“Final Void” Sounds of Absence by Adam McCann
Into the Final Void
Finland. Finland is the Nordic countries melancholic sibling and over the past 30 years, Finland has spawned some of the heaviest metal to date. It is a country that is proud of their heritage and their music is steeped in minor passages, Finnish folklore and a willingness to explore the darker side of human emotions.
Final Void formed from the ashes of Finnish hard rock band; Rainy Season in 2012, Final Void took their music in a considerably different direction. Unlike the hard rock of Rainy Season, Final Void started down the path of playing melodic metal and independently released their debut album; ‘Sounds of Absence’ on the 25th May 2017.
As a band, Final Void have stated that they have a garage band mentality and this comes through from the start with ‘Sounds of Absence’. ‘Sounds of Absence’ has been given a raw production in the studio, this certainly doesn’t mean poor or even demo quality, the raw production captures Final Void doing what they know and what they do best, it is a glimpse as to what you would get in the live environment with the band. Doing this shows that Final Void do not need any studio trickery or a top notch production to achieve their sound and what you get shining through is an honest band making a living from what they enjoy.
Beginning with the haunting sound snow being crushed underfoot against howling winds before breaking into the opening track; ‘One Certain Son’. Immediately you will notice the raw production, as that melodic metal sound comes through and at this point the music sounds a little like Iced Earth. However, as the vocals begin, you cringe a little bit at the rather weak vocals of Tuomas Kotajärvi. But, it isn’t this weakness that is the problem, Kotajärvi has a voice that strays on the borderline of being in tune and can take a little while to get used to. This can be changed after a few plays where you begin to find it a little endearing and almost enjoyable as the voice of Kotajärvi floats between the 90’s style of James Hetfield, the punk ethos of fellow legendary Finn; Michael Monroe, particularly on the track; For You and a late 90’s-early 2000’s Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost.
Persevere through ‘One Certain Son’ and suddenly ‘Sounds of Absence’ gets a real kick up the arse. From out of nowhere, Final Void discover some balls and other than the odd song, this theme stays. This is massively due to the presence of the growls of Janne Puranen. It is Puranen’s growl that gives Final Void that bite that is needed, especially during ‘Dianthus’ and ‘Thoreau’, however, it is during the latter of these songs where Kotajärvi warbles like Hetfield during the Load-era where Puranen’s growls save the band giving Final Void that real gothic metal feel and would appeal to fans of ‘Icon’ or ‘Draconian Times’ by Paradise Lost.
Before too long though, ‘Sounds of Absence’ will click and it becomes a very enjoyable album, ‘For You’, ‘Desperation Rises’ and ‘Her Song’ are all very memorable and show that Final Void are very capable of writing a decent song. ‘Bad Memory’ has some beautiful acoustic playing as a fire crackles in the background before descending into a doom style riff with a vocal delivery reminiscent Lee Dorrian of Cathedral, whilst the album’s closer; ‘The Day You Sold Your Heart’ solidifies what is some fantastic melodic legato guitar playing from Toni Hangasmäki throughout.
As a first album, ‘Sounds of Absence’ lays down the bedrock for Final Void to begin to build upon this and for an independent release, credit should be given to Final Void for doing this alone. Final Void are currently in control of their own destiny and ‘Sounds of Absence’ showcases their ability to write and perform as a band. However, independence can only take Final Void so far and on the back of ‘Sounds of Absence’, Final Void will start to attract labels. 5/10
Adam McCann/ MHF Magazine