HistoryThis Finnish band was founded in 2008 as the solo project of Antti Kirjavainen. It was not until 2011 when Timo Kirjavainen joined to augment the goth/metal band. The two members share instrumentation and vocals. A 2008 demo was called Frost, but the new line-up issued Eerie Messages in 2012 and included covers by To/Die/For, Entwine and Katatonia as well. Finland’s Inverse records signed the band and Songs Of Slumber appeared in 2013. Memoirs Of A Shattered Mind followed in 2014.
FRACTURED SPINE - SONGS OF SLUMBER - INVERSE
Here is a clichÃ©d observation before proceeding to the actual review: doesn’t the band’s name point to a death metal band (perhaps upon founding) that has gone doom (given the CD’s title)?
As indicated then the disc is a doom-ish compilation of songs with the aura, atmosphere and tempo that goes with the sub-genre. The full-length disc holds ten tracks of quality, albeit one cannot attribute purity or consistent power to it. While doom and funeral doom abound unfortunately, the band does delve seriously into goth, pop and separately elements of black metal (albeit likely swerving around anything truly Satanic). Biblical themes and inspirations like the dark side, death and Acheron are all here as well. While the music nods fairly consistently to My Dying Bride and Katatonia, the band goes Darkthrone on tracks like Restless, with its momentary Celtic Frost guitar tone) or Blood Red Dawn when the guitars get ugly and distorted. Sadly, the band is Finnish, which means female vocal, clean vocals (often backed by growls), piano and the rest of it is interspersed everywhere as well. Zoar, which ends the album, is a particular offender. Acheron is also centred around clean vocals and harbours background keyboards. One is not convinced the sounds therein are made by a human drummer and, indeed, a drummer is not listed.
Here are things to like whether one appreciates goth or not: the spine on the cover, the ambiance of the package and tracks one and two, … To Cross The River Of… and Acheron respectively. - Anna Tergel
FRACTURED SPINE - MEMOIRS OF A SHATTERED MIND - INVERSE
Memoirs Of A Shattered Mind is an obvious 2014 next step from 2013’s Songs Of Slumber debut album. It simply contains more of the Anathema and Katatonia sounds the Finnish duo so loves. It delivers more of the same including a package of sombre and mysterious artwork, clean and growled vocals as well as doom and goth vibes. The background vocals and keyboards are still there, as well as the band’s much-favoured backing chants and whispers. In other words, the group has layered the songs even more than before and emphasized the instrumental passages to accentuate the ambiance. In this case, more of the same is not a figure of speech. Shalklow, towards the album's end, is loopy and 'electronicy.' The singer’s growls are convincing and deep; it is a pity the band loves gothic pop so much. This could have turned out to be something heavy a la paramaecium or Disembowelment. Incidentally, as a matter of personal curiosity, how does the shattered mind remember much of anything? - Anna Tergel