Seremonia are a heavy psychedelic rock band from Finland, who actually sing in their native language. Their history is still short, as they only released their eponymous debut a year ago, but luck has been on their side so far. Since 2012 they have toured relentlessly, playing small gigs as well as big festivals such as Tuska in their home country, and the legendary Roadburn in The Netherlands.
One year later, the group returns with their sophomore record entitled ‘ihminen’. Lyrically speaking, there’s not a clear storyline but each song paints a pessimistic picture of the dark times we’re all living in, dealing intensely with the lunacy and evil in men (The name of the album actually means “human” in English). It may not be the most original concept out there, but it does have one great advantage; it never gets outdated, as sad as it is to admit the concept of world peace is eternally utopic.
However, the music is always the most important aspect of a record, and in that department, Seremonia know what they are doing. While they appear to be a simple psychedelic band with Stoner traits, at their core they are a much more eclectic identity. The influence of Finnish punk rock, for example, is evident, and the legacy of bands like Appendix constantly honoured (especially on opener ‘Noitamestari’).
In a way, these compositions share one thing in common; they all possess a wild and spontaneous rock and roll spirit, and those who call themselves Riff fanatics will have a field day. Most of the guitar melodies will make the listener want to rock out hard, while other songs, despite being heavy, offer a different kind of experience… a more psychedelic one, if you will. The vocals definitely give the aforementioned psychedelic feeling, as do some of the solos which sound as if they were recorded in a faraway land. The production is fuzzy, which fits the mood of these eleven tracks, giving a more underground spirit that drastically improves them.
Still, it is important to make it clear that ‘ihminen’ is not a revolutionary work of art. It’s not going to change the face of heavy music as we know it, or give birth to a brand new scene. But then again, while innovation is essential to make sure music doesn’t become stale, there is nothing wrong with a record that makes good use of pre-defined structures.
If you enjoy this type of sound, you will surely not be disappointed. In fact, an album with a tune like “Painajaisten” will probably please anyone who enjoys mysterious and surreal atmospheres. Now, as good as ‘ihminen’ is, it may fall under the radar with the competition it faces from ground-breaking artists who are making their mark, in an age where new music is shared and heard at the speed of light. However, their talent to create extremely solid songs using different textures is undeniable. ‘ihminen’ shall be admired for what it really is – a very well-crafted work from a band to whom the sky is the limit. Only time will tell what the future holds, but it certainly looks promising.
Scribed by: Jorge Miguel