You will know this band well if you are into the likes of Blood Ceremony, Jex Thoth and Jess and the Ancient Ones This is the bands third full length release, so there is an expectation about this record.
There’s a touch of doom in this one with some cool psychedelic tendencies. This all sounds good right? Indeed it is. Vocalist Noora Federley has a really haunting vocal tone, quite similar to Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane fame, that tone is very rare to possess. The album title translates as “The Crystal Ark” and ‘Kristalliarkki I’ is a 14 plus minutes epic journey through some acid rock wilderness. The often zany far out presentation reminds me of the great ‘Welcome to my Nightmare’ album by Alice Cooper. Whereas ‘Kristalliarkki II’ is a more to the point track at less than two minutes and is a punk inspired bash out to end the release, with a very abrupt ending which had me checking my power supply a few times!
Experimentation is nice and works ok here, I hear trumpets, I am sure of it on ‘Vapauden polku’ and there is certainly some Hammond organ solos in there for good measure. The heavier and dirtier acid rock/punk side of the band comes through with ‘Kuolema voittaa’ (‘Death Wins’) and the doom element is very much present during ‘Musta liekk’ and ‘Jokainen askel’ (‘Every Step’), so there is plenty of variations on a similar theme to sink your teeth into. There’s some experimental drum patterns too, so if you are a strict 4/4 timing person, then this may give you concern!
All in all, a nice release in a style that’s quite common place in the music scene now, hence I don’t find it that ground breaking, but I do find this release very entertaining. I can’t help thinking that there would certainly be more opportunity for Seremonia if the lyrics were sung in English, although it still works in Finnish, it’s their unique feature and it may spoil the tone of the lyrics, but we shouldn’t dwell too much upon that. This Crystal Ark is a nice easy listenable album and perfect for psych rock lovers.
(7.5/10 Paul Maddison)