Abyssion - Luonnon harmonia ja vihreä liekki [Svart Records - 2015]Finland is possibly home my favorite black metal scene as of late. There are so many excellent bands and more sprout up each year. Unfortunately, the sheer numbers make it difficult for a band, no matter how decent, to stand out. Abyssion belongs to this group of bands that, while perfectly capable and enjoyable in their own right, don’t quite have what it takes to elevate themselves from the crowded Finnish scene.
Luonnon harmonia ja vihreä liekki is the band’s third album released in just as many years and is a fairly good example of adequate Finnish black metal. Characteristic of the scene, it features a heavy emphasis on mid-paced, rocking groove. Riffs laced with a punkish vigor and restless energy are thrown around over grooving drums, with plenty of melody to spare. This is repeated fairly consistently with slight variations or even folksy accents in the vein of Burzum. Occasional moments of spacey tremolo riffs are brought to bear to give the band a more ethereal atmosphere quite reminiscent of an aurora borealis. The general mood is more of beauty than pride as Finland often used as a main source of inspiration. The band breaks from this mold occasionally to let out busts of savage tremolo riffery not unlike Mayhem in the way it brings a certain air of dread which fleshes out the release’s feel quite nicely.
A lot was made in the press release about the band’s progressive, experimental nature and their incorporation of psychedelia but I think that it is exactly in this regard that Luonnon harmonia ja vihreä liekki fails to meet its own potential. The majority of this release is solid, by the books Finnish black metal without any real psychedelic influence at all. Apart from the little spacey synth parts there isn’t so much as a hint of psychedelia for most of the album. The album’s closer “Pysähdyn kuuntelemaan hiljaisuutta” is the only track that delivers on the madness hinted at, with a squealing riff that brings to mind the Icelandic scene. But before it can take full effect, it vanishes.
Luonnon harmonia ja vihreä liekki is a strange release in that it succeeds at almost everything but its primary objective. While it’s advertised as an experimental, psychedelic experience, it’s fairly average Finnish black metal. There are good riffs, but none of the promised otherworldliness or strangeness. I actually found this album to be fairly enjoyable. Fans of the general style will surely enjoy this for what it is: a solid addition to the pillar of Finnish black metal. Tyler L.