WALTARI - Release Date

Waltari - Release Date

13 songs
70:50 minutes
***** ****
Dockyard 1

Bandpage

The mad Finns are back! I have to confess that after Space Avenue, already ten years ago, I lost interest in Waltari, and I was a little surprised to learn that they are still around. With band members more or less 40 years old, they have enough self-confidence to be themselves on their new album, ironically titled Release Date, without coming across like a bunch of oldtimers trying to rehash the good old times. The album starts and ends with typical Waltari fare: crossover in the truest sense of the word. Punk, progressive, metal, funk, disco are all brewed together, but instead of just making this an exercise in style, they even have some very recognisable melodies as on Big Sleep, Hype and Wish I Could Heal.

The middle part of the album is taken over by the five part suite Cityshamaani, which reminds a bit of their neo-classical death metal moments, except that this thirty-six minute opus (half of the album's running time!) doesn't need a symphonic orchestra to build up power. Instead there are a few decent brass parts, contemporary piano moments, progressive elements and even a full-fledged techno part. Excellent!

The album ends with the bonus track Spokebone, where Waltari are supported by the folk band Värttinä, making a nod to the band's past when they liked to flirt with polar music.

Release Date is a true return to form, combining the crazy crossover attitude of their past with at times truly excellent songwriting. The only reason I don't give a maximum rating is the fact that so many styles make the album feel at times a little disjointed. But a lot is happening here, and it never becomes boring.

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