Written by William Dibble
Many of the bands we cover are locals from North Carolina or all over the southeast. We recently covered Shatterproof, a folksy punk band from New Mexico, and today, our journey takes us far across oceans and mountainscapes to the distant Helsinki, Finland. Despite what some conspiracy theorists claim, Finland does, in fact, exist. Dead End Scene is a metal band hailing from this Scandinavian nation, and today their self-titled EP, Dead End Scene EP, was released. They played in the finals for the Emergenza band contest, and even the Wacken Metal Battle of 2016.
Dead End Scene EP wasted no times in assaulting your eardrums with brutal riffs. The very first moments of “Order in Chaos” sound like the perfect track to open a concert and mosh pit with. The instruments of the album are heavy loud, reminiscent of bands like Motorhead, Iced Earth, and other earlier heavy metal groups. The songwriting is also of high quality. The singing doesn’t disappoint, either. Dead End Scene mixes melodic vocals with occasional screams and even a few gang vocals. There are several parts of the song where they pan the vocals across the left and right stereo channels, something that isn’t used very often any more. If the verses and chorus of “Order in Chaos” don’t have the audience too busy moshing, fully expect to see finger-guitars held up in the air at any shows during the blistering solo. “In Disguise” is the followup second track, and it neither gives quarter nor asks for any. This song really helps cement the heavy metal feel of the album. This album would feel at home in the height of the late 80’s and 90’s heavy metal movements in the best ways. The lyrics themselves are also powerful, discussing our obsession with hiding who we are and putting on a show for the outside world in hopes of receiving outside approval that is, ultimately, a lie.
“Dance in the Rain” is one of two singles from this EP. Opening with keys and softer vocals, the intro gives singer Mikko Kylmänen a chance to really show off his vocal chops. He uses this chance to great effect before the metal riffs cut back in. Dead End Scene shows off their superb songwriting in this one, combining a catchy metal song with powerful lyrics about accepting ourselves. The guitar riffs in this one are spectacular, combining the hard edge of the lower notes with a higher melody throughout. “This is the End” continues this, alternating behind cleaner, higher guitar notes with the heavier melodies, and introduces synths behind the chorus.
Track five, “Bite of the Underdog”, launches straight back into the heavier sound introduced in the first two tracks. The song features several mosh-inspiring bridges, especially the one that leads into the first verse. A person at one of their concerts should be ready for an energetic crowd for this one. Musically, this track continues the careful application of synths introduced in “This is the End” to augment the sound of the guitars and Teemu Haataja’s drum work. The final track, “Dawn”, is the second single released off this EP. Like their other single, this one also opens with keys and synths, but has a more cinematic approach to the intro. “Dance in the Rain” almost had a ballad-like feel to parts of it. “Dawn” is more similar to symphonic heavy metal, on the other hand. Olli Salmi really gets to show off his lead guitar skills in this song with an absolutely devastating guitar solo. “Dawn” is an excellent choice to cap off a very potent album. It really shows off the best skills of the entire band, and has a very climactic feel to it.
Dead End Scene EP is an excellently written and produced album. The professional sound and mastering, mixed with expert songwriting, guarantees that this will be a crowd favorite, and that seasoned fan and newcomer alike to Dead End Scene will be pleased. In the United States, many associate Finland, Norway, and Sweden with heavy metal, and this EP will certainly be a proud torchbearer for that legacy. Buy it on iTunes, listen to it on Spotify, and other services today!