Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, has quite the heritage when it comes to famous rock and metal bands, the most notable including HIM, Apocalyptica, and of course, The Hanoi Rocks. I imagine it must be either something in the air, or perhaps it’s something in the water which causes the creation of such iconic music. Well, Mercury Circle, the brain child of Jaani Peuhu, call Helsinki home too, so there must be something that’s causing such musical inspiration.
While on a break from his usual day job as vocalist with Iconcrash, as well as playing with Swallow The Sun, Peuhuhas has been busy working on a new project, which he named Mercury Circle. Employing the talents of fellow Swallow The Sun drum maestro Juuso Raatikainen, and joining them on their sonic adventures are Jussi Hämäläinen of Hanging Garden on guitar, synth, and backing vocal, Juppe Sutela of To/Die/For on guitar, and finally Andre Kiiski of Sleep Of Monsters on bass.
The Dawn Of Vitriol is the debut five track EP, and it’s a taster of things to come, a peek behind the curtain, ahead of a full debut album, which is due for release later on in twenty twenty. Considering themselves to be ‘new doom’, they fuse post-apocalyptic soundscapes with crushing guitars, and rumbling bass, to form something pretty unheard of in the current musical landscape.
That being said, the running theme musically had me drawing comparisons with both Gary Numan’s recent works, especially on the album Savage, with its dystopian, post-apocalyptic soundscapes, and doom mongers Katatonia, with their introverted, self-deprecating emotional musical journeys.
Mercury Circle take the concept, make the sound their own, and go on to achieve something truly wonderful in the process…
The result of this is a thirty-minute soundtrack, stooped in atmospheric darkness, which at times is as far removed from heavy metal as you could get, while at others, is dark and mesmerising. It’s mixture of high’s and low’s make for something sublimely rich, and uniquely interesting, so much so, that repeated listens are the only way to truly appreciate just how much is going on sonically.
Tracks like Black Flags travel into a very organic, new era of dark goth electronica, which wouldn’t be out of place at all on a Blade Runner movie. It’s dark and murky, somewhat depressive, and really brings on a sense of melancholy. Others, such as EP opener Oil Of Vitriol, and closer New Dawn conjure up thoughts of a bleak future, filled with loss, heartache, and a yearning for something more.
The Last Fall is the darkest fifth of the whole EP, and it’s here especially where those Katatonia comparisons are noticeable, but Mercury Circle take the concept, make the sound their own, and go on to achieve something truly wonderful in the process.
One thing is for sure, this is an accomplished debut, admittedly the seasoned musicians offer up something mature and considered, so it’s no rookie outing. It’s this which leaves me wanting more, and counting the months now until a full album is released into the world. If all goes to plan, it will be just in time for the dark nights, and colder months, and who could want for a better soundtrack to survive the winter than anything Mercury Circle can muster up, and release upon us.
Scribed by: Lee Beamish