simple also because some of them not only lasts almost 3 minutes but ends in an abrupt way, giving to the listeners an impression of incompleteness. At the same time, it’s incredible that many tracks, after repeating for 2 times the classic stanza/chorus’ scheme, have a very atmospheric part generally expressed through a slowdown with melodies that can be even romantic (in this sense, listen to the one in Angel Witch-style of the opening track “Avattu hauta”, a mid-tempo). All this to explain in a better way to you the great melodic skills possessed by these 5 Finnish guys.

Listening to the album, I’ve particularly liked the last two songs, “Käärme” and “Loputon”. The first one represents the perfect synthesis of the Rotör-sound, where the aggressiveness of the Motörhead, the melodic sophistication of the Iron Maiden and the evocative power of the NWOBHM band Wolf are mixed for a song with a sometimes desperate feeling and with a VHP more violent than the usual. Instead, “Loputon”, in a certain sense, is the more experimental number of the album since combines in a very brilliant way the ‘80s heavy metal with some modernist solutions very close to the groove metal of the Pantera (like for the main riff), and it’s very strange that this song wasn’t included into the tape version, released by the Norwegian Rush of Power Records, of the album.
All in all, I consider “Musta Käsi” an album fit to the fans of the fastest NWOBHM bands like Blitzkrieg, Avenger and Tysondog. At the same time, though the Rotör are very influenced by the ‘80s heavy and speed metal, they reinterprets the lesson of the masters with a good personality and some peculiarities like the atmospheric slowdowns or the strange choice to singing in Finnish. Said also about both a production not completely effective for the little weak drums (their sound, not the performance of SKK!) and the good basslines of TJP, “Musta Käsi” is a very good surprise for a madman always in search of some incredible stuff like me!

1 – Avattu hauta
2 – Porttokirkko
3 – Silmä
4 – Uuuden maailman asukas
5 – Roottoripää
6 – Valittu
7 – Portti helvettiin
8 – Käärme
9 - Loputon

VHP – vocals
jVH – rhythmic guitars
VPV – lead guitars
TJP – bass
SKK – drums
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