Alase - A Matter Of Time

Alase is an atmospheric progressive metal/rock band from Finland. Their music is a melting pot of various genres, but the main focus is on the melody and atmosphere. There are a lot of influences outside of metal music as well. Musically, Alase has similarities with bands like Katatonia, A Perfect Circle, The Ocean, Textures, and Tesseract, just to name a few. They use a variety of vocalists on this album to create different textures for the songs, broadening the soundscape by using clean and harsh vocals.

Band Members:

  • Ninni Swan – Lyrics
  • Juha Tretjakov – Vocals
  • Markus Hirvonen – Vocals
  • Janne Lunnas – Vocals/Guitars
  • Mikko Häkälä – Guitars
  • Ari Miettinen – Bass
  • Ville Aatsinki – Drums

April 14, 2023


  1. Understanding The Waves
  2. Clear Sky Is Not A Curse
  3. Fate’s Intervention
  4. Unburden
  5. Life Ahead
  6. The Source
  7. Out Of Place
  8. Feeling Free
  9. Ajan Kysymys

The album opens gently with atmospheric, ambient sounds building to the first significant shift on the record. It is evident from the start that this is a Progressive Rock/Metal album at heart, but that is not all it is. There is also a profoundly philosophical element to this, from the lyrics to the way they wrap the music around that very specific word choice. “Understanding The Waves” seems to have a nautical motif, and knowing them will keep you safe but will help you figure out how to survive and escape the fate they hold for you. Waves are often patterns, and knowing those patterns will allow you to ride the waves through. Life also presents patterns, and knowing the patterns that cause you to harm can be like “Understanding The Waves.”

“Clear Sky Is Not A Curse” musically has some of the same elements. There are the variable drumming patterns, the intricate guitar fills, the ambient tones haunting the rhythm, and the dark bass line that almost belies the clear sky, foreshadowing the clouds destined to come. Bits of silence and tone/tempo shifts all create a delicious tension that finally resolves at the end with the fading echo of the voice.

“Fate’s Intervention” brings in harsh vocals more prominently. The growls fill the heavier sections, and the cleans augment the lighter areas, but there is also a middle ground where both voices are present, and it feels like a battle is raging on in my mind. “Unburdened” feels and sounds like the war is over, and there is a calm and peace that is not genuine serenity, just a lull in the turmoil. Calm is a relative term. After an extended internal struggle, even mild chaos can feel relaxing because it isn’t as difficult as what you just survived.

Neither “Life Ahead” nor “The Source” are anywhere near the heaviness of the previous few tracks. These are the softer side of Alase, but they still have an intensity that feels like a restrained power. They aren’t true ballads but hold closer to that end of the spectrum. The tones are different for each song, but they have cool similarities to each other.

The rest of the album plays out much the same. There are different voices, therefore, different vocal styles on some tracks. The music influences the delivery of the lyrics. In “Feeling Free,” there is a haunted melancholy to the voice and the music that is not quite like anything else on the album yet still fits the theme of the whole record.

This is a multi-faceted disc with an incredible variety of tones and textures. The vocals range from harsh gutturals to dark, haunted lows and beautiful, soaring highs. The guitars go from down-tuned heaviness to ethereal gracefulness. The rhythms are everything from soft, gentle, and lilting to dark and ominous. The Progressive Metal nature of the album allows these pieces to co-exist in the same song, not just on the album.

Alase has created a Progressive album that is less far-reaching than an Opeth or Dream Theater record. It is narrowed in scope and tighter to the central theme while still reaching for the edges of what is needed for the album to feel whole. This is not a Progressive showcase; it’s a Progressive composition that holds its’ power closer to the theme’s core. It doesn’t try to blow your mind but instead compels you to respect it for what it is, a solid album with an excellent tone.

MZ Ratings:

  • Musicianship
    • Guitars – 9
    • Rhythms – 9
    • Vocals – 9
  • Songwriting – 9
  • Production – 9
  • Overall – 9.00