Anticipation is high as a shaking hand reaches for the “play” button. The message attached to this promo-demo was everything but typical Finnish.
It was superlatives stating the awesomeness of ideas and proclamation of the melodic beauty. Stuff like this really gets my defences up and makes my inner warning system go off in a cacophony of bells and mixed signals.
The first track “Green Love” bursts into play with some fierce, but strong riffing and .... wait? What the f...?
Suddenly we enter carnival mode! The carnivalesque chorus works as an intriguing contrast to the aggressive riffage, but the initial clean vocals sound... wrong.
It’s a good call that the low, semi- (or wannabe-) operatic style is used very sparsely because its not very good, while the rasp-rock clean vocals kick plenty of ass. The growls also work great!
The second track kicks off with a cool saxophone thing until the aggressive Death Metal gains it’s footing again and just a moment later we are into a “30 seconds to mars” type of section. Nevertheless all changes in style are handled fluidly and professional, even when the electric distorted guitars fade out and give space for some acoustic playing with a kind of flamenco feel.
The vocals throughout this demo is top notch (except that aforementioned part) and the diversity of use is breathtaking. The growls and cleans are extremely well mixed together for the best impression and to ultimately support the music.
While the first track was handling themes of environmental activism, the second track “Destitution” contains more fantasy driven lyrics, although I feel there is a little anti-religious underscore to the text. I could be wrong though.
The third track, “Consumption”, tackles our environment of capitalism we live in. The fairly political insinuations in the lyrics and the versatile nature of the music refers strongly (in my mind) to the music of Serj Tankian.
Consumption is by far the most straightforward track on this demo, but it is also a good aggressive finish to the release.
To sum everything together I can only say that Leka is an incredible display of musicianship and a brilliant realisation of one person’s vision. The workmanship is highly professional on all accounts, including the actual sound.
I can only hope that Juuso Leinonen can find a potent lineup to share his vision live and on a larger release.