Viikate - Marraskuun Lauluja 1
Spinefarm Records
Folk Rock/Metal
9 songs (37:02)
Release year: 2007
Viikate, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Joe

Finland's best kept secret: its thousands of beautiful lakes and undamaged wilderness or Viikate? Tough call to make, but I somehow get the feeling that Viikate (meaning Scythe) are happy enough being an obscure name in metal. Not that you could really call it metal, in fact, Viikate's sound is quite hard to pin down, but damn it I'm gonna try. I'd go with Old West Folk Rock/Metal. Their songs just remind me of playing by the campfire, cowboys and indians and the like. Check out the hilarious video clip for Ah, ahtaita aikoja and you'll see what I mean. Things have improved quite a bit and notched up the heaviness just slightly from their previous album Unholan Urat (roughly translated to Organs of Forgotten Lands, and organs as in the instrument) and with their latest and sixth full length album Marraskuun Lauluja 1 (Songs of November part 1) Viikate have again managed to create a hugely original and very entertaining album.

There's not much need to discuss all the songs individually, it would be safe to say if you like one song then you'll like them all. Every track remains in the faster, rockier style which I must say sounds fantastic. The album has an interesting guitar sound, with a chunky rhythm section complemeted with a clean, folky lead guitar. Basically every song has an amazing melody with interesting solos and always a great finish to the song. Choruses are just incredibly catchy, the best I think being Ah, ahtaita aikoja. It's fair to say this record wouldn't just be restricted to just metalheads. I can imagine elderly folk sitting back with Marraskuun Lauluja 1 in the background, punks might get a kick out of it with that almost old school punk sound creeping in there now and then, certainly metalheads will lap it and basically anyone with a good taste for music will enjoy it, there's nothing really restricting it to any genre. Singer Kaarle Viikate (all band members have the stage name Viikate as their last name) has a fantastic and very unique voice, very deep and low pitched, he rarely goes wild but content just to do his thing. I can't say I've heard a voice like it, in fact, I've never heard anything quite like Viikate, a league of their own.

I think the best thing about Marraskuun Lauluja 1 is that it's not too in your face, aggressive or over the top, just a very chilled out but still rocking album. I wouldn't rant on and on calling this a masterpiece or the greatest thing since sliced bread, just a really good, relaxing album, exactly what I think Viikate wanted you to think. Runnning time of only 37 minutes, perhaps it would have been better to release part 1 and part 2 (due out around November) at the same time as a double disk, but of course record labels think differently. Oh and unless you speak fluent Finnish, don't bother with their website for more info, maybe just another sign of them being happy kept in the Finnish spotlight, or maybe they don't speak English, but either way Marraskuun Laulaju 1 simply has to be heard, not matter what type of music you're into. With the word on the street being that part 2 will be alot softer and less rockier, I'll be interested to see how it will compare to part 1, but in the meantime, check it out.

Killing Songs :
Yƶkunnaat, Uurastaja, Ah, ahtaita aikoja
Joe quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Viikate that we have reviewed:
Viikate - Marraskuun Lauluja 2 reviewed by Joe and quoted 80 / 100
Viikate - Unholan Urut reviewed by Kayla and quoted 87 / 100
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