Oh dear… what have these guys done. Filing themselves under progressive rock/metal category, Finnish outfit Standing Ovation has definitely switched on a new gear. Their debute album includes material from very tight bombardment to more subtle proceedings, and at times checking in at the wildest corners of the imaginative mind. Like a mechanically constructed circus ringmastered by singer Jouni Partanen’s unique and theatrical delivery, as with the laughter on the track ‘Black Box’ which rises forth as one of the most memorable songs on the album, as is the case with jolly and amusing track ‘Hey Ho!’
The band plays their material in their own, shall I say very innovative modern way, which has become the band’s trademark and steers well clear from the mainstream. Standing Ovation instantly separates themselves from the masses.
The album follows a certain theme, but the songs work individually just as well. And despite the songs being very multidimensional at times, some sort of a magical thread keeps them together tightly and the riffs don’t wander off like a bunch of piss-drunk hobbits running aimlessly around the fields of gold with pipes hanging from their mouths. The arrangements and sounds are all in fine form.
Greatest part in band’s tighter compositions is that you can’t really guess how the song will proceed after the next part. It’s like a feeling that you’re a passenger in a car that takes a sudden turn to the left when you were expecting a move to the right. So your body keeps on going left and your brain is about to exit the vehicle to the opposite direction. The feeling makes you dizzy but leaves you feeling damn good afterwards. A good point to experience this feeling is the near-epic title track of the album.
And so, my recommendation is to act with haste and get yourself a copy of this masterful album, lean back and enjoy!
4. Black Box
5. Hey Ho!
7. I Have Superhuman Powers
8. Break the News
9. The Antikythera Mechanism
Pt. 1 – Xekínima
10. The Antikythera Mechanism
Pt. 2 – Eureka
11. The Antikythera Mechanism
Pt. 3 – Apoptosis