Finnish band Poets of the Fall have been crafting post-grunge anthems similar to the likes of HIM and The Rasmus. The difference between Poets of the Fall and the bands already mentioned is that they bring an emotional twist that has hints of classic rock. On October 5th, they release their brand new album, Ultraviolet on Playground Records. Their vocalist Marko Saaresto has some soulful vocals, as seen on ‘Maybe Tomorrow is a Better Day’ and ‘Carnival of Rust’, so it will be interesting to see what direction the band will take on the new album. It follows from the successful ‘Clearview’, which charted in both the UK and Europe.
The first thing you notice about ‘Ultraviolet’ is that it has a bigger synth edge to their sound. On tracks such as ‘My Dark Disquiet,’ a piano drives the song forward, before transitioning into a big rock chorus. However, it doesn’t work because the lyrics sound empty and the music uninspiring. There is a dark theme on ‘False Kings.’ The reverb on the vocals along with the big orchestral strings brings to mind a theatrical backdrop. This suits their sound very nicely, while ‘Fools Paradise’ is a big rock ballad with easily the catchiest chorus on the album, bringing forward Saaresto’s soulful vocals into the mix.
As the album goes on, it becomes clear that there is a clear emphasis on the orchestral side with plenty of big strings. It shows that the band is capable of trying new things adding to the emotional impact, in particular on ‘Standstill’ and ‘The Sweet Escape’ but some of the tracks fall into a dirge of mediocrity. The final track, ‘Choir of Cicadas’ features a huge organ, bringing the album to an epic close, but for the most part, the album feels flat and bland.
Feature photo credit: Tiia Öhman Photography & Design
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos