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Review: Finist - Awakening

Label: Ancient Nation
Year released: 2005
Duration: 43:55
Tracks: 9
Genre: Folk Metal

Rating: 0/5

Review online: June 2, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating

Rated 4/5 (80%) (8 Votes)

This is an interesting album, not for any particular songwriting nuance or innovation, but merely for the fact that it is the side project of the guy from Nokturnal Mortum, and it is also the only racist Power Metal band I can think of off the top of my head. While I'm not one to condemn a band for their lyrical stance alone, Finist are just a shitty band in general.

There isn't a whole lot to be said about this album on the musical front. Finist play badly produced Power Metal that recalls Gamma Ray and Blind Guardian, except with shitty vocals and lyrics that will turn away most people who usually listen to this genre. All of the usual staples of the Power Metal album are here, from the speedy, melodic cookers, the lone ballad, the long-winded, mid-paced epic, and the catchy-as-AIDS choruses, and then there are some folksy influences (fortunately not just keyboards; these are actual folk instruments, for a change). The production is thin and hollow, and Saturious's vocals completely rob the music of any emotion it might otherwise convey, veering between an atrocious flat, off-key warble and a boring, toned-down Black Metal rasp. The lyrics are awful too. Overall, I'd be hard pressed to find music more derivative and clichéd, at least in this genre. There are riffs and solos that are pretty cool, but you can find ones that are equally good or better by bands who have a better production job and vocal work, and thus Finist is useless. The only reason people even care about this crap is because of the people who were behind it, and I guarantee that if this wasn't made by Nokturnal Mortum members, nobody would be praising it. Were it not for those helping hands, Finist would be thrown to the wolves.

This sounds like Power Metal that wants to be Power Metal but doesn't quite have the genre down pat yet. Given the pedigree of the man behind the wheel and his comrades, this whole thing just comes off as an awkward textbook-learned imitation of the genre, like the band, having just listened to a Gamma Ray song or two (likely the one they covered at the end of this album), took the basic elements of their usual Black Metal leanings (harsh vocals, folk leanings, etc.), slapped some double bass and clean vocals into the mix, and called it a Power Metal album. The musical intentions of Saturious and company, however ludicrous their lyrics, may not be that bad, but this isn't a very good attempt at a quite over-populated style, not stepping outside of its painfully small influence box near enough for the music to remain interesting - leading me to believe that Saturious just isn't that knowledgeable about the style of music he's playing here. In a lot of ways this is just a Black Metal band dressed up in a different set of clothes. Convincingly, yes, but a mere disguise all the same.

The Awakening is overall a misguided and misinformed effort. Power Metal, like any other genre, has its requirements for a quality sound, and usually these include a powerful, full production that accentuates the music and makes it sound, well, powerful, and a vocalist who, while not always the focal point of the band, can carry the music with style and class - every well known, quality Power Metal band I can think of has these things, no exceptions. Finist does not have either of these things, and thus they should crack out the books and study harder next time they want to experiment in a genre that isn't their usual field. Seriously, this is like if Stratovarius started a Death Metal side project with shiny, polished production and synth-drenched, sugar-coated melodies wrapped around the growling. With added lyrics about "finding your true self" and all of that, too.

I can't award this album any points, because I don't like anything about it, plain and simple. This is abrasive, unappealing music (with the lyrics not helping at all), and not in the cool, fun way that some 80s extreme Metal bands were. No, Finist is just disgusting and sleazy in the manner of a shit stain on the underbelly of a toilet, and not much better in the way of musical value, either.

Track Listing:
  1. For Mankind
  2. Don't Wait For a Sign
  3. Time Has Come
  4. Battlefield
  5. New Generation
  6. We'll Change the World
  7. Cranes Fly Away
  8. The Awakening
  9. Land Of The Free (Gamma Ray cover)
Other related information on the site
Review: Awakening (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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