Vocalist Niilo Sevänen's growls flow like warm honey over a bed of rusty nails, entwined with the melodic riffs of guitarists Markus Vanhala and Jani Liimatainen (Ville Friman is not touring), and the throbbing, drubbing heart of drums driven by Markus Hirvonen. And headbanging is a must, a must.
Insomnium, The Waterfront, Norwich, January 2020
Heart Like A Grave is at the same time melancholic and beautiful; the hour-long album is one to be listened to many times to hear all the nuances, the layers, the depth... and to explore Finnish poetry and folklore. Here's a taster, the title song, in case you haven't heard them yet:
If you have seen the "Scandinavian death metal" categorization of Insomnium, (I so detest genre labels), don't let that label define they for you nor dictate whether-or-not to listen. Check out the band's influences and a picture will form... whether you like your metal progressive, or your prog more metal, or your hard rock melodic, or your folk heavy-as-hell: Insomnium should fit well with your collection. (And note: the artbook version of the CD is a sombre collection of bleak, gorgeous photos and the lyrics to all the songs. It's a keeper.)
Hailing from Bridgend, South Wales, Those Damn Crows not only have an intriguing, listen-to-me-now name, evocative of a horde of persistent, characterful creatures who once you've noticed them are ever-present, no matter where you look... they have a distinctive sound with songs well worth a listen. Hard rock but very melodic - with wonderful vocals.
While they've been making their presence known here in the UK, with appearances at Download last year and other festivals, they'll no doubt appeal to a worldwide audience - are they on a Sirius XM Octane playlist yet?
Those Damn Crows are Shane Greenhall (vocals), Ronnie Huxford (drums), Ian 'Shiner' Thomas and David Winchurch (guitars) and LLoyd Wood (bass). Find out more on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also - several interviews with the band on YouTube, including this one with Total Rock Radio.