The Rapture Futile

Finland's Rapture have made their mark with Futile, an impressive debut that holds its own against the best from fellow countrymen Sentenced and the mighty Xysma. "To Forget" begins the atmospheric journey with heavy yet melodic chordage akin to old Katatonia and "This Is Where I Am" sees vocalist Petri Eskelinen invoking the guttural spirit of old Paradise Lost. The keyboards in "The Fall" have distant strains of the lighter side of Morgoth's Odium, while guitarists Tomi Ullgren and Jarno Salomaa simultaneously skirt the boundaries of classic My Dying Bride. The title track approaches closest to newer Katatonia than the others and "Someone I (Don't) Know" is a grand acoustic-based ballad similar to late-career Pink Floyd, but leaning more towards the mellow vibes behind Anathema's A Fine Day To Exit. Conversely, Angels Of Distress is pure doom, like a slab of the darkest obsidian, jagged yet glowing with an inner flame never to be quenched. Apparently, Ullgren, Salomaa and drummer Samu Ruotsalainen couldn't get enough of their pre-Rapture outfit and decided to release a second album, featuring a violinist, female vocals and the phenomenal throat of Amorphis's Pasi Koskinen. Beginning with a lurching bark reminiscent of Cathedral's Forest Of Equilibrium, "Fallen" plods along the classic MDB path, as does the epic title track. Throughout the lengthy songs, Koskinen unleashes unearthly, almost industrial growls, like Dead World or Disembowelment, but with a more clearly articulated delivery. Angels Of Distress, like Futile, is solid metal, and fans should not own one without the other. (Relapse)