Released: 2014, Inverse Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Helsinki sextet Creinium are about as grim and forboding as you might expect from a Finnish band. But they also boast some atypical diversity that gives their ambitious, epic debut EP – and if an EP can, in fact, be considered epic, this would indeed be the one - a surprisingly broad sonic palette that incorporates a variety of styles and moods.
Their sound encompasses everything from death and black metal to prog, doom and even a hint of Children of Bodom-style power metal – especially in Sami Haimilahti's occasionally screechy vocals and Antti Myllynen's ample keyboards. The band do a rather brilliant job of weaving everything together with not only some semblance of coherence, but rather captivating and well-developed songs.
There may be loads of twists and turns here, as on the seven-plus minute “New World Order,” which recalls Cradle of Filth without all the pomp and drama, or the monumental nearly 10-minute closer “Synthetic Paradise” that channels Dimmu Borgir/Old Man's Child, but also plenty of melody and a strong center you can wrap your mitts around.
Big, meaty riffs abound and drummer Aleski Holma keeps the pace moving steadily forward, even on the traditional Finnish melancholia of “Eschaton.” And he's not shy about busting out the blast beats or double bass salvos when the band let loose, which they do at relatively regular intervals, ensuring that things never drag.
There's not really much to complain about with Project Utopia, other than it leaves you wishing for more than just five songs – well, really four, since the brief opener “Societal Collapse” serves as an intro. The EP has the feel of some grand conceptual work that is either missing a chapter or two, or is to be continued. Let's hope it's the latter, because this is some heady, impressive stuff by a band from out of nowhere that could be going somewhere pretty quickly.