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Album Review : Blind Channel: Exit Emotions.

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Review by Pete Finn for MPM

Blind Channel is a Nu-Metal band formed in 2013 in Oulu, Finland. Since their formation, Blind Channel has honed a unique sound blending rock, metal, and pop elements, creating a high-energy and dynamic musical character, Blind Channel define their style as “violent pop”.

The band gained widespread attention in 2021 when they represented Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in 6th place with their song ‘Dark Side.’ They painted their middle fingers red for their Eurovision performance, after being informed that they could not lift a middle finger to the audience because of the show’s family-friendly nature.

‘Exit Emotions’ will be Blind Channel’s fifth studio album, the others are ‘Revolutions’ (2016), ‘Blood Brothers’ (2018), ‘Violent Pop’ (2020) and ‘Lifestyles of the Sick & Dangerous’ (2022), each garnering critical acclaim and showcasing the band’s musical versatility.

The band consists of lead vocalist Niko Moilanen, guitarists Joel Hokka and Joonas Porko, bassist Olli Matela, drummer Tommi Lalli, and Aleksi Kaunisvesi on samples, percussion, and DJ. ‘Exit Emotions’ contains 12-tracks with a running time of just over 35-minutes.

First up is ‘Where’s The Exit’, a quick distorted riff and Niko Moilanen’s chanted lyric is the first thing we hear. The bouncy tempo and Aleksi Kaunisvesi’s mixing have more than a hint of early Linkin Park, which in my ears isn’t a bad thing. It’s a polished production.

One of the earlier singles to be released was ‘Deadzone’. This is a heavy electronica mix, this is more Eurovision than metal, however, it has a thumping beat provided by Matela and Lalli. This will be a live favourite with its anthemic chorus.

The punchy riffs embedded in ‘Wolves In California’ provide the bite in this sing-along friendly track. Conversely, once we’re past halfway all hell breaks loose, angry rapped lyrics and instruments thrashed to destruction will have the pits spinning on the festival circuit.

I feel L.P.’s ‘In The End’ has a heavy influence on the recent single ‘XOXO’, which features fellow Nu-Metaller’s in Pennsylvania’s From Ashes to New. The guitars of Hokka and Porko are loose and distorted. Niko Moilanen delivers an impressive range of styles, from angry rants to soothing rises and falls with control and emotion. The rhythm section supply a shuddering close.

The poppy ‘Keeping It Surreal’ follows, piano accompanies Moilanen’s soaring vocal. It’s a “heart on the sleeve” track that is full of feeling. The tempo builds and the beats grow heavier as the track drives to the finish.

‘Die Another Day’ gives the listener a chance to catch their breath as the tempo eases down. The addition of RØRY’s vocals gives a different sound as we flip between the male and female lead. It’s edging towards a duetted ballad, it’s proof Blind Channel are not a “one trick pony”, and can mix it up.

Niko Moilanen’s steady spoken lyrics at the start of ‘Phobia’ are the “calm before the storm”, the track morphs into a dance anthem, the shouted lyrics add a little confusion as the track loses a bit of direction. I enjoyed the switch to a dance based heavy bassline track, so maybe they should have left it like that.

‘Happy Doomsday’ is a riff fest provided by guitarists Joel Hokka and Joonas Porko. For those familiar with Blind Channel, it’s similar to the sounds on ‘Violent Pop’. Moilanen delivers screaming lyrics that are propelled towards your ears by the monster beats of Matela and Lalli.

The high energy continues with ‘Red Tail Lights’, this has a jumping dance beat. Aleksi Kaunisvesi’s box of tricks is used to great effect. The tempo flows easily between strut and bounce, another that will get the crowd moving.

The unpredictable and pit inducing ‘Not Your Bro’ gives a taste of everything, as Blind Channel release their full Armory into one track. It’s grungy heavy then harmonious, angry then supportive, crass then melodic. It’s a tornado of sounds. It works well.

The band return to the more anthemic ‘Flatline’ as self-control resumes. The mix of heavy vocals then a flowing rap are emphasized when each drum beat or crash of guitar strings resonate out. I can imagine it being played at a gig where half are moshing and half are dancing simultaneously.

The final track on ‘Exit Emotions’ is ‘One Last Time…Again’. This caught me by surprise, I expected to be dragged backwards through a hedge whilst on fire at 100mph. But it’s a harmony filled pop driven piece, with soaring vocals riding a rich wave of sound. Moilanen has a moment when his heavy alter-ego makes an appearance, accompanied with a heavy bass growl. The track builds to a climax, before stopping abruptly, then very faintly in the background the sound similar to a record being played backwards…intriguing.

Blind Channel has delivered an extremely accomplished and well produced record. Fans of the band will love it as they progress their identity further, it’s a comprehensive mix of sounds and styles that are performed well. An album that will match your emotions, if you’re looking to chill out, some bouncy happy dancing or vent your angst in a frenzied pit, then ‘Exit Emotions’ has a track to suit.

Track Listing
1. Where’s the Exit
2. Deadzone
3. Wolves in California
6. Die Another Day
8. Happy Doomsday
9. Red Tail Lights
10. Not Your Bro
12. One Last Time…Again

Band Members
Joel Hokka – Vocals
Niko Vilhelm Moilanen – Vocals
Joonas Porko – Guitar
Olli Matela – Bass
Tommi Lalli – Drums
Aleksi Kaunisvesi – DJ, Percussion

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