Volucrine – ETNA
Finnish four-piece Modern Melodic Death Metal band Volucrine is set to release their fourth full-length album, ETNA this month. Focusing on the human experience and the challenges of merely existing in this age, they craft songs that use both clean and harsh vocals together with catchy riffs and heavy rhythms to get their point across. Formed in 2014, they have built a following for both their brutal records and killer live shows, taking the heaviness to a new level with stage shows known for their energetic performances. With a decade of experience under their collective belt, they have figured out who they are and how they want to sound, crafting a unique tone with both the instruments and words.
- Jupe Velin – Vocals
- Antti Heikkilä – Guitars
- Joni Kyynäräinen – Bass
- Jani Aalto – Drums/Percussion
February 16, 2024 – Inverse Records
- Old Friend
- Scarred Earth
- The Verge
I love it when a band does something a little different to open their record. Volucrine decided to bring the first song to life as a muted, filtered guitar riff/vocal combination that clears up just as the rest of the instruments kick in. To hear the change in the recording like that helps me to realize new technology can do a lot of things. Bands brave enough to explore those realms tend to catch my ear due to their ability to “think outside the recording box.” Immediately, “Riptide’ is a favorite track and the record has just begun.
Volucrine mixes their vocal styles in several ways. There are harsh vocals in an upper register and deep, dark growls mixed with a few sporadic cleans and some cleaner backing voices. This depth of vocal ranges allows for many different tones and textures within the music to temper how the song is perceived. This makes the stylings vary from Melodic to Brutal Death Metal, all while maintaining much of the highly technical portion of the compositions as well. The drumming is a study in technicality with all the pattern changes from track to track and even within a single song.
One of the standout tracks on the record is “Pyroclastic.” The sub-three-minute instrumental has elements of Progressive added to the Melodic Death Metal. The tone and technical aspects grabbed my attention and held me fast. I absolutely adore the guitar tones and love how it leads into “Godsized,” carrying a bit of the melody through the intro. I greatly appreciate the way it is recorded and mastered to run together, creating an extended intro of sorts, allowing for “Godsized” to be heard two different ways, with and without the “Pyroclastic” portion.
Volucrine impressed me with their use of multiple vocal styles and the technical aspects of their writing. I tend to prefer more Melodic stylings of Death Metal than standard versions, but that is just a personal preference. They have a great balance of brutality and delicacy to give their version of Melodic Death Metal a broader appeal than many bands aim for. There is a Melodic Death Metal scene in New England that would fit well with this sound if Volucrine ever gets to come to the US and tour.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 9
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 9
Overall – 9.00