Hailing from the heavy music haven of Finland (seriously they must put something in the water over there) and with members previously in HIM and Amorphis, is Flat Earth. On their debut album, None For One (Drakkar Entertainment) the Finnish four-piece combine a Heavy Metal approach with melancholic and emotive sensibilities, the result being a supercharged take on Grunge and a textured record with equal amounts light and dark.
Tracks like ‘Freedoom’ and ‘Blame’ are forceful slices of Metal with a well-executed quiet verse/loud chorus dynamic. The former is no spelling mistake, it is a doomy flavoured three and a half minutes with hints of Black Sabbath and some lively bass work. The wonderful bass work of ex Amorphis man Niclas Etelävuori is also key to ‘Blame’, an emphatic slice of distortion helped along by an undulating keyboard melody. ‘Noble Swine’ is another number with a nice metallic crunch to it, a psychedelic intro soons gives way to pummeling riffs and a slight touch of Folk Metal.
This influence is felt more strongly in ‘Cyanide’, Anttoni Pkkarainen sings the chorus over the top of a jaunty, Celtic guitar melody. This approach of adding extra elements to their Alternative Metal pays dividends in ‘Limelight’, with the woozy, psychedelic guitar and powerful drum beat adding to the intrigue. Although the melancholic nature of the music does result in a few missable moments, ‘Given Time’ is overly sombre and downcast and despite its eerie atmosphere the title track does not really go anywhere.
The aforementioned lighter side comes in the shape of ‘The Glow’ and ‘Blunt’, a nice change of pace from the pounding drums and heavy riffs. The pick of the pair is ‘The Glow’ – a charming number, sandwiched between two louder tracks, showcasing their softer side. In None For One, this new band of old heads have made a decent debut album of emotionally charged Alternative Metal.