Review: Desaturate – Rocket Coast: Rework (Finland, 2016)

From Finland, with a Finnish sound they came, Desaturate, and Rocket Coast: Rework is the name of their last work.

Let’s talk freely about this album. I tried to analyse it song by song, but there is something that I will explain that makes (for me) difficult to underline what works and what doesn’t in Rocket Coast. This is a very good album, I liked it a lot, it was a very long time that I hadn’t heard a sound coming from a relatively young band like this one. It’s their second album, let’s not forget it! Even though it’s a rework from the previous version of Rocket Coast. What the album emanates is a sense of maturity: a flawless choice of guitar effects merges with all the other instrument, especially the voice of Hilma Toivonen, harsh and soft in the right moments, the drums (played by Riku Varis) and the bass (played by Aki Munukka) make a perfect floor for Desaturate’s sound. One thing that I appreciate is that despite the genre, Desaturate didn’t abuse of inopportune changes of tempo, didn’t abuse of technical rigidity: all songs slip through your ears, being a perfect support for what the lyrics want to transmit. Different techniques are used, for instance a tapping solo in “A plastic Song”, changes in the use of the voice in “Changes?” are every time in line with the music and a good harmonization between guitars (played by Matias Laatu and Konsta Leinonen) and bass is the fil rouge that makes this album really enjoyable if you like bands like Porcupine Tree, Opeth (especially the Opeth of Pale Communion) and Anathema, for naming a few. And with that we arrive at the point where I should talk about what I didn’t like. It’s hard for me, being this the second review I‘ve ever written, but I can’t skip that.

This album is a bit of “more of the same”. I tried to listen to the songs different times, to mark them in my brain, but what was happening was that I couldn’t. I took note about what to say for every song, but at a certain point all that I could write was “MOTS”. That is because all the songs are very similar to each other, no one of the really emerges from the mass, the entire album could be resumed in the few things I said before.

Clearly if a group decides to follow a genre in its work all the songs must have the same distinctive traits, but there are a lot of works that I can quote in which the composer played with the genre, for instance “BE”, form Pain of Salvation, or “A fine day to Exit” from Anathema. Yes, I know, it’s easy to quote such prog divinities, but for having an example of what I’m trying to say try to listen to Kalevala’s “There and back again”(Metal band from Parma, Italy), in which folk metal is revolved in order to create a great variety of sounds and every song has a distinctive trait that makes each one unique in the album. What I’m trying to outline is that it’s a shame that such talented musicians like Desaturate proven to be didn’t put more effort in writing something that emerges in this album, something that makes you want to listen to them again and again, until you could recognize the title of every single song by the first notes. I know that this is a difficult result to reach, but they could do this, I know, because they are talented, not only with their instrument, they also they did an excellent work in production, composition, and so on. The only things that is lacking, in my opinion, is a little bit of personality. This, in my opinion, is the greatest weakness of this, I repeat, otherwise excellent album.

Websites: Facebook | Bandcamp | YouTube
Label: Self-released
Release Date: February 28th, 2016
Reviewed by Stefano

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