Is there something like musical schizophrenia? I think that there is and that the wild Finns of WALTARI are a prime example for it. Which other band manages to combine Pop, Techno, Death Metal, Grindcore, Folk, nursery rhymes und classical on one album and sound pretty spaced out, no question, but still not disjointed? The band around charismatic fronter Kärtsy Hatakka is back with a new album titled “Blood Sample” and if this CD really is such a sample, then I don’t want to know the condition of the individual who gave it, because the paramedics already have to be at the scene.
Why, you ask? Because the Finns once more live up to their reputation of not setting any borders, but rather doing whatever they just feel like, no matter how odd it may be. Let’s see, what we have on this CD’s ingredient list (in random order): Alternative Rock, Punk, Thrash Metal, Grindcore, Breakbeat, Techno, Pop, Industrial, Gothic and of course any combination of them. Something for everybody or beyond any comprehension? Well, one thing is for sure: Who does not approach this album with an open mind can concede defeat from the get-go, because every track sounds different and surprises on way or the other. Of course it will also depend on your mood if a track will appeal to you or not, but WALTARI definitely will never get boring.
Opener “Helsinki” is super catchy, at times very quiet, in other places pretty modern, while “Not Enough” shows us Riff Rock and “Never” sets out with a cell phone ring tone. “New York” contains classical Thrash riffing and rhythm including shout chorus, just to suddenly erupt into a Grindcore attack in the middle before returning to Thrash (and believe it or not, I really like the Thrash part of this song!). “I’m In Pain” is pure Alternative Rock and right after “All Roads Will Lead To Rome” unleashes super catchy and good Punk Rock, including duck’s quacking, and the super dark “Digging Inside” could just as well have been taken from a horror movie soundtrack, cool! “Fly Into The Light” has a MINISTRY-like rhythm, “Shades Of Grace” is super relaxed and “Aching Eyes” has a strong Gothic influence, of course still in the WALTARI style. “Back To The Audio” monumentally saws on my nerves with seven and a half minutes of the same Breakbeat rhythm and riffs, just to devastate everything with the all-out Grind attack “Exterminator Warhead”, but not without a very quiet passage with really weird vocals.
You can see, rarely the expression “musical rollercoaster ride” was more fitting than in this case and the weird thing is that it all doesn’t sound pieced together either, but fits together! And the strong, powerful production does its part to ensure that WALTARI have another little masterpiece in their discography, thumbs up! (Online August 3, 2006)