June 12th, 2015
Just when you think nobody can come up with a new metal ‘genre’, Amanita Virosa comes to life with what they call ‘hospital metal’. Originating from Mikkeli, Finland and naming themselves after the poisonous fungus, the band started playing together back in 2008. This is now, however, when Amanita Virosa has grown to its most powerful form to surprise everyone with their very first full-length album, Asystole, which was released via the Finnish Inverse Records.
So, what actually is ‘hospital metal’? Looking at the band’s pictures, you can say that it’s all about the image. But you can’t be more wrong! The whole music aura of Asystole has got a strong mental hospital semblance. And I mean it. However, I am still trying to understand their fascination with cabbage. Yes, cabbage… Lyrics are very suitable and, involving different aspects of insanity, together with the aforementioned image and music, make Amanita Virosa a very coherent formation. Let me give you some details.
After a melancholic and actually very ingenious intro you get a sudden strike of metal which ascertains you that it’s not the first time they grabbed the instruments. Also, one of the first impressions of Asystole are sick vocals holding a lot of skill. Clamors perfectly blends different styles alternating the vocals from black to death metal aesthetics. Numerous quick sections are very dynamic and mingled with various keyboard parts (sometimes having a sort of classic piano sound), give the whole album the boldness which is more and more difficult to find in modern metal. It’s worth noticing that although the band puts emphasis on keyboard, it still acts as a background rather than a leading feature.
All the compositions have got some diversity and each one features some characteristic ‘ingredient’. I must, however, say that Valuta Vereni Tähän Maahan remained my favourite track since I’ve heard it for the first time. Vomiting sounds (probably after eating too much cabbage) are always a nice addition and this song, being the only one in their native tongue, reminds me how I wish I spoke Finnish. Catchy riffs combined with a nice keyboard lines and skillful guitar solos make it the band’s trademark in my opinion.
The ending solo has definitely got the ‘wow’ factor and it leaves a listener with a pleasant aftertaste. It also gives the hope that Asystole is just the beginning and the hard work which was put into recording such a commendable debut album will only be the root of what they can do in the future. Asystole definitely needs to go on my list of the most successful debuts of 2015. When you enter the metal scene, it’s always the best to do it with a massive bang! The band will be going on the European tour this year and I do hope that it will be the opportunity for the guys to poison a lot of people with the deadly toxins of Amanita Virosa.