That Finns are a tribe of their very own is well known. That WALTARI are the musical equivalent of schizophrenia as well. So what does that tell us, when “Release Date”, the latest effort by the crazy troop around Kärtsy Hatakka comes around? Prepare for absolutely everything!
Now WALTARI definitely are not suited for everyone, the crazy sound mixes and Kärtsy’s voice usually are the obstacles potential fans have to overcome and I so far had loved what they did, so I was really looking forward to this, their twelfth, studio album, hoping for some more mind-boggling soundscapes. And for the first time (I might need to add that I am not familiar with all of their albums, but “only” six of them) I feel some sort of disappointment and the reason for this is that they either tried too hard or not enough, depending on the eye, ehm, ear of the beholder.
We still get an at times pretty wild mix of styles, in most cases combined with either extremely catchy or pretty heavy elements, with an affinity towards Dancefloor beats being pretty prominent. Overall we get treated to over 70 minutes of music and some of the songs simply are too drawn out and at times incohesive, seeming pieced together instead of having this dynamic flow the Finns are known for. “Get Stamped” is a good modern Metal song and gets the blood pumping and “Let’s Puke Together” has this unique WALTARI flair, faster, heavier, with this Punk-like energy and a brutal Death Metal passage cleaving the immensely catchy song in half, but the problems begin with the highly ambitious “Cityshamaani” quintet, clocking in at more than 36 minutes overall, where they lose track and flow more than once, making it hard to keep the attention. Only towards the end, with “The Incarnation Party” (straight and stomping, with a really cool horn, Dancefloor compatible, just overdoing it towards the end) and “Sympathy” (slow-paced and calm), they get back on track.
“Sex In The Biergarten” is a lot heavier and varied, with some harsh screeching and shout chorus as well as the modern, heavy, melodic and somewhat spacy “Spokebone” at the end also stand out, but overall there is far too much idling involved, not enough spark of genius (or insanity, either way). If WALTARI had cut two, three songs and also focused some of the others a little, “Release Date” could have been another great album by the Finns, like this it is good, but with more than one flaw…
(Online April 25, 2007)