Sunday, March 1, 2015


Rating: RRRR

Label: Inverse Records 2015
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

The mastermind of Wake The Nations is Risto Tuominen, best known as the guitarist of Human Temple and Villa Sucka. ”Sign Of Heart” started out as just recordings to archive some of Risto’s songs, but evolved into a full blown band project with international guests.

The album is a rather safe purchase for the fans of Human Temple, as the music style is firmly rooted in the same melodic rock/AOR genre. What’s more, Temple vocalist Janne Hurme sings on two of the tracks and appears in the writing credits too.

Despite there being 7 different vocalists on the album, it sounds like there’s a common thread binding the songs together. The melancholic, melodic sound of Wake The Nations is present in each one of them.

My favorite songs include the opener, the lite and breezy ”Fairytale Romance”, the first video track ”This Feeling” (sung by Dado Topic, a Croatian big-name rock singer) and ”The Touch Of Your Hand” (with vocals by Taage Laiho of Kilpi). ”Love Leads The Way” is one of my favorites too. It’s strange to listen to it without Janne Hurme’s vocals though, as it’s been around as a Human Temple demo for years.

As always, there’s always room for improvement. Although the album doesn’t suffer of the seven different voices, it would be good for the band identity to have a real lead singer on the next album. The production is quite good and clear, but there’s one song that sticks out a little. ”Seas Of Emptiness”, another old Human Temple song I believe, is otherwise an OK track, but I can hear Janne’s ”guide vocal” track beneath Ester Martinez’ vocal so clearly that it’s a bit distracting. And the high-pitched background vocals - sorry, but it’s like nails on a chalkboard to these ears.

This album has already managed to make it to the official Finnish Top 50 chart - a great achievement for a new band on a small label. Thumbs up!

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