Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MAD HATTER'S DEN: ”Welcome To The Den”

Rating: RRR
Label: Inverse Records 2014
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

”Welcome To The Den” is the first full-length album from Finnish melodic metal band Mad Hatter's Den. Despite their relatively young age as a band, they've put together a decent album of traditional metal with touches of power metal and progressive rock. The band's most well-known member is vocalist Taage Laiho (ex-Altaria, Kilpi, Ghost Machinery), who is one of the better metal/hard rock vocalists in this country. His performance is very good, as usual. No wonder that several bands are using his services.

The album sounds really good. Vintage Hammond sounds and more contemporary synth sounds trade places seamlessly from one track to another, and the guitarists showcase their skills yet the album never turns into a mindless shredfest. A certain lyrical clumsiness that's common with Finnish bands singing in english rears its' ugly head here too, but not too often. My biggest problem with this album is the fact that the songs are lacking in great hooks and tend to blend into each other somehow. There are a couple of standouts though, namely "Shadow Lord" and "Sharks Of Power", both very good hard rockers with strong hooks.

Anyway, if you're into 70ies and 80ies heavy rock á la Iron Maiden or Deep Purple you should definitely check out this album. Fans of eighties' Finnish metal legends Iron Cross could also give this a spin, as there were several tracks here that reminded me of that band.


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