Stam1na aren´t only good at releasing great albums, they´re also good at keeping everything in Finnish. As much as I like this language - since it gives this special something to the music, that simply wouldn´t be possible with English - so difficult it is, to find information about the concept of the album "Viimeinen Atlantis" (The Last Atlantis). Even the promosheet is entirely in Finnish. So please excuse me for not having such a deep insight into the concept, especially since online translations surely fail to deliver all the small subleties and ambiguities the lyrics have to offer and for which Stam1na are well-known.
One thing is for sure, it makes the album/band special, since there aren´t that many bands in the metal world, that stick to Finnish throughout all their album, no? In Finland it´s surely an advantage, but in foreign countries this might turn into a slight disadvantage, especially when it´s a concept album - actually a pity, when the meaning remains hidden. But well, let´s leave the language barrier aside, since it´s a double-edged sword anyways. The music itself surely is understandable without knowledge of the language - this damn groovy Neo Thrash works fairly well and gets stuck in one´s ears fast!
As far as it was possible to squeeze out some information via various sources, the concept is all about human beings, nature and climatic catastrophies, dark future prospects - a war between mankind and nature so to say. A highly topical and frequently discussed issue - Metal goes environmental protection - definitely not a common topic for a concept album. Too bad, that the deeper meaning of the lyrics will remain "secret" to most (non-finnish-speakers).
After a spoken intro accompanied by constatly present guitars in the background, “S.O.S (Salatkaa Oma Sijaitinne)” , they kick off groovy with "Piste Jolta Ei Ollut Palunta". The rhythm section puts the shoulers to the wheel from the very start and vocalist Antti Hyrde Hyyrynen shows, how variable his voice is and managed to get first pluspoints with his clean vocals. Definitely one of the songs, that might get stuck in your ears pretty fast. Apart from that, the stronger orientation towards a progressive orientation becomes obvious quite early as well - you´ll definitely find a bigger progressive touch on this album. What has only been adumbrated on former albums, is clearly audible now, still unmistakably Stam1na, but more complex. Another "novation" can be revealed, when having a closer listen - now the Finns also have a keyboarder in the band (who has actually already been with them since 2007 during live gigs), who adds a special twist to the songs, without overdoing it. The following "Pakkolasku" is more impellent and the vocals have an almost rap-like sound at times - however, this is no reason to take one´s heels, since it has of course nothing incommon with Rap as we know it. "Jäteputkiaivot" unleashes lots of energy and aggression, dashes forwards from the first second on and has lots of great riffs, along with death-metal-like grunting. The following "Maalla, merellä, ilmassa" has at least as much groove and melodies, as it´s preceding song had energy. "Tsunami" turns out to be a simply crazy track, vocal- and musicwise, which twists your brain, and in addition to that, the rhythm section gallops through the song - superb!
"Eloonjäänyt" continues consequently and without mercy, the synthies generate a dense atmosphere, that is somewhere between mosh-madness and epic sound tapestry. The last song and titletrack "Viimeinen Atlantis" is extremely different from the other songs, a very calm beginning, deeper vocals, even female vocals inbetween - Stam1na show a completely different side of themselves and also prove at the same time, that they´re good at this as well.
Even though there´s no really bad song to be found, the really strong tracks are definitely in the second half of the album. I think it has become clear, that none of the songs sound alike.Variety is a big thing and still every songs totally sounds like Stam1na. That´s what good albums should be like!
Definitely no wonder, that the album went straight to No.1 in the Finnish charts after it´s release. I´m quite sure, that this would never happen to such a band, that surely doesn´t play songs for the masses, in Germany. However, we always knew that Finland was a bit different, when it comes to our beloved music, no? Stam1na once again proved, that they´re not only crazy (little hint, just check out the video for "Pakkolasko"), but that they´re able to put this crazyness on a CD in a very convincing way.
You really miss something, if you avoid them, just because of language barriers. For me definitely one of the best band, the modern metal-genre has to offer in Finland right now. Thrash and groove mixed with Finnish vocals, giving this a very own touch, that makes them kind of incomparable to other bands, a definitive must-buy!