Taatsi - Amidst The Trees
Black Metal
7 songs (31:23)
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Neill

Taasti are a Finnish black metal band formed in 2013, and this is their first full length album. The band plays a mid tempo style, with heavy emphasis on keyboards. The album is a bit hit or miss at times, but overall showcases some decent moments.

Again, the music is fairly mid tempo on this records, with heavy keyboard use. I will say right away, I'm not sure what to think about the keys on this record. They seem to be used at times to add atmosphere to the record, and other tracks (such as the opener, Malign Ghost Of the Woods) the keys are so prevalent and even upbeat that there really isn't any atmosphere being added. The keys act as part of the song, but make things feel, as stated, more upbeat, and nearly poppy and very accessible. Accessibility is not bad by any means, but this track compared to Gateways Of The North sounds so different from a keyboard stand point, it sounds like two different ideas and takes away from the album as far as consistency is concerned. It makes me as listener not know how I'm supposed to approach this band, as they are using different sounds and ideas here. At times the keys even remind me of listening to a Ghost song. That being said, when the band does use the keys to be more atmospheric, on the aforementioned North track, the band is pretty enjoyable. The atmosphere is nice, and I do get into this sound quite a bit more.

Vocally, the album is pretty standard fare. Screeched vocals, that don't stand out from any other band in the genre, but do not detract from the music either. The mix on the album is clear, but the rest of the instruments do take big back seat to the keys. Depending on your view of heavily key laden music/black metal, that may make up your mind already on this record. The rest of the instruments are nothing to really write home about. Everything can be heard, but the song writing is standard for a black metal album is something we've all heard plenty of times. Again, this is not always bad, but it does feel very bland on this record, and despite some decent head banging moments, and some nice passages, nothing is really memorable.

The album is really an inoffensive example of black metal. Standard song writing, but no memorable, stand out riffs or passages. There is an instrumental track in Funeral March of Hintriikki Peltoniemi which is very skippable. It really is the only boring track on the record and I'd say avoid it entirely. Really, the albums is not bad per se, but is ultimately forgettable and real run of the mill. The differences in the keyboard use in the album is confusing, and makes the album feel disjointed. If the band can settle on one consistent sound, I feel they could require a second look, but as it is, the album isn't " must listen", but not the worst way to spend a half hour.

Killing Songs :
Gateways of the North, Beneath the Hills They Sing
Neill quoted 50 / 100
Other albums by Taatsi that we have reviewed:
Taatsi - Season of Sacrifice reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
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