The Finnish Grave Siesta is a young band (founded in late '09) that plays doom metal. Before this album, which is their debut full-length, they've released two demos that I've heard nothing about.

Sludge, Doom and Groove are the three key ingredients in the band's recipe, and they're offered in many varying blends. The opener is a fast Candlemass-y song with a lot of rock and groove, but already the following song "Barbaric" slows down into sludgy spheres and relies more on feedback, fat and simple bass notes, and building up from minimalism to steady but crushing doom. The third song is somewhere in between the previous to; it's heavy, mid-paced, and carries stonery groove. The male vocals range from strong and just slightly dramatic clean vocals (which remind me of Reverend Bizarre, which seems to have been an influence on the compositions as well) to harsher notes and all the way to screams and shouts. The album varies a lot, but does so with style, keeping things from falling apart.

The soundscape is pretty much spot-on. Heavy and sharp but still clear enough guitars, nicely rugged drums a bit further in the back to keep them from interfering the riffs, and vocals operating in unison with the strings. Especially the sturdy bass sound needs to be complimented. The visual side is equally stylish in its green-coloured minimalism. The lyrics are included, too. I don't want to reveal too much about how I've interpreted them, but it can safely be said that they mostly explore the darker sides of a man's emotional life; anxiety, guilt, feeling oppressed, rebelling, and pondering about the surrounding society. I recommend you to give them a good look when/if you have the album in your hands.

This is Grave Siesta's debut album, which can be heard through to them not having found their unique brand of sound and style; it's close, true, but they're not there just yet. This causes the album to seem a bit scrappy, as the songs' changes from stoner/rock to doomy sludge are major ones, and the vocalist's various styles make these changes even more noticeable. I can't quite grasp what the band was going for in some parts, and I'm not sure if they can do it themselves either.

If one can get over the record's patchiness, it's a really good slab of doom metal - and then some. It'll be interesting to see what the band will sound like on their next album.

8- / 10