It’s such a long time since I last reviewed Helsinki’s The Holy that the article was almost lost in the mists of time. I do know they have been out of the picture for a while but now they return, signed to PME Records, a Helsinki based independent label. This is the first single, and with a video.
When I last reviewed them I noted that if you like a bit of rock you would find plenty of variety – Alt, Metal, Kraut, Punk, along with a smattering of pop and prog.
Apart from having two drummers they are also noted for their interesting selection of lyrical themes, having previously tackled such abstruse subjects as the 1990s Finnish economic recession and its reflection on the youth of its time (which I’m glad to see is still getting billing in their PR).
They seem to have a similar bent to that of fellow countrymen Nightwish in that they have an interest in scientific topics.
I also notice that I’d compared them with Sweden’s Peter, Bjorn and John but only in the sense that as with PBJ you never know quite what is coming next with them.
Well you do now. This first single, ‘Familia’, has them ignoring each other then taking dinner together collectively in the dark video set in a forest as they act out a sequence in which the evening degenerates into a conflagration that consumes everything. So what is this one about, then? What is the hidden subtext? A new Prime Minister? Joining NATO? Finland not winning Eurovision?
They all seem to want to escape, but from what?
Replete with melancholy and gloom the song is 5 minutes and 15 seconds of structured mayhem, a succession of verses in search of a chorus and a bridge, the only relief from its non-stop ebb and flow being the occasional key change.
If that’s how you like your music you’ve come home.
In the video this family dinner falls apart courtesy of several apparent feuds before spontaneous combustion sets in and then as some of them leg it into the Blair Witch woods, the entire shebang burns to the ground in their own bonfire of the vanities.
You know the last time I saw a band arguing like that (in real life, at the baggage reclaim at Stockholm Arlanda airport – I won’t name them) they broke up a few months later. Don’t make it too realistic, guys.
The entire enterprise is highly atmospheric and addictive. There are few bands that can create and sustain this level of power through an entire song and ‘Familia’ would make for compelling viewing live.
‘Familia’ is out now. Their third album ‘Ländmark’ is scheduled for a release later this year.
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