If for you HIM was very much like marmite (love/ hate) then you may prefer a taste of Flat Earth. 8/10
Flat Earth re-unites Mikko “Linde” Lindström (guitar) and Mika “Gas Lipstick” Karppinen (drums) of HIM with the addition of Niclas Etelävuori (ex-Amorphis) on bass and Anttoni “Anthony” Pikkarainen (Polanski) vocals.
For those who may have lived under a heavier rock for the past few decades, HIM was one of the most commercially successful Finnish bands of all time. They classed their brand of melancholic pop goth metal as ‘love metal’ and had an iconic logo which combined a heart and pentagram.
Flat Earth began with Niclas exiting Amorphis with tracks still needing to be heard. While still in HIM, Linde started working on ideas with Niclas, Anthony joined and the line-up was completed with the addition of Mika (Gas Lipstick, HIM). Most of the music is generated by Niclas, with everyone contributing both compositions and feedback with lyrics and vocal harmonies generated by Anthony. The album was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, Amorphis [ & Apocalyptica, Sentenced])
Flat Earth have stated that despite the impressive careers of some of their members, they do not wish to be seen as a ‘supergroup’ and this is a new beginning with which they want to ‘step into the light’. Which is surprising, as to me they sound very much in the same vein as HIM. When their own press release states
Anthony’s maudlin yet contemplative singing, that gives the band’s sound a tint of mawkish desperation that sets them apart from any other band you’ve heard.
Mawkish, as in insincere, overtly sentimental, nauseating. My sympathy and glee battle with my conscience before I start spinning the release…
The anthemic Subhuman opens this debut and it is a delightful blast of upbeat pop metal, the perfect soundtrack for a video game. Invigorating and fun. The pace slows for the groovier Blame which was released earlier this year as their first single. The chorus is heavy and Lindes guitar work is great as expected and is sure to become a crowd pleaser. Given Time is a melodic power ballad and is a fantastic showcase for the diversity in texture and range that Anthony can deliver. Released last month it’s lyrically strong as is its delivery. Cyanide is a smorgasbord of catchy riffs, pulsating bass hooks and a little bit of swearing! What’s not to like from their second single release. Instead of love its cyanide, cyanide metal?
None For One the title track starts whimsically, then in comes a chugging bass line which drives the song. This may be slower paced, but it’s a heavy rollicking beast of a tune. The Glow demonstrates intricate rhythms, discordant melodies and is slightly progressive in nature. It’s an absolute beaut of a track and quite unexpected.
Noble Swine heavy, melodic and its percussion is pummeling, while Limelightis slightly more sparse with a sleazy but catchy chorus. Freedoom has a doomy grungy feel but with a peculiarly nu-metal twist and Blunt is a pleasing mid tempo ballad. Kill My God opens with a rousing heavy 70’s style riff, lyrically dark and emotive it’s a pulsating pleaser of a song.
None For One is pleasant, it doesn’t reinvent the genre and is certain to do very well. The production and musicianship are fantastic, the vocals very impressive the content harks back to early ‘noughties’ alternative and emo rock.
If for you HIM was very much like marmite (love/ hate) then you may well favour Flat Earth for their greater diversity both lyrically and melodically.
- Given Time
- None For One
- The Glow
- Noble Swine
- Kill My God
Flat Earth released their new album ‘None For One’ on 9th November via Drakkar Entertainment and you can purchase it here
Each Monday The Metal Report sends out a list of all stories, interviews, reviews and features we’ve posted for the previous week. You can sign up for it here.