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Riitasointu - Pedon Leikki review

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Band: Riitasointu
Album: Pedon Leikki
Style: Black metal, Folk metal
Release date: March 2024

01. Komeroisen Vuoren Alla
02. 1050
03. Luopio Ja Parras
04. Metsolan Vartija
05. Pedon Leikki
06. Uniemme Maa
07. Varjoissa Syvyyden
08. Impivaara

The future looks as bright for the Finnish folk metal duo Riitasointu as their music is blackened.

Whilst many genres across the vast metal spectrum are still oversaturating themselves with acts of mediocrity, the Finnish folk metal scene has been continuously churning out quality acts one after the other. From the humble origins that introduced us to the likes of Ensiferum and Moonsorrow, right through to the modern day, the Finns have always managed to produce a remarkably high volume of quality folk metal, brimming with passionate and richly melodic songwriting, and a real sense of authenticity. This now brings me to Riitasointu, a recent addition to this scene that spawned back in 2020.

Riitasointu are a duo featuring Kasper Leppänen (vocals/guitars/bass) and Jesse Virtanen (drums), who follow a 2021 demo with their full-length debut, Pedon Leikki. On this album, the band demonstrate a striking balance between folk and black metal, featuring a wide range of instruments and elements. The theme is mostly based on ancient tales of the old Tavastia region, with lyrical content taken from poems and verses from national author Aleksis Kivi presented in the native tongue; this only adds to the album's authenticity, lending it a great deal of character and charm.

Pedon Leikki begins with a short nature-themed intro titled "Komeroisen Vuoren Alla", and its beautiful strings and mesmerizing keys effectively set the album's mood, ultimately leading to the main opening track "1050". This song is essentially split between the aforementioned two genres; on the vocal side, there are harsh blackened shrieks performed alongside passionate folkish singing, while instrumentally, there's excellent twin guitar work, with highly melodic leads overlapping classic heavy riffs and blackened tremolos. For me, the most striking part of the track happens midway through with a sudden rhythm and tempo change, with the rolling thunderous drum beats and war-like chants behind a Finnish poetic narration being a particular standout moment.

From this point, certain subsequent tracks follow in the style of this opening, such as "Luopio Ja Parras", with its beautifully constructed acoustic passages, enchanting riff melodies intertwined with epic folkish leads, and clean bard-like singing alongside blackened shrieks. However, some other songs take unexpected stylistic directions. "Pedon Leikki" is a particular highlight for me, mainly because I'm not quite sure what's going on to begin with; it seems to start in an almost crust punk/blackened thrash manner, far removed from the folk metal we've heard so far, but it then takes a drastic change more along the lines of classic meloblack, at which point I'm left in awe by the utterly mind-blowing riffs. Later, "Uniemme Maa" contains elements from all of these genres (folk, black, and meloblack), but there is also a hint of doom during a heavy mid-tempo section, just to throw you off guard some more.

Riitasointu make another fine addition to the ever-growing list of Finnish folk metal acts, particularly the blackened side of the genre populated byHavukruunu and Wyrd. Pedon Leikki is frankly a fantastic debut, one that manages to present something authentic and fresh whilst containing all the magic of traditional Finnish folk, making this duo definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 7

Written on 07.04.2024 by Feel free to share your views.


Comments: 6   Visited by: 73 users
08.04.2024 - 20:45
Wow, I love this! Thanks for covering it!
09.04.2024 - 07:09
Rating: 7
Cynic Metalhead
Paisa Vich Nasha
Brilliant review. Almost covering all that I felt.

I was hooked on a demo "Kanervakankaalla" 25 mins straight absolute fucking beauty.

Let me get on this one.
09.04.2024 - 08:01
Rating: 8
A Nice Guy
Written by larksinmyhead on 08.04.2024 at 20:45

Wow, I love this! Thanks for covering it!

Thanks! No problem, it's a great album
09.04.2024 - 08:04
Rating: 8
A Nice Guy
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 09.04.2024 at 07:09

Brilliant review. Almost covering all that I felt.

I was hooked on a demo "Kanervakankaalla" 25 mins straight absolute fucking beauty.

Let me get on this one.

Thanks very much! This is one of the best releases in folk metal this year I'm sure you'll enjoy it
20.04.2024 - 15:43
Quite an interesting album with unique sound, production and compositions. Is it only me but some vocal lines resemble Orphaned Land ? Anyway, not all songs achieve the same level of quality in my opinion . Some songs could have been shorter as well. So for sure, a good album but not one of the best this year.
04.05.2024 - 15:02
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Who say that music, reckon that the kantele...they y should do that cover.
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''
I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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