Released: 2007, Violent Journey Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Finland´s Heavy Metal troops, Adastra, are a pretty new star in the vast sky of Finnish Heavy Metal, having done a couple of demos and one EP earlier, yet gained some valuable feedback out from their releases. This naturally is something that has undoubtedly motivated the guys to keep their metallic wheel rollin´ forward, feeding fuel and oil into the Adastra machine for stronger efforts ahead of them.
Adastra´s rousing potential was finally noticed by a small, independent Finnish record company, Violent Journey Records, in late 2006 - and the band has locked themselves into the recording studio in March 2007. Adastra performs honest and straight Heavy Metal that obviously has borrowed a thing or two from one of the pioneers of NWOBHM, Iron Maiden. Similarities are definitely there, but who are you to blame them for those musical similarities? Iron Maiden is one hell of a great band - and when some band has clearly been influenced by them, it cannot be considered as that bad a thing, can it? ;o)
The band´s debut album, THE LAST SUNSET, offers 9 songs of Maiden-influenced Heavy Metal that doesn´t actually surprise anyone, but still comes forth as pretty entertaining all the same. The songs on THE LAST SUNSET are all good; melodic, safe sounding, somewhat simple structurally and straightforward, but I guess that´s actually the main problem for them. They should probably come out from their ´safe´ Heavy Metal box a bit more and at least try to add some bits of catchiness into their sound, just to spice things up a bit more, y´know what I mean? Unfortunately there´s not one single song on the album that I could say has stuck in my mind for being a true stand-out track off this record (probably sounds a bit too harsh, but that´s how I felt about the material on it anyway). The vocalist sounds ok´ish, the drumming is ok´ish, the riffs and the solos are also ok´ish, so what does all that leave in our hands? Well, probably not much if you´re looking for innovative metal songs that grabs determinedly and mercilessly at your attention like a hungry and experienced Great White does with your left leg in an open sea.
Granted, Adastra can still be considered a bunch of talented and ambitious musicians that have a serious drive for wrapping their listeners tightly against the wall where the band´s logo paint has dried out a long time ago. However, what they need to do next time, is to convince all of us that Adastra´s logo gets more fresh with new colours so that it could impress us even more by its existence. A friendly hint taken? Good then…