ACHIOTE is a Finnish metal band that combines melodic heavy and grunge spiced with influences from the 70's, their debut album 'Deimos' contains tender and soulful metal dealing with subconscious imagery and internal demons.
ACHIOTE are made up of; Janne Salminiemi on vocals and guitar, Timo Toikka playing guitars, Anu Marttila with bass and vocals, Jussi Vuola on drums and vocals and Tuomas Riihimäki playing organs and synthesizers.
This opening title begins with some screeching guitar and a great crash of instruments. The vocals begin softly and clearly starts as they mean to go on. The lyrics are ominous and dark while the melody has a marvellous counterpoint of metal.
This is the kind of song I could see a lot of people getting into right away, it has a lot of the elements many popular metal songs do, while at the same time keeping the individual sound of the band itself. A very strong start that makes me look forward to the rest of the album.
02 Against The Time
A faster tune here, it segues easily from the opening track and is more the type of song that makes you want to dance around the room. After the mood-setting start this one causes your pulse to quicken and your ears to prick up in interest.
I could see this one being sung at live shows and going down very well with a roaring crowd. It even has a few snarling lyrics for fans to join in the fun.
03 Rhyme Of The Hatter
A gentler mood comes from this song. It sounds like more of a ballad and the guitar takes centre stage on this one, beautiful playing works with strange and mysterious imagery. It’s the sort of song you could see at the end of a horror film when nightmare seems to be over…for now.
I liked the quiet intensity of this one, the vocals didn’t overpower the instruments and vice versa, each of them had their own strengths which came through beautifully.
04 Paint Away
This one is the darkest so far, one to listen to when you’re in a bad mood. It speaks about hard times and past moments one would rather forget, but the song also has an almost inspirational tone to it which works well for the song as a whole.
This one has the most ‘story’ to it, talking about lost loves. For some reason, it makes me think of the Silent Hill games, it feels like it would be a perfect soundtrack song for one of them. It sounds almost like a horrific state of affairs but then moves on to the climax of the song and fights back with an amazing sound that pushes back the darkness with a blinding intensity, one of my favourites of the album so far.
06 Rush Of Instincts
This one seems to enjoy dragging the listener in with the gentle beginning before winding slowly up to the climax and then ending on an ironically quiet note. The whole effect works to make an interesting song. It seems almost more experimental than the other songs so far, like the band are starting to stretch out and see what they can do.
07 Children Of The Fall
Strangely enough, this song makes me think of change, it seems to be in a very low tone like giving up or loss, but there’s also the undertone that suggests a new beginning, like how the leaves in autumn change and fall from trees but will always come back fresher in the spring.
The instruments are never at one level in this song, sometimes they quiet down and the vocals rule the song, other times they strike loudly to keep the listeners interest.
I really liked this one, the imagery suggesting a mind trapped in a bad situation. It also leads listeners to the knowledge that music can help almost any mood you find yourself in. This one gives voice to the frustrations people can feel from moments where control is difficult to regain and all you can do is scream it out.
The title song starts with some interesting sounds from the synthesizer and teases the audience before smoothly easing into the song proper. A slow and gentle beginning sets the scene before the pace begins to increase, almost imperceptibly but enough to make your senses become eager for more.
The lyrics suggest a haunted graveyard setting the scene for the arrival of ancient dark powers. This is a scene which could very easily be a simple repeat of many other scenarios in a thousand other songs. With Deimos however, the solo moments, the almost hinted imagery and the intense moments of sound leave a lot more to the listener’s imagination which gives a unique tone to the song.
Overall I would say this is a very strong debut album. I don’t feel that we’ve seen all Achiote can do and we will see more as they explore their own sound. Personally I’m looking forward to hearing more from these guys as they have a subtlety that we don’t see in a lot of metal bands at the moment.
The instrumental moments are solid and have a lot of impact for the tone that each song conveys, all of which makes for an awesome listen. The vocals switch from a loud, intense roar to a gentle sound that could be all but murmured into the microphone. It gives a sense of diversity which helps to give the album as a whole a unique flavour.
'Deimos' is available on iTunes and Spotify as well as CD Digipack on 22nd of August 2014 by V.R. Label Finland. Distribution by Playground Music Scandinavia.
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/achioteband
Twitter : @achioteband
(Review by Kath)