In metal, creating an enthralling atmosphere is nothing new, but when a band does it right, there’s nothing else like it and Finnish sludgers Radien do it very right. On ASTE, their most recent two track EP, the group borrow musical textures from across the globe and create a release which turns it’s back on genre labels. It’s bloody heavy too.
Radien presents a masterclass in creating an oppressive and at times ethereal atmosphere on this release. However, it’s the way these are created that is the most noteworthy. Rather than opting for the traditional route of feedback and punishing riffs (though those are certainly present here), the group look elsewhere for their sonic sculpting. The opener ‘Tunne’ blends together the aforementioned feedback and riffage with some added Mongolian sensibilities as rich, earthy throat singing melds together with traditional Finnish Karelian lamenting, resulting in a sound quite uncommon to metal.
The second track, ‘Haudat’, starts as your more typical sludge affair. However, as before, Radien happily throw in some unexpected textures, this time with far less subtlety. The rug of riffs is pulled straight from under you, but it would rob the moment of its weight to go into too much detail here – the abrupt change that occurs could make or break the track for the listener. Indeed, massive props need to be given to the band for delivering such an effective musical blind side.
With ASTE, Radien have done what every good metal band should be doing – taking risks and pushing the envelope, and they’ve done it exceptionally well.
ASTE is available now through Bunkkeri Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Sean Elias