Unknown Decoy – “Seeking The Sun” EP (Inverse Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Graduates of the Jyväskylä Rock Academy, where they have been coached by Mikko Von Hertzen (Von Hertzen Brothers) and Douglas Blair (W.A.S.P.) among others, this Finnish experimental rock metal trio now debut with this impressive 5 tracker EP. Drawing from a diverse range of influences from Sabbath to System Of A Down (and a whole lot in between!), the goal of Aaro Viitanen (vocals & bass), Vilho Polamo (guitar & backing vocals) and Saku Taittonen (drums & backing vocals) couldn’t be any simpler: to combine old-school hard rock with metal because “..when you go on stage you totally flip!”. Here they offer a sample of their talent through a range of styles along with some impressive combinations but all performed respectably, whether it’s on ‘Test Animal’ with its kick ass riffs and double bass drumming offset by happy hippy harmonies which themselves are contrasted by sicko screamo vocals – and all to some subtle epic melodies and not so quiet wailing heavy metal guitars – wow. Down tuning initially on ‘Praise The Sun’ soon gives way to more upbeat heavy metal riffing tinged with some stoner, as are the somewhat laid back vocals from Viitanen, although Taittonen’s energetic drumming ensures you won’t be falling into a haze on this one, especially given the heavy headbanging ending complete with banshee screams! Turning on the fuzz, ‘Flash’ is full on 70s stoner rocking along to its groove and harmony vocals – until a slow down tuned section with drawl screams hits you in an amazing contrast – before yet another variation instrumental piece, complete with folk and delicate violins just makes you wonder where Unknown Decoy get it all from – until you remember they’re rock-weirdos from Jyväskylä!!