Sal Klita Blogger | Muzik impressions

Sal Klita Blogger

Friday, February 4

:: Finland :: file under :: 70's Laser beam ::

"They're from Finland. They're called Nightsatan. Their record is called Midnight Laser Warrior and features on its cover some helmeted ghoul with a knife, and a sawblade, and a bullet belt, and tons of spikes and studs on the leather jacket that barely obscures his rotting zombie flesh. They have song titles like "Four Eyed Cyclops", "Death Chess 2000", "Karelian Stairmaster (Evil Lucifer)". The record was mastered by two members of aQ faves Finnish hypnorockers Circle. We saw a YouTube clip of Nightsatan performing, where a certain member of the crowd got so worked up he decided to sing along, that person was none other than Albert Witchfinder of the mighty Reverend Bizarre (and The Puritan, among others). Their drummer is credited with player "Laserdrums". And most importantly, they play "LAZERMETAL". Which is in fact, not metal at all, nor even "NWOFHM", instead it's some sort of crazy, futuristic, electro prog, like Goblin or John Carpenter, or any of the current crop of Carpenter worshipping retro futurists (Majeure, Umberto, Zombi, Blizaro) but filtered through some ELP, or Yes, or even more obscure prog faves like Il Balleto Di Bronzo or the New Trolls. Sure the sound is synthy, and retro and electro and will no doubt appeal to those folks, but it's also twisted and proggy and FINNISH, which makes this something else entirely.

:: MPEG Stream: "Four Eyed Cyclops"
:: MPEG Stream: "Death Chess 2000"
:: MPEG Stream: "Karelian Starmaster (Evil Lucifer)"
:: MPEG Stream: 
"Stars, Our Destination"

The cool thing about these guys, ONE of the cool things, is that they're a proper band, this isn't just a studio project, assembled at a desk with a computer, no these guys are a BAND, and there's tons of footage of them playing live, and most notably, they have a DRUMMER, who plays drums, electronic drums sure, but they give the sound a sweaty, urgent, human element missing from lots of similar stuff, not to mention, these songs are epic and complex and again PROGGY. Opener "Four Eyed Cyclops" begins with a bit of Tangerine Dreamy synthiness, accompanied by some growled cookie monster vox, but it doesn't take long for the track to get going, with some awesome syncopated rumming, locked tight with the synths, then another buzzing bit of low end synth swoops in, and while it's not metal, we can definitely feel the same sort of power and energy and intensity. All the synths drop out, leaving just the buzzing low end one to unfurl a serious slithery riff, the drums come back in, and it's like some weird electronic electro-doom, the metal vibe, more in the vibe than the sound, but it's definitely weird and heavy and electronic, with lots of bent notes wound into electro leads. Awesome. ::: ::: 
"Death Chess 2000" starts off with more buzzing low end synth riffage, some "Iron Man" style kick drum, before slipping into another bit of electro-doom, only to have everything suddenly speed up, and transform into a car chase Autobahn soundtrack that returns briefly to that opening electro doom, before stripping down to just minimal synth and a skeletal rhythm, and more of those weird raspy vox, finishing off in a blaze of swirl and buzz. "Karelian Stairmaster (Evil Lucifer)" might be the proggiest of the bunch, another swirly Logan's Run sounding intro, all arpeggiated melodies underpinned by thick wheezing synth buzz, while the snare drum drives the rhythm, before blossoming into a hazy, futuristic soundscape (which more than one customer mistook for the Tron soundtrack! If only!), that warbles woozily, and eventually switches tempo and becomes the perfect score for some lost eighties VHS tape horror movie futuristic dystopian city montage. Throughout, the song offers up some strange detours, intense super dynamic stop/starts, with pounding drums, and some gorgeous woozy video game soundtrack balladry (which again has us thinking how much better these guys would have been for scoring Tron).
"Ninja Apocalypse" is creepy, and haunting, with the sound of fake rainfall, deep bass swells, and a main keyboard melody that would most definitely not be out of place in a Halloween or Friday The 13th movie, but like all the songs, the track continually shifts and transforms, minimal and hauntingly creepy one second, supper progged out and propulsive the next, soaring and majestic the next, and druggy and psychedelic the next. "Steel Diamond Part 4" (parts 1 and 2 are on the 7" reviewed elsewhere on this list, not sure where part 3 is though), is another electro prog workout, that features a super soundtracky main melody wreathed in layer after layer of synth buzz, the drums dense and intricate, the sound swirling and shimmering, evoking images of alien planets, of crashed starships, of subterranean lairs, of strange creatures chained up and walking into the depths, of the blackness of space, which leads right into the final track "Stars, Our Destination", which takes that space synth sci-fi sound even further out, pulsing and throbbing, the melodies tangled and intricate, hypnotic and totally mesmerizing, the sound dramatic and emotional and epic, and so totally cinematic, every track in fact here plays out like the music to some climactic scene from some lost eighties sci-fi adventure epic, with "Stars, Our Destination" being the perfect culmination, the drums less rhythmic, and more dynamic, pounding alongside the synths, the vocals more breathy exhalations, soon joined by thick rubbery low end pulses, everything growing more and more intense before fading into a swirling drift of warbly synths, swirling FX and whispered urgent voices. There's a short hidden track, another sort of Halloween gone electro synthwave, with a pulsing house-y beat, creepy raspy vocals, and a main melody that sounds like it had to be created for some horror movie, tense and intense, this final coda brooding and moody, but also propulsive and weirdly motorik, the perfect sci-fi, electro house, futuristic synth wave hypno krautrock finish to a pretty much perfect sci-fi, electro house, futuristic synth wave hypno krautrock record! And all this talk of soundtrack and cinema is not just us, the artwork on the back cover, which features a modular synth, with the various patch bays altered to read as song titles, also includes various inputs for things like "Doom & Gloom", "Heavy Pounding" and maybe most tellingly "Extra Giallo". So good. Easily our favorite of this new batch of synthy soundtracky sci-fi sounds."

:: Text & stream links by Aquarius Records ::