Released: 2008, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Here´s the very 1st unreleased Sarcofagus album, titled LIVE IN STUDIO 1979, that has finally been released by the band´s main motor, songwriter and guitarist Kimmo Kuusniemi himself - almost 30 years later. Of course releasing this album in 2008, raises up many questions, like why it was put out now - not the same year when it was recorded. It´s better Kimmo himself explains this ´little´ delay in releasing it: "Well, as I have ADHD nothing is ever enough for me. First I convinced the record company that we need to go back to studio to re-record the single tracks “Go to Hell / All Those Lies”. Before the single was out I talked us back into the studio to record CYCLE OF LIFE with new songs. So, this first studio recording was forgotten.
So there. As for the album itself, well, in fact I do have pretty mixed feelings about this. First off, it´s gotta be said that it´s absolutely a great thing that this thing was released eventually. I mean, this is a huge piece of the Finnish heavy rock history, like a missing piece of a puzzle that has been hiding somewhere for all these long years and decades - and now the whole puzzle has finally been completed. Secondly, what is naturally the most important thing here, are the songs on this release. Much to our disappointment (I believe), the songs on LIVE IN STUDIO 1979 don´t carry the same cult-ish and legendary status that made Sarcofagus known on their CYCLE OF LIFE and ENVOY OF DEATH albums. I mean, LIVE IN STUDIO 1979 - while practically speaking being recorded during a one day recording session with an 8-track recorder in one go mostly, it lacks the same heavy, dark-flavored and mystic vibe that they managed to capture onto their 1st two official Sarcofagus albums back in the day. The songs are a mixture of some heavy rock, blues, progressive rock and even bits of jazz, all this jammed together with a honest and relaxed touch. Hannu Leiden, who was these Finnish heavy rock legends´ first singer in the band, sounds really good with his somewhat hippy-ish vocal approach. But it´s a pity that the songs on it just don´t cut through my well-selective ear channels that well this time, I´m afraid.
However, I simply have to appreciate the fact this has now been released and made officially available for every Sarcofacus digger around the whole world, even if a fair warning of words is in order: Don´t expect this album to sound like CYCLE OF LIFE or ENVOY OF DEATH, or you´ll be slightly disappointed, to say the least.