Meaning ‘atomic village’ in Finnish, it’s fairly obvious where four piece Atomikylä hail from. T Hietamäki from Oranssi Pazuzu plays bass for the band, while V. Ajomo of Dark Buddha Rising provides guitar and vocals. Debut Erkale pools influences from both these acts, but doesn’t rely solely on them, allowing for Atomikylä to survive as a separate entity.
Erkale is a prime example of some of the stellar experimental and psychedelic music that Finland is currently producing. The record is awash with pounding drone, dreamy psychedelia and vocals that sound as though they’ve been fetched up from the fiery depths of Hell. The album floats between passages of serenity and chaotic hate without ever feeling erratic, instead more like a natural progression in mood and atmosphere.
Opener Alkuaineet (elements) is one of the album’s highlights; using Hietamäki’s bass as its crowning glory, this track is heavy on the drone and devastatingly intense, with an almost dread inducing build up to utter madness before launching into some ritual cymbal abuse and Ajomo’s death rattle style vocals. If there a soundtrack to a bad trip then this song would most certainly be it.
Ihmiskallo (human skull) is another highlight and quite possibly the most horrible on this entire album. It’s arguably the heaviest offering of the five tracks that the record comprises of, with a slow burning, chugging doom vibe and yet more of Ajomo’s throaty screams lending a Hammer Horror feel to the song.
Erkale spans 45 minutes over five tracks and promises a journey of near hallucinogenic qualities, much like its gaudy album cover. It’s by no means easy going, but if you allow the album to envelope you and simply sit back and listen, this will be one of the most rewarding trips you are ever likely to take. While unsettling in places, Atomikylä’s music is ultimately enlightening and worthwhile experience for fans of bands such as Bong and Dark Buddha Rising.
Scribed by: Angela Davey