Cardiant is a Finnish 6-piece power metal band from Finland, founded around 2000 and their latest album is one of the most solid albums I’ve got to hear from 2017. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
The album begins fiercely with the most progressive of all their songs, Mirrors and Me. It’s a bomastic fanfare of fast-paced shredding, double bass hammering and some orchestrations in between, much like what their Finnish peers of Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius were doing early 00’s. It doesn’t really offer much surprises on the matter but it’s a very solid package of pretty good metal with lots of variations. The song slows down at pre-chorus to almost a standstill before accelerating into chorus and then the guitars and keyboards play neoclassical harmonics together in unison, much like what the latter band did with Timo Tolkki still in the group.
The second track is a calmer one, with much more rock attitude. It relies on tension and release with having heavy guitar riffs with breaks in between. A faint piano plays a soft melody to lighten the mood and handling the lead role. The vocals are showing Erik Karhatsu’s low register as the verse is almost growled with a sense of danger. Overall, Riot Rising is the catchiest and easily the best song of the album with just one thing just a spellbreaker: Antti Hänninen’s guitar solos. I can clearly hear the guy is a very talented one with his instrument but the solos sound hastily done and like he only wants to show how fast he can pick. With no dynamics at all, musically clumsy and just messy, this solo is one of the worst ones I’ve ever heard. I understand the point of showing off but this is not the way to do it.
The album also offers a good amount of guest vocalists, first one being Pasi Rantanen from Thunderstone to sing Soul. It doesn’t differ much from the previous song as it’s much more modern heavy rock song, much like what the aforementioned band had done with their previous album Apocalypse Again (2016). On midway to the song, we hear Outi Jokinen briefly for the first time in a small section before a guitar solo which again feels like overly rushed and ruins the mood.
The female singer gets to show her faint voice more in the acoustic A Quiet One which is the only ballad on the album. Followed by Blank Star, these songs in the middle of the album are the most mediocre ones. Offering only few hooks to grasp on, and showing that Karihatsu’s voice is not as powerful as someone’s who has been doing it for many years longer, the technique isn’t still quite refined.
Other songs to feature more guests in vocals, His Supremacy with Janne Saksa. He’s best known as a producer for such iconic Finnish bands as Mokoma, myGRAIN, Stam1na, Pain Confessor, Amoral and many more. Shooting Star features Nitte Valo from Burning Point in the semi-ballad that once again leaves the band’s own singer, this time Outi Jokinen, in the shadow. It’s sad to hear and notice that the album would probably be better without such a front-row vocalist or two.
Towards the end we get another progressive one, My Delusion that plays with triplets and progressive vibes. Being mid-tempo and overly orchestrated, it only leaves a feeling that we’ve heard this before.
As the album ends with Another Time, Another Place I leave a small sigh of relief. It’s a very powerful track, which gains a lot of its gravity by featuring all of the session vocalists and their powerful voices just adds to the rocket ride a quite lot more than what the band could do on their own.
Overall, it’s a very solid album but the guitar solos should be more musical and less like a flood of very fast notes and the vocals have still work to do. Other than that, Mirrors is a potent display of dynamic and versatile songwriting. For a less demanding, or a really good friend of the genre, Mirrors is a good choice to add into playlist or album collection but to me it lacks a pinch of originality and uniqueness. Question remains, how they would perform live the songs that has other vocalists?
Erik Karhatsu – Vocals
Outi Jokinen – Vocals
Antti Hänninen – Guitars
Marko Lindroos – Keyboards & Backing vocals
Mikko Mänttäri – Bass & Vocals
Lauri Hänninen – Drums
|1. Mirrors And Me
2. Riot Rising
4. A Quiet One
5. Blank Star
6. His Supremacy
7. Shooting Star
8. Absolute Power
9. My Delusion
10. Life Has Just Begun
11. Another Time Another Place