Every year at Eurovision there seems to be a new “thing” that captures the minds of songwriters across Europe – or more importantly the people who are organising the National Finals. After Alexander Rybak’s win in 2009, there were rather more violins, fiddles and jigs in Oslo than you would normally expect.
The same was true after Lordi’s win in Greece, and a number of countries, including the victorious Fins, took to adding a little harder edge to their national final winners for the next few years. Much like Lordi, Finland’s Terasbetoni approached Eurovision with no compromise. But rather than Lorid’s flamboyant rock style, Terasbetoni are much more metal… and power metal at that. Lots of speed, complicated riffs and lightning fast rhythm.
The theatrics that helped that first Finnish victory weren’t part of their repertoire then (and aren’t now). Even though they have fun in their videos (see later in the review!) they are much more pure towards their music and let it speak for itself.
Being honest, it’s not mainstream music in the way that Eurobeat/Schlager can be. You either love ‘em or you don’t. They did themselves proud in front of the Belgrade crowd, gathered a huge number of new international fans (including myself) and they continued to make music the way they wanted to.
Which leads nicely into their fourth studio album, Maailma Tarvitsee Sankareita. Which if you spin it into English gives you “The World Needs Heroes, by Reinforced Concrete.”
On a first listen you might be forgiven as pigeon holing this album as power metal by numbers, but the album has layers of music that deserve your attention. From the relatively accessible opening of Myrsky Nousee to the galloping power of the title track there’s a joyous feel of speed mixed in with precision and control throughout the eleven tracks here.
Take Jumalten Usva – from it’s classic lead guitar opening and punching drums to full on vocal attack and thrilling solos, this is a track that just gets better every time it passes your playlist. Or how about Thanatos? It’s a typical metal-romp-a-long, and wouldn’t surprise me if this is the second single from the album.
In fact the whole album is just surprisingly good. Previous albums from Terasbetoni have had one or two songs that have felt a bit like fillers, but there’s no weak points in Maailma Tarvitsee Sankareita. It’s just fun.
is there anything immediately accessible? Unfortunately not, and that’s the same problem Terasbetoni had on stage. It just takes time for your ear to tune in to the music. Thankfully there’s more than three minutes on this album. Take your time and you will be rewarded over and over again, every time you listen.
Maailma Tarvitsee Sankareita, by Terasbetoni, is published by Sakara records and is available as a digital download from Amazon.
The first single and video, Metalliolut.