Finland’s female fronted melodic metallers SILENTIUM return with 2020’s Motiva and are sounding stronger than ever! Motiva is to be released on August 28th Via Out Of Line Music.
Metal made in Finland is bound up with certain expectations that can be both a blessing and a burden for any band hailing from the far north. Foremost on this list is a penchant for bittersweet melancholy and strong emotions. Not far behind this dark streak comes a seemingly easy aptitude to deliver catchy melodies which contrast nicely with crunchy riffing. Technical prowess as well as the use of keyboards is taken for granted. SILENTIUM manage to check all these boxes and still emerged with their very own sound from the beginning.
With their upcoming sixth full-length, Motiva, the Finns deliver their most mature and versatile album so far. “We have grown both as individuals and as a band”, states singer Riina Rinkinen. “We have maintained our complexity, but we have more control and made the songs appear more straight forward by taking deliberate musical choices.” A case in point is the track Shame that is steeped in regret and sorrow expressed by a range of instruments from metal to a woodwind quartet yet is delivered with a delicate lightness that underlines the fragile feeling of the song. Its antithesis can be found in the first single outtake, Unchained, which hits home with an angry punch that is balanced by the track’s wide range of guitar work including a cascade of tapped notes and flourishing solos. “With Aapeli Kivimäki joining the band in 2014 we now have two guitarists contributing solos”, adds Riina. “They both have their own style that opened doors to new dimensions regarding our string-work.”
SILENTIUM shape Motiva from their long years of experience since their founding in the year 1995 but also by adding fresh elements to their melodic doomy sound like the more modern approach of ‘Unchained’. Although it might have been tempting, the band does not attempt to hide their “Finnishness”, which conjures a range of comparisons throughout the album to compatriots such as AMORPHIS, CHARON, SENTENCED, and even a tiny pinch of NIGHTWISH to name but a few. The most obvious nod to those northern melodies derived from their homeland’s folklore can be found in the hauntingly beautiful instrumental ‘Circle’. Long term followers of the band will easily notice the wider stylistic range that SILENTIUM have at their command in 2020 without cutting off their roots.
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Among the features that mark the progression of SILENTIUM on Motiva is the feeling that vocalist Riina Rinkinen has finally been unleashed to shine with the full range of her expression. When the singer joined the band on the fourth album Seducia (2006) she came at a time of change. The long-time female voice of the band, Tiina Lehvonen that had been present from the debut Infinita Plango Vulnera (1999) and the following sophomore album Altum (2001) had left and was replaced by Lullacry singer Tanya “W. Lilith” Kemppainen on short notice – only for the recording of the acclaimed third opus Sufferion – Hamartia of Prudence (2003), which was produced by NIGHTWISH mastermind Tuomas Holopainen. Riina not just left her mark, but with her confident voice, the band shifted focus away from the male towards primary female vocals as witnessed by SILENTIUM’s fifth full-length Amortean (2008). After this release the band went on hiatus for personal reasons.
The long break helped to ferment a different attitude towards the lyrical side of the Finns, which is now more personal than ever. “Many of the songs chronicle my battles with depression or are in some way derived from that state”, reveals Riina openly. “The song ‘Truth’ for example deals with that nagging feeling of guilt when you are aware that you should not have these dark emotions that torment you but that won’t go away either – and that stagnation causes more pain.” It is not just important that the singer sets an example of honestly dealing with a dangerous and terrible disease that so many struggle with despite the ongoing stigma that ignorance has created around it but her lyrics are also an artistic achievement. Honesty is a trait that Riina displays also regarding the added vocals of former CRIMFALL Helena Haaparanta on Motiva. “I was extremely pleased that Helena agreed to sing the harmonies throughout the album”, smiles the Finn. “She has a broader range than I do, which makes the harmonies sound even better. The final touch was delivered by Aksu Hanttu, who gave the album more power with his production.” The crisp and driving sound that Aksu Hanttu has given Motiva ” is something that can be expected from the producer’s work with Misery Inc., Korpiklaani, and Entwine and obviously fits SILENTIUM well. Time to judge for yourself…