MARCH 26th 2013
NEFERION: THE PRIMORDIAL MODE

Review by Anka

Neferion is yet another Finnish metal band from Tampere, from where they seem to have penned a plan to start off fresh, with the purpose of playing gigs and getting a record deal.  Formed many years ago, the band has seen the release of several demos until the current Demo titled ‘The Primordial Mode’. I have no idea how they sounded before, but I will certainly check them out in order to better understand their evolution.

Generally speaking, new Finnish bands always have this great advantage given by the worldwide popularity of their metal scene, the road is well paved and ready to take many more bands to destination “international” as long as there is the quality & novelty that everyone out there expects. Neferion play quite a unique mix of styles that could appeal to diverse crowds, so for them it’s just a matter of working on new material and making themselves heard.

 ‘The Primordial Mode’ is not at all disappointing but not enough of a confident step on the road I was talking about.  It might not be sufficient to generate a lot of fan interest for now, maybe it’s because of the short Demo that doesn’t showcase much of what they can do, or maybe it’s just the lack of a well defined direction. Still, fans of thrash/death metal will enjoy hearing this fresh take on the genres. Overall the release is enjoyable but I find something is missing in their songwriting - some hook, a spark of some sort.
The 4 songs are well executed, and burst with fast pumping rhythms, and generally a solid rhythm section where the drums are the highlight, undeniably. Crazy, fast riff-age without major brilliant moments fills into the song structures and supports the vocal parts. There’s a strange and rarely heard escalation between rock and metal in their playing, or at least that’s how I felt it, and it was not just because of the vocals.

Maija Saari’s vocals surprise and delight, no matter what she sings; this is a very versatile voice, performing anything from aggressive growls and roars to rasp rock-style vocals and to clean parts. She has a strong, flawless voice with a beautiful vibrato that reminds me of some rock & rockabilly bands. Her clean and crystalline sound contrasts the harsh vocals parts nicely. Although evidently feminine and lyrical at times, the voice doesn’t take from the heaviness at all: the instrumental part remains very heavy and crushing, there’s thrash and some death metal, more or less melodic, and there’s some classic heavy metal mingling in.

Check it out and you might hear something slightly different from the mass of debut releases you have heard lately, although not convincing enough there is still potential in it, and these are good musicians that can surely only get better from this point on. I couldn’t say what they need: maybe more guts, more work put into their songwriting, or a full-length release that will present their complete potential.