Strong Addiction – Anesthesia

Rating: 2.5/5
Distributer/Label: www.inverse.fi
Released: 2015

Anesthesia Anesthesia

Band Line Up: 

Sebastian Ulmanen – Vocals
Anssi Lausmaa – Lead Guitar
Heikki Virolainen – Guitar
Samu Minkkinen – Bass
Miikka Minkkinen – Drums

Tracklistings: 

1. Fix Me
2. Loosing It All
3. Red Sun
4. Crucify
5. Empire of Lies
6. Sense and Sensibility
7. Horns
8. Drag You to Hell
9. Anesthesia
10. Trauma

Review: 

Anesthesia is the first full release by Helsinki based alternative metal band Strong Addiction. This follows in the wake of their previous EP Suspicious Reality in 2010 and an impressive five years of performing live which has tightened and refined their sound. ‘Anesthesia’ sets out to combine a range of emotion and it certainly displays a range of musical influences within its 10 tracks.

The opening track ‘Fix Me’ introduces us slowly to their sound with the build up of instrumentation until Sebastian Ulmanen’s clear vocals take center stage. This music instantly strikes as heavily vocal driven, upbeat and well produced. The second song ‘Losing It All’ follows a similar format to the previous but the emotion is stepped up a notch. The guitars create the enhancement with a slow atmospheric backdrop and melodic solo passages. ‘Red Sun’ is steeped in emotion with catchy vocal passages but it follows the same safe structure and offers little variation from previous tracks. ‘Crucify’ has a different feel with its ominous piano introduction and reverbed vocals add a certain amount of dissonance to the atmospheric sound, reminiscent of the earlier track ‘Losing It All’.

‘Empire of Lies’ returns to a more upbeat tempo with strong riffs and melodic interludes before drifting into the next track ‘Sense and Sensibility’ which sees further displays of guitar work and Ulmanen’s vocal range. ‘Horns’ is instantly heavier with a guitar driven introduction and harsher vocal tone that continues through the next track ‘Drag You To Hell’ but again the music feels ‘skin deep’. Title track ‘Anesthesia’ returns to the slower tempo and the guitars enhance the desperation in the vocals as the track builds to its conclusion and fades into the final track ‘Trauma’.

This is not a bad album but Strong Addiction’s relatable lyrical content, familiar song structures and accessible style sadly makes this release feel repetitive. It lacks the complexity to maintain the interest of those who like to gain more from their listening experience, however this release is well produced and thought out. Anesthesia is definitely one of those albums for those who enjoy a clear, vocal driven style.

Review by Helena Byrne
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