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(Inverse Records)
Out now

Roger Berzerk Fauske

Roger Berzerk Fauske


There are all variety of sub-genres of Metal emanating from Finland these days – hell, they have probably invented a few of their own. This one is no exception and while describing itself as Pagan Metal is hardly a new thing from the Nordic climes, when you add orchestra to that it gives rise to at least an added interest.

This is their second full length album and in English the title is 'No Light Follows Me', so now you know.

All the tracks are in Finnish but it is their mother tongue and personally I am all for bands singing in their native language (apart from Coldplay of course who shouldn't be allowed to sing in any language). Time for the music...

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'Harmaudesta' ('Away from Grey') is the first one to have a go at my ears and after a very atmospheric beginning, almost military in feel, setting the tone and giving a taster of what is to come, there is a very catchy guitar melody that dives straight in to your cranial extremities with its melancholy and purposeful mood.

Growling vocals fitting perfectly with all that is going on around it, drums guiding the direction of all concerned. A good beginning, and easy to see why the word orchestra is used with this lot.

'Jälkemme' ('Heritage') is a much longer affair coming in at over seven and a half minutes and begins perfectly with some eerie synth leading to some more very catchy and melodious riffery. The song is called 'Heritage' and very much fills the head with their Nordic ancestors – it just has that Viking feel to it.

Growls kick in along with nice off beat synth behind it and it is all done to great effect taking us on a journey, mid-section full of uplifting feel, drums all the while powering mightily through it all. The real ball-grabber with this is the deliciously delivered guitar melody and drums, combining perfectly together to really hammer its point across.

Who needs words when the music can speak to you like this? A very well constructed song just adds to its effect, layer upon layer, section after section like wave after wave of Viking. In a word, marvellous.

'Itsetön' ('Soul Shriven') has a hard job following that but it doesn't seem at all unnerved. Again a long one, even longer than its predecessor, and more scene setting from the piano-based synth. This time when it hits full power, the mood is altogether a lot more one of menace and dreaded intent, Salovaara's vocals very deliberate and full of wrath.

Again the guitars play the perfect foil, their melody acting as a counterbalance to the fierce vocals before letting rip along with some more nifty synth accompaniment. This is another well planned and executed track, the last half especially leaving no space unused in the mix but it never feels crowded or chaotic – just a band, or should I say Orchestra, fully in tune with each other literally and musically.

The ending is a tumultuous affair, rampaging instrumentation and vocals before the well timed military drums take it to its conclusion.

'Sieluni varjossa' ('In the Nightside of Self') approaches things from a different perspective, the rhythm twins providing the heat and impetus, Vanninen's drums and the bass of Niilo Könönen driving the juggernaut with all the force of a horde of berserkers.

Again the vocals add their menace and intrigue into the melting pot, the now familiar military theme in the break accompanied by chanting vocals works perfectly doing what it says on the tin, breaking the layers up providing a seamless buffer.

The guitars are more inconspicuous on this one, although not without adding to the effect, letting rip towards the end with some great melodious interplay with the growls.

'Vaipunut' ('Of Life Descended') is about half the length of the previous few tracks and the first quarter of it is pure atmosphere, the sound of a wave lapping gently, muffled synths providing the backdrop before they gain prominence, the wave effect still coming through.

This even when it gets into gear is again very different, giving a more than melancholy feel – but perhaps most surprising are the clean vocals and they are impressive, perfectly sitting on top of the synth. A brief journey into a thumping ballad like rendition from the whole band takes it into the quieter end.

Whilst it is a very short track, in a way it gives more emphasis to the album as a whole as some of the longer orchestrations, and the aforementioned clean voice is something that maybe should appear more often – the man has a very fine voice indeed.

'Yksin' ('Alone') starts off with synths and synth voices of the more traditional orchestral nature, giving the music the perfect embodiment of the song title. Rasping vocals, back to the growls, overlaying first the keys and then after the guitars leap in, mixing it up with the speeding six strings whilst more thunder is thrown in from the rhythm boys.

Once more this is a multi-layered affair, dropping back down for some synth emphasis and even when they all come back in, the synths maintain their place. There is a rousing stampede towards the finishing line, the whole lot of them going at it hammer and tongs but always keeping it well in check, vocals right on the edge with a mesh of pain and sorrow about them.

So to the final track 'Hiljaiset rauniot' ('Silent Ruins'), one I have played on my radio show and the title is a whole heap easier to write down than pronounce on air. But my lack of command of the Finnish language aside, the track is a fitting one to remember the guys by, kicking off with some more military rhythm'd drums, although this time more signalling a charge of the heavy brigade.

The whole feel is anthemic, uplifting and revitalising, the guitars again combining superbly, bass breaking between them, vocals growling their message and from a purely musically melodious perspective, this one needs to come with some sort of health warning as banging heads and gyrating bodies are its natural consequence.

I have to say when all is said and done, this leaves me definitely wanting more. Probably the best compliment I can give them is that I never knew I was a big fan of Pagan Metal, but this is mighty impressive stuff and there is so much more to it than the compulsory industry labelling suggests and as it turns out, the word orchestra is indeed a vital addition to that label because that is the feel of this

It somehow seems more than just a band, the multi-layered song writing giving room for so much to be happening that you will need more than a few listens to hear everything that is going on.

Vesa Salovaara – Vocals
Arttu Järvisalo – Guitars
Henri Lammintausta – Guitars
Niilo Könönen – Bass
Saku Myyryläinen – Keyboards
Mikael Vanninen – Drums

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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