Sunday, 3 November 2013

Aktor - I Am the Psychic Wars (2013) | 90%

A reference to Circle's "Katapult" album maybe?

NWOFHM #6 : Films Aktors Guild 

Thanks to my metal god friend Azmodes for the vinyl rip of this release, I owe you big time. NWOFHM is a term coined by Lehtisalo during his career, it's to reflect his love for metal and his country, Finland.

"As the wind blows my breath away, are you listening to me?"

Formed by one of my favourite musical heroes around, Jussi Lehtisalo and, to my surprise, the American extraordinary gentleman Chris Maycock (aka Professor Black of Dawnbringer, High Spirits, Pharaoh). Aktor is another weird Finnish project created by the Circle leader that will probably, to my consternation, go unnoticed. 

Maycock is bringing his awesome and fun voice to Lehtisalo's idiosyncratic song writing  What we have here is a perfect mix of High Spirits (a very pleasant band) with the insane experimental heavy metal approach developed in Krypt Axeripper, a project that if you didn't know yet, I totally adore. While the American is not known for his powerful voice (he's a composer more than everything else), I think he's a very nice addition here. His soft and easy listening voice fits quite well with the great riffs and he's able to transpose the weird vocal lines into something truly tangible.  The choruses are fun and the lyrics are super good and totally understandable.

Their first release akin to another metal project of the crazy Finn called Tractor Pulling, is a short single with two songs but goddamn, I think I pressed the repeat button forty times since I first got it. Perhaps this length seems a bit restrictive in terms of what you can achieve musically but under the flair of these seasoned musicians, it doesn't really matter. It's a great release and one of the best metal releases the Finnish psych/experimental guru has done.

The single is mixing melodic heavy metal with the usual weird leads that you can hear in most NWOFHM with an healthy dose of AOR and hard rock à la Blue Oyster Cult (hence the title of the release, I hope you guys got it before I told you!). Both songs, the title track and “Buried by the Sea” (which is maybe a following to Krypt Axeripper's “Sacrifice the Sea”?) are short three minutes and a half tracks, they're both very catchy with undeniable and mesmerizing hooks. There’s an added poppier sound here thanks to the sufficient amount of keyboards giving an “heavy prog”  or almost electro vibe perspective and the clean vocal delivery of the Professor. It’s more accessible than bands like Motorspandex or Arkhamin Kirjasto, it’s still eccentric but it’s maybe not as bizarre as some other projects. It's a bit similar to the new incarnation of Circle called Falcon which also released their debut in 2013 but Aktor is actually a full blown metal band

This single is highly recommended for fans of traditional metal with a personal and interesting touch. It's very melodic and has nice classic and glam rock influences. Aktor is one of the best collaborations I heard recently and it was a pleasant to hear these two seasoned and respected musicians play together. Lehtisalo proves once again that he's a true underrated metal warrior by delivering yet another solid release. I can't dislike anything that emanates from his creative and joyful mind. Spend seven minutes in good company!

Listen to the whole single here uploaded by yours truly.


Alternative and underground music said...

Great little track with just the right amount of quirkiness. Get your silver space suit on! I'm liking the electronic parts and in fact, I would have liked them to be more prominent. That's just my personal preference though.

Anonymous said...

a dl link would be süper nice!