It’s not very often that an album thuroughly impresses me, and even more rare still that I can claim that I enjoy every song on one. I can however make that claim when it comes to this album, easily the best album I have heard in a handful of years.

     Unknown to most this awesome metal band from Finland has been around now for approximately twenty years, but have not recieved the praise or attention their music very much deserves. The band presently consists of Marco Hietala (Bass & Vocals) Zachary Hietala (Guitar) Pecu Cinnari (Drums) Janne Tolsa (Keyboards) now with the addition of Tommi Salmela (Additional Lead & Background Vocals)

Where to begin with reviewing this album? I guess it might be best just to start from the very beginning. (This is my first official review so bear with me) I won’t even pretend to have the technical expertise of some reviewers, only knowledge of what does or does not sound good to my ears.

Crows Fly Black- I got my first taste of this song when the band posted it on their site the day of the album’s official release in Finland. The intro of the song had no difficulty catching my attention, almost dream-like until the opening chords of the song hit like a brick wall…wow. It’s most definitely a great opener.

Traitor – This is most definitely a song where the addition of Tommi so completely kicks ass. Marco alone = awesome, Marco & Tommi = completely out of this world. Heavy, fast paced and absolute fun to listen to.

Ashes To The Stars – This has to be my favorite on this disc by far vocally. (not to mention the video completely rocks) Just a warning, this song will get stuck in your head, it may not leave for days.

Messenger Of Gods – Whoa, a heavy and damn angry sounding song, ya gotta love those, they’re so much fun.

Before The Skies Come Down – I randomly find myself singing along with this song whenever it plays. I so love the guitars on this track.

Tides – I absolutely have to say that this song completely floored me. The music and vocal harmonies are absolutely gorgeous, it’s most definitely the highlight of this disc in my opinion.

Bleeding Dust – Another one of those fun songs that leaves you looking for the lyrics to see if you heard things right. now that that’s done, this song really is a lot of fun to listen to, lol, and I need my ears checked I think.

You – Angry, thought provoking, and a hell of a lot of fun to sing along with.

Howl! – An absolutely bad ass song, especially vocally. it has to be heard to be appreciated.

Grey – I’d have to say this is an awesome ending to an album that is all too short. The music, vocals and lyrics on this song are absolutely stellar. (I’m a sucker for thought provoking lyrics)

     In closing, I would have to say, I don’t think there are many bands who have put out as much consistent quality music as they have over the last two decades. “State Of Grace” off their album Stigmata is still one of my long-time favorite songs. I am hoping that this album finally brings them the acclaim and attention that they deserve, they have earned it and in my opinion are long overdue.