Red Raven Down – Phantoms EP
Released: December 15th, 2017
Jani Korpela // Vocals
Esa Tala // Guitars
Manu Lenkkeri // Guitars
Mikko Parkkonen // Bass
Jere Haapala // Drums
Earlier on this year I was first introduced to Red Raven Down after frontman Jani Korpela competed on The Voice of Finland singing Slipknot‘s ‘Psychosocial‘ and to the world’s surprise, he actually made it through the first round. He didn’t need the show to prove he was a decent, upcoming metalcore screamer, but it did help boost his public profile (on an international scale) and after he was booted from the show, he got straight back into band mode and the guys have finally produced some new music for the world to hear. It literally just landed an my inbox so let me take you through the Phantoms EP.
‘Intro‘ is exactly what you’d expect, an acoustic guitar eases you in before it’s joined by a heavy electric riff and drumming that slowly increases the tempo as it goes on and takes you right up to next track. However my only gripe is that the next song didn’t start immediately after the intro had finished, instead ‘Ashes‘ started with yet another ascending intro before the band kicks in after a few seconds, that minor detail aside, the song kicks off and instantly I can hear influences from Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive‘s ‘Wild Eyes’ behind Jani Korpela‘s soothing screams. There’s a guitar solo that screams 90’s halfway through too, but while the song seems simple and easy listening, you have to remember the band are from Finland but have done a pretty good job (in my opinion) of translating their lyrics to English for a wider audience. The song ends with another solo which fades us out with the final strum, but the tempo picks right back up for title track ‘Phantoms‘ and the momentum is maintained throughout. At certain parts during the song, you can definitely hear where a group vocal scream could have benefited and made the lyrics stand out more, instead Jani takes on the role of singer on his own and while he does a really good job of holding screams and growls, an extra voice could definitely help to boost up the dramatic effect.
‘Rotten‘ would have to be the better of the three songs on the EP, which is a heavy scream for help from someone struggling with their inner demons and deteriorating emotions. I don’t know if it’s the production of if Jani was holding back the backing music seemed like more of the focus point than the lyrics. Given a bit more time and experience I reckon they’ll nail the recorded aspect of music, but I’m keen to see them performing live before I make a final judgement on the band, they have a great sound, very akin to early metalcore bands who came up back in the early 2000’s.
Red Raven Down prove they have a spark that needs to be ignited, given a bit more time and experience I can safely say they become a household name in both their native Finland and an international scale, more so than they are now.
Red Raven Down – Phantoms EP tracklisting