Released: 2005, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The Finnish metal scene still holds a few positive surprises every now and then, a five-piece metal band called Merging Flare, being one of them. I came across with this band one day by just surfing the net, feeling bored, and having no purpose to find any particularly important or worth mentioning from there (and yes, we need to exclude the Internet porn outside of this topic, too -ha!).
Merging Flere 3-song second demo titled HELL TO PAY that was released last year already, introduces a very talented fivesome with lots of skills and good ideas and most importantly, abilities to write catchy songs that catch your attention already at the first listen. In fact, for a demo release this is a pretty impressive release musically already. The band seems to have a strong interest for a straight-forward metal sound ála Gamma Ray, Priest, Running Wild and let´s even mention Annihilator (just listen to the beginning of the last song "Killing Ground" and you know exactly why I threw Annihilator as a comparison to them). The guys playing on this 3-song demo release is surprisingly tight and flawless, and undoubtedly with a material of this quality one would believe Merging Flare would have been snapped by some label already. But quite even more surprisingly, they are still without any record deal (c´mon labels - wake up!). I gotta say that I´m especially impressed by the skilled and sharp playing of the band´s dynamic guitar duo Kasperi Heikkinen (also plays in a Gamma Ray -tribute band called Guardians of Mankind) and Joni Hattuniemi who have no problem to churn out both nicely moving riffs and killer solos on this demo release. These guys do have fast fingers, their fingers moving on the fretboard faster than your eyes can follow. Also the band´s vocalist Matias Palm (also as a vocalist in Guardians of Mankind) proves to be a really good, occasionally even reaching the same registers with his vocals close to Rob Halford / Tim "Ripper" Owens which I like a lot. All in all, it could said that Merging Flare is a fully ready package to take their next steps, and step out from the masses of demoing bands.
So what´s the problem then why Merging Flare is still demoing, and hasn´t been taken under the wings of some record label? Well, there´s lots of very talented bands doing similar stuff to Merging Flare around these days, so probably the metal scene is simply way too oversaturated by similar bands, and only some of the luckiest ones get signed? Hard to tell... Hopefully Merging Flare will be on that list one of the next ones that are landed a deal by some favorable record company. That remains to be seen though..