Finnish Shamanic Metal band IA have set June 26th, 2020 as the international release date for their conceptual album ‘initIAtion’.
IA is a Finnish, Hellsinki-based shamanic musical / visual concept designed to induce states of trance and bring the listener beyond the limits of ordinary awareness, into realms of full-blown psychedelia and spiritual insight.
IA’s debut album initIAtion is a concept album rooted on different shamanic and mystical traditions, personal experiences and stories. It conveys a tale of the birth of a shaman: from the realization of the inherent inner power to the healing of the self and ultimately to the death and rebirth of the shaman-to-be. On the other hand, it’s a story of a soul’s struggle in fulfilling it’s inescapable destiny to become a medium between the ordinary and the spirit world. With live shows in mind, the narrative is carefully weaved within progressive drama-driven arrangements and dynamic soundscapes ranging from tranquil meditative moods to ecstatic metal mayhem.
An interesting concept, IA come out with the big guns on opener PromethIA. The big guns being heavy ass riffs, thick groove, chunky percussion, unusual atmospheres, effects and a smash-mouth vocals style. It’s a very strong start.
The groundwork laid, the percussion then leads the way on the self-titled track. A methodical and impactful crunch of heaviness that picks up in pace allowing the guitars to scream and squeal. To be then be followed by some dark atmospheric groove and cleaner segments on Blackcurrent. A really eclectic heavyweight, this is the sound of IA strengthening themselves.
Such a interesting listen, the longer it goes on, the more developed it sounds. Exemplified by the massive 11 minute tome that is The Golden King of the Forest. The folksy intro falling into a grander and deeper metal pit that draws from the darkness of traditional heavy metal with just a hint of power thrown in to give it a richer taste.
Having already done a wonderful job of convincing any and all that hear initIAtion of the quality, IA take us on a one final three-part journey. The Initiation comes as a trio and part 1 is far more progressive sounding then you might expect. Whereas part 2 is a short break of electronica and part 3 makes sure to close the concept out in grandiose style. IA’s grandiose style, odd and different to just about anything heard elsewhere on the album. They certainly aren’t short on ideas.
IA – initIAtion Full Track Listing:
4. The Golden King of the Forest
5. The Initiation Pt. 1: The Initiation
6. The Initiation Pt. 2: The Collapse
7. The Initiation Pt. 3: Skeletonise
IA - initIAtion (Self Released)
The Final Score - 8/10