Juha Kemppainen – Vocals (2006-present)
Joona Riipi – Guitar, Backing Vocals (2006-present)
Jarno Riipi – Bass (2017-present)
Ville Sokero – Keyboards, Backing Vocals (2020-present)
Vesa Puunuvaara – Drums (2005-present)
- As Above So Below
- Fragmented Self
- The Truth
- Card 53
- Dorian Gray
Finnish progressive thrash metal band TreaTmenT release their new album, ‘Sagacity’, showcasing their wide range of musical and songwriting capability, storytelling skills, and well-rounded cinematic expression. This unique record leaves me impressed and wanting to know more about this talented band.
‘Foreshadowed’ is an intense, alluring, and foreboding cinematic intro to the sophisticated kick of metal that follows for the duration of the record. We are bombarded during ‘Hermes’, a track where old school 70’s and 80’s metal elements blend with their progressive style. Juha Kemppainen’s voice is complex, skilled, and expressive, flowing between a more nasally tone to deeper, cry-like intonations. Still, he doesn’t stop there, also being skilled with deep growls, and dark, narrative, spoken-word poetry, such as in songs like ‘Fragmented Self’ and ‘Oppression’. The former truly shows off the singers dynamic range. There is no shortage of drama here.
TreaTmenT blend headbang-worthy riffing with awe-inspiring melodies and clean tones. ‘As Above so Below’’s tempo makes my body move naturally, the delay on the guitar in harmony with my ear and what I’m feeling within. I really like this riff and the way it transitions into the chunky verse parts. This song is interesting and unpredictable. I can definitely hear the Pantera influence as well. Topped off with a gorgeous guitar solo – they’ve got my attention!
A moment when my jaw actually dropped was during the end of ‘The Truth’. Though I don’t want to spoil it for future listeners, I have to point out how much I appreciated that change into the slow sludge, stacked with that deep metal growl. In fact I really enjoyed Kamppainen’s use of the deeper layer of his voice during this song, with moments of rasp breaking through.
During ‘Thrice’, I notice how tight the rhythm section is. The drummer, Vesa Puunuvaara, technical without lacking style or feeling, and Jarno Riipi on bass keeping the groove in perfection. Start with a dreamy intro and follow it with some kick-ass riffing, then throw a sweet guitar solo in, and you’ve found a sure-fire way to keep me captivated.
In another display of creativity, ‘Card 53’ gets a creepy, horror-movie-esque instrumentation, and is unlike any other track. Each turn of the song is like walking through a haunted house, the spirits and entities around each corner and behind every door waiting to display their twisted colours. While the music progresses so does my journey as I get to know the apparitions that lurk within.
‘Dorian Gray’ reminds me again of the band’s meticulous talent. Although it isn’t the most gripping track for me, a musical change at the end to a mysterious theme filled with strings, a grooving bass, and a suspenseful atmosphere has me completely caught again. These guys know how to keep things fresh and provoking.
TreaTmenT finish their new album with ‘Oppression’, holding me with the deep and breathy spoken-word and an absolutely killer emotionally charged guitar solo that soars over the music. TreaTmenT are recognisable, from the type of musical progressions they write, into Kemppainen’s full-bodied vocal stylings. ‘Sagacity’ is dramatic, complex, fun, and complete, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to experience it. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for TreaTment, and would love to see them play live one day.
Review by Kat Knite