When I listened to the Finnish ARKADIA's music for the first time, I asked myself frequently, where the hell is the debut album? What is taking them so long to make it happen? Well I didn't get an answer for this query as I didn't ask the band about it. Maybe I should. Anyway, at least I had the chance to listen to another EP / Demo from these guys that was released early this year. "Vindication For The Lost", in comparison to their 2009's "A Drop For The Past", can be recognized as yet another slight step in the band's musical progress. Still, the question remains, where is that full-length debut that I have been waiting for?
If you hadn't had a chance to listen to these guys yet, do know that you will be in for a delight. From a cold Finnish kind of melodic Heavy Metal through tunes of Doom Metal all the way to the boarders of melancholic Death Metal, the ARKADIA beast looms. I have always found them as the next generation of their peers in the local scene; the late SENTENCED, especially in their later era right before they went six feet under. However, as it turned out from their last two releases, ARKADIA turned out to be a little bit more than the old Finnish icons. Their shifts in Metal made them unique, especially with their mysteriousness.
What interested me most on "Vindication For The Lost" was the fact that with three separate tracks ARKADIA brought over their entire musical approach. Almost every single track turned its attention to a different subgenre in Metal, whether extreme or not. Furthermore, as I expected it to be, the quality of those tracks was no less than great. Although I found some of the tunes of "A Drop For The Past" as a little more to my liking, I couldn't deny that what I heard on this new outcome was diverse, strong and plainly exciting.
"Killing Growing Addiction" was as if it was a continuing story of some of the band's earlier stuff from "A Drop For The Past". Its opening was absolutely magical and quite appealing with a nice touch of harmony. The rest was equally good. Moreover, this one showed ARKADIA's vocalist, AJ Valkama, this time in a sole role, stronger in the vocal line. From this track it seemed that slowly his voice pattern has been turning away, in comparison to what it used to, from old SENTENCED's vocalist, Ville Laihiala. "Vindication For The Lost" was a different story. It started in a direction that I haven't thought that ARKADIA would take as it was a bit thrashy, especially when the riffs and beats were concerned. Furthermore, the extremity level of this song turned up a notch as AJ's fine growls were evident. What slightly made me wonder and a bit troubled was that the song seemed to wrap things up pretty quickly as near its end it seemed that it had something more to show. "Everything Said And Done" was the EP's Doom / Death Metal moment followed by signs of Gothic elements. AJ's growls sounded strong as the song's slow tempo riffs echoed in the back of his monstrous voice.
To be blunt, I have never really expected any less from ARKADIA as I knew more or less what I was going to face. If you are an old fan of SENTECED or if you wish to truly understand the meaning of the Finnish coldness in Metal and its mysteries, you ought to check these guys out. Such diversity is hard to come by even if it follows a melancholic path.