As I’ve explained previously the aim this year is to try and write something almost every day, sometimes in detail but accepting (and not stressing too much) that some days the features might need to be brief.
Finnish band Riutta deserve more than the fleeting playlist mention I gave them last October, because recent album ‘Enne’ is a powerful and intense alternative prog post rock release, which has really continued to grow on me - despite the obvious handicap that I don’t really understand the Finnish lyrical content.
They’re a 4 piece band based out of Oulu and this is their 3rd album, which began in 2013 with Kaikki on Hiven and was followed up by a 2nd release in 2016. They describe themselves as a Progressive Rock band on Spotify, which is fair enough, but the danger of that is it doesn’t quite set out the scale of what Riutta are trying to do here.
All the tracks are worth a listen, but the highlights for me include Kaksi altoa with a gritty earthy feel to the 2 minute instrumental opening, before opening up with a fluid melodic section with vocals, whilst Katarsis is a really stand out track, this time discordant guitars really take the song right out to the edge, challenging the listeners with searing withering textures. Musta aurinka has a real post rock feel with hypnotic guitar repetitions and swells of dynamics and different shades, whilst title track Enne is a breathtaking 10 mins of complex song structures, riffs and themes - you really have to take a listen to appreciate it.
With just 6 tracks yet totalling 45 minutes in length, Enne is clearly music to get really get stuck to, and there’s no doubt that not everyone might have the patience to do so - it’s also true that there aren’t the huge musical themes that some post rock bands belt out. But this has real power and substance to it, I really like the guitar sound, the contrasts with the melodic vocals, and a feeling that they’re at times taking you out of your comfort zone, whilst still delivering something that will make you want to come back, and listen again and again.
We just need a joint gig with fellow Finnish band Ghosts on TV, and I’ll be happily quarantining for 14 days to see the spectacle.