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Bed Of Thorns
Released: 2009, n/a
The band Aittala has been kicking around in the mind of Eric Aittala for almost twenty years. As far back as 1991, he began putting the pieces together for a metal band influenced by the classics: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Black Sabbath etc. While living in Holland in 1992 he got so far as to form a band, however they only managed to play live and record a 3-song demo before being put to rest when he moved back to the United States. I’m a bit fuzzy on what happened next – I can only assume that life interfered and prevented Aittala from making music because that’s the only info available up until the self-release of this album last year. So let’s see what Mr. Aittala has to offer after so many years of work.
I’ve listened to BED OF THORNS numerous times now, and I’m still not sure how to describe it. Based on the stated influences, I was expecting some awesome traditional metal with soaring vocals. What I got was more like a heavy emo with much better musicianship. Actually, that’s probably not a fair description – this is way heavier than emo music, more like really heavy hard rock, played slow and with intensely personal lyrics that occasionally come off as whining. Vocally, Aittala is fairly nondescript but he gets the job done. Musically, the songs are all honestly pretty dull – especially the misguided electronic inclusion used in “Torture” and “Lust” (this song also has by far the worst lyrics on the album). However, when Eric cuts loose and shows off his guitar skills (i.e. his solos) it is truly impressive and typically provides the best moments in every song. He’s definitely an accomplished player. The best song is a surprise in that it’s the quietest one on the album – “Left For Dead” is totally acoustic and although the lyrics are a bit on the wrist-cutting side, the song is enjoyable throughout. The title track is a similar song and also a highlight.
One the whole, BED OF THORNS just sounds like the indie recording that it is. The songs are mostly low-rent heavy rock and aside from the excellent guitar work there isn’t much to recommend here. It’s obvious that Eric Aittala put a lot of effort into the album, but the end results are a bit lacking.
1) Filthy Dog
2) By Trying
3) Another Dirty Whore
5) Left For Dead
6) Sadistic Charm
8) Bed Of Thorns
11) All But Died
Eric Aittala: All vocals and instruments
Marc Anthony: Drums on “Filthy Dog” and “Numb”
Wendy Brancaccio: Female vocals on “Torture”
Randall Rhodes: Background vocals on “Left For Dead”