CD review WALTARI ‘Global Rock’

If there is one band on this planet that takes the word ‘crossover’ very serious, than it’s Waltari from Finland. The band, nowadays driven by Kärtsy Hatakka.and Jari Lehtinen, seems to have an endless flow of border-crossing creativity. Not forgotten is the extraordinary ‘Yeah! Yeah! Die! Die! Death Metal Symphony in Deep C’ album, a Death Metal opera that premiered on stage at the Helsinki Music festival and was later in the ’90s released as an album.

Waltari had their heydays in the ‘90s, a time when Metal took some interesting twists. Although the big times couldn’t be reached anymore in the new century, the guys continued releasing material over the last years with the newest one lining up to be shipped to the record stores. Following the 2015 record ‘You Are Waltari’, the band unleashes with ‘Global Rock’ a next longplayer with a title that couldn’t have been chosen much better. As not expected different also the newest release features songs that sound like the outcome of a musical melting pot, a fusion of Metal, Rock, Punk, Funk, Pop, Techno and others.

What makes Waltari special is not only the crossover approach with so many genres as a base. The Finns do their creative work in a way that there is a uniqueness in their music with Hatakka’s voice being one important trademark for sure. But it’s more than some unique vocals to make Waltari to what they are – a cool Rock band from Finland. It’s the entire sound, something you immediately connect to the band.

‘Postrock’ is a light-hearted start into a musical adventure. Catchy melodies and sound effects are as present as down-tuned guitars. Waltari aren’t afraid of keyboards and melodies and you should press the ‘Start’-button with the same mindset. Of course things could end-up in sugar-sweet Pop-Rock, but NOT in this case. ‚Metal Soul‘ and the heavy start will shows that Waltari have always enough guitar-power at hand to not drown in sticky sweetness. ‚Skyline‘ shows some Pop-affinity with Rap-influences reminding of some current Modern Rock bands from the US.  The song’s certainly not written for most of the denim & leathers fans but is one aspect of Waltari with the following ‘The Way’ being the balancing counterpart.

With ‚No Sacrifice‘ the first Metal-based song creates a break of the pattern. I had to think about Faith No More while listening to ‘The Way’ and this songs makes even more Faith No More thought to my mind.

Waltari unleashes the more of the  heavier rock beasts in the bottom part of the tracklist. ‚Orleans‘ is such a hard-hitting track, spiced-up with a few Country sequences and ‚And The‘ picks-up the heaviness again before ‚Sand Witch‘ rounds off an album that lives by its contrasts and  diversity.

Waltari in the ‘20s didn’t lose any of their fascination. Listeneing to ‘Global Rock’ is a very entertaining experience. It’s a good vibe throughout that gives a good time and a colorful view on life in general. The Finnish crossover kings are back from not having been away and listening to the album brings back a lot of ‘90s memories (OMG- I’m getting old, hahaha).

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Postrock
  2. Metal Soul
  3. Skyline
  4. The Way
  5. No Sacrifice
  6. Sick ‘n’ tired
  7. Boots
  8. Going up the country
  9. Orleans
  10. Had it all
  11. And the
  12. Send Witch
  13. Beloved

Label: Metalville

Genre: Crossover

Release Date EU: March 20th, 2020

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