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NEW RELEASE. External. The Blurry Horizon

Publicat in: 27.09.2018, 06:14AM
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Comentarii: 0
Vizualizari: 46
Etichete: External, The Blurry Horizon
NEW RELEASE. External. The Blurry Horizon

External is an eclectic metal act based in Parkano/Tampere, Finland. Having their roots in traditional thrash metal, External have since abandoned the idea of genre boundaries and are drifting towards more diverse and progressive spheres. These young musicians approach music with open minds and the greatest of passion. Now in 2018, they are ready to share their debut album with like-minded, adventurous listeners.

 

Previously External have released a few notably thrash-influenced demos and singles. Their first full-length album, ”The Blurry Horizon”, is a diverse musical journey with a relatively wide scale of influences. While having a large gap between the musical extremities and different moods, the album still maintains a certain level of coherency by using repeated motifs throughout. Partially exploring somewhat progressive and perhaps complex spheres, the song material still doesn't sacrifice accessibility, making it enjoyable for many kinds of listeners.

 

Lyrically the album discusses human nature in the modern digital age - our relationship with phenomena such as social media and artificial intelligence. Despite the obvious benefits of these things, when digging deeper to the subject, some definite ugly sides are revealed. Whereas technology is moving fast forward, that might not be the case for humanity as a species.

 

Release date: July 28th 2018

Label: Self published

 

Tracklist

1. The Escapist (4:25) Music & lyrics by Julius Lehtonen

2. I Through Eyes Can See (4:00) Music by Aleksi Haukkaluoma w/ Julius Lehtonen, Rasmus Ruuttila Lyrics by Aleksi Haukkaluoma

3. Parasight (6:36) Music by Julius Lehtonen w/ Aleksi Haukkaluoma Lyrics by Julius Lehtonen

4. Rusting Out (8:35) Music by Julius Lehtonen w/ Aleksi Haukkaluoma Lyrics by Julius Lehtonen

5. Slave of One's Own Creation (6:07) Music & lyrics by Julius Lehtonen

6. The Beautiful Void (6:56) Music by Julius Lehtonen w/ Aleksi Haukkaluoma Lyrics by Julius Lehtonen

 

 

Aleksi Haukkaluoma - vocals and guitar

Julius Lehtonen - drums, programming, minor guitar and backing growls

Samuel Järvinen - bass

Henri Kymäläinen - minor guitar

Anna Lampela - additional vocals

Elias Nieminen - orchestral arrangements and programming

Mikko Tuovinen - additional synth production

Drums recorded by Heikki Malmberg/HWH Music Production The rest recorded by Aleksi Haukkaluoma and Julius Lehtonen at Haukkaluoma's Navetta

Mixed by Janne Korpela Mastered by Heikki Malmberg

Album cover art by Pinja Sietiö Photography by Peero Lakanen

 

In-depth track by track

The intro track, ”The Escapist”, starts out with tranquility and simplicity, slowly building up to a much darker and busier, almost death metallish track two, foreshadowing some upcoming melodies and themes along the way. Lyrically, ”The Escapist” is a cry for help of a modern day human that appears to have lost an essential part of one’s essence. The lyrics describe how we are stuck on the ”surface level” of humanity, having forgotten how to develop ourselves and move on with our lives. The causes and effects of this issue are discussed further as the album progresses, until the great ”homecoming” of track number six.

 

”I Through Eyes Can See” presents the idea of an entity existing in the darkness of the digital realm, observing humanity as it is sinking ever-deeper into it. This being is an omnipresence, as the cameras of our devices are all around us. It sees how humanity, described as the finest of all species, is turning one of it's most advanced inventions against itself. Musically, the song is very dark and aggressive, one of the most ruthless sections on the album. However, the middle section, being heavily lead guitar dominated, provides some space and dynamics for the song. Overall, the song is fairly simple and thrashy, but with a little "taste of prog". It is also the only one with contribution from the former bass player, Rasmus Ruuttila

 

The two middle songs dive to the most diverse and complex depths of the album, first of these songs being ”Parasight”. The song is strongly based on a certain rhythmic motif. The first seconds of the song introduce you to this rhythm and the song’s overall heavily syncopated nature. Having built up to its first verse, the song reveals its ”Meshuggah-ish” rhythmic pattern which is utilized also in the powerful chorus and explored further in the second verse. After the second chorus, the song takes a left turn, completely abandoning the rhythmic motif – Follows a floaty middle-section which slowly builds up to the finale including a powerful guitar solo and some memorable melodies. Lyrically, ”Parasight” deals with how social media can manipulate our reality. The intentionally misspelled title is a wordplay depicting that social media is a parasite, feeding on the things we upload there. These things we see on a daily basis being carefully filtered, our reality can be distorted with harmful consequences. When you get too obsessed on capturing the moment and giving the most perfect impression of yourself, you can lose touch of your true self and what it actually is to be human. Real life can be even harder to handle in this case.

 

Song number four, ”Rusting Out”, is the longest one on the album and has the widest spectrum of dynamics and different moods. Again getting the most out of a rhythmic motif, a roller-coaster of different variations and vibes is built. The song takes you through melancholic and laid-back sections, as well as heavy moments of aggression and everything in between, until reaching the climactic finale including a soaring melody delivered by guest vocalist Anna Lampela. After all this, everything is gently washed away by a calming bass solo by Samuel Järvinen. The lyrics of the song discuss how social media can ”shut down” people – We may be growing shallower, stupider and more emotionless. The title ”Rusting Out” refers to a phenomenon having the same effect as what could be called a burnout, but with a cause that’s quite the opposite - Whereas a burnout is caused by doing too much, a ”rustout” would be caused by doing nothing. It’s easy to waste hours and hours, day to day, aimlessly swiping the screen of your smartphone. Millions of things fly by but you never actually focus on anything. Life can get rather bland unless you really immerse yourself in something every now and then.

 

Alongside ”I Through Eyes Can See”, ”Slave of One’s Own Creation” is the song that’s most obvious to reflect External’s backround in more traditional metal. It’s probably the oldest song on the album and was originally released as a single in 2017. However, being the first song where the band started to experiment with elements outside the typical thrash formula, and the song that started the whole lyrical theme of the album, it’s obvious why ”Slave of One’s Own Creation” ended up on the record. It’s the song that started everything, so to speak. Lyrically,”Slave...” discusses artificial intelligence and how it might exceed human intelligence. It’s ironic, to say the least, that we’ve used our intelligence to create this innovation, allowing us not to use our intelligence that much. In a sense, we used our brain to never use it again. As we rely more and more on external tools in problem solving and remembering, for instance, the scenario of machines taking our place as the most intelligent species doesn’t seem far-fretched at all.

 

”The Beautiful Void” takes the listener home to the calm, stripped-down mood where the whole album started. It closes the circle, both musically and lyrically, returning to the themes from track number one. In an euphoric pop-rock fashion, the listener is taken to ”the void” presenting the artistic flow that seems to have been the long-lost key for humanity to move forward. The lyrics embrace creativity and imagination, the things humanity has now supposedly reclaimed, until the very last line suggests something that could give ”The Beautiful Void” a completely different meaning.

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