Paara return with ‘Riittti’, and they deliver an exercise in how to take the rough with the smooth, with this latest offering. They deliver up just 4 slabs of black metal, but these are spanned over a full 42 minutes. The band, spawned in 2011,have been nurtured in Helsinki since their conception, and they have taken their time to methodically create and unleash their art onto the world, and they have excelled this time, with their 2nd full length opus.

The band have created a niche in the overflowing black metal world, by exhibiting a trio of vocal talents, ranging from the harsh, malevolent and raw, to the almost angelic, virtuous and divine. While the band could have taken the 4 tracks and kept to the same formula, they decide to keep each track individual in its makeup, and this leaves for an album which doesn’t have a pre-determined end game, and you won’t find yourself treading an obvious or palpable path through this dark and mesmerising forest.

With female vocals interjected into the equation, the album is enthralling and magnetic in its charm. It grips from the outset, with opening track ‘Viimeinen Virta’, and delivers a melody which will become emblazoned into your soul, so that you can’t discard it easily, it will keep haunting you in a hypnotising and alluring way. The shortest straw in this beast is a mere 7 minutes, but none of the segments appear prolonged or extensive, and they each leave you wanting more. The band also interpolates a lovely example of fresh, sparkling vocals, almost clinical at times. This helps to dilute the more traditional black metal screeches and howls, and the band seem to be able to incoporate all aspects of the musical spectrum to create a quadruped sound which will liven up the darker side of the metal community. The band has a multi-faceted history with members, and they all seem to bring these experiences to the game.

The guitars are solid, technical and theatrical, the bass booms, detonates and rumbles, resonating through your existence, and the drums are the satanic, black back bone which keeps this colossal mammoth agile and sprightly as it injects into your aural, acoustic stream, and leaves you hoping that it’s not another 3 years before another ‘Paara’ progeny is born

(8/10 Phil Pountney)