Arion
"Vultures Die Alone"

(AFM)

01. Out Of My Life
02. Break My Chains
03. Bloodline (feat. Noora Louhimo)
04. I'm Here To Save You
05. In The Name Of Love (feat. Cyan Kicks)
06. A Vulture Dies Alone
07. I Love To Be Your Enemy
08. Where The Ocean Greets The Sky
09. I Don't Fear You
10. Until Eternity Ends

RATING: 8/10

This is almost certainly the wrong forum to be discussing the Eurovision Song Context, but that is where ARION first made their mark in the music world. With LORDI as a rather endearing precedent, the Finns have emulated their fellow countrymen by forging a solid and promising career, with two strong studio records in the bank to date, and very little evidence that an initial dalliance with the world's sparkliest song competition has impeded their progress. And quite right too, because as they demonstrate repeatedly on "Vultures Die Alone", ARION have such an unerring knack for writing catchy songs and playing with all available balls to the wall that even the most tune-phobic metalhead might struggle to resist.

Yes, there is something overwhelmingly shiny and wholesome about the sound of "Vultures Die Alone". This is gleaming, state-of-the-art melodic bombast with roots in power metal, all things symphonic and even twinkly toothed AOR, but with enough modern metal crunch underpinning the whole thing to negate any potential cheesiness. More importantly, ARION pull off the impressive trick of straying audaciously close to the pop-friendly gloss of latter-day metalcore, without sacrificing one iota of heaviness. Both "Out Of My Life" and the roof-raising "Bloodline" (featuring BATTLE BEAST's godly Noora Louhimo) are infernally memorable and intrinsically bright-eyed, but vocalist Lassi Vääränen has grit, soul and power to spare, elevating even the simplest of melodic ideas with sheer foot-on-the-monitor exuberance.

After a sustained blur of anthems, "Vultures Die Alone" takes a more intriguing turn. "I Love To Be Your Enemy" is dark, epic and subtly progressive, with Vääränen flexing his talents and exhibiting laudable versatility and a dash of storytelling panache. It's a startling moment, and one that suggests that ARION are only beginning to explore their sound's limits. Similarly, "Where Ocean Greets The Sky" is a colossal, melodramatic power ballad with woozy, tripped-out undertones: more revelation than curveball, it's the Finnish quintet's most powerful moment to date. After that, "I Don't Fear You"'s power metal fist flurry and "Until Eternity Ends"'s glacial eulogy adds further depth and substance to what is an admirably cohesive, succinct and dynamic slice of fervently melodic heavy metal. It's hard not to raise a toast to that. Kippis!

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).