Although I never heard his debut, I have been curious to hear Finnish sensation Ari Koivunen. The 24-year old vocalist made a name for himself by belting out metal tunes en route to a third place finish on ‘Idols,’ Finland’s version of ‘American Idol.’ That alone is pretty impressive, but what really caught my attention were the tunes he was singing during the competition. Surely someone that tackled Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Led Zepplin, Scorpions, and Soundgarden, amongst others, has to have a powerful voice. Doesn’t he? If he does, it doesn’t show up on his sophomore release ‘Becoming.’
Koivunen’s voice sounds pretty standard for European power metal. It is a bit too high-pitched for my tastes, but not overly whiny as to make it unbearable. My main problem with this disc is the music. The opening track ‘Raging Machine’ opens with an Evergrey sounding riff, but quickly becomes overly saturated with keyboards which seems to be a recurring theme on this CD. Even the heavier songs that have some crunching guitars like ‘Sweet Madness’ and ‘Tears Keep Falling’ quickly lose their luster when the synths start in. If Ari wants to make it globally as a metal singer, he’s going to have to toughen up both the vocals and the music.
Make no mistake about it. What we have here is a pop album with some guitar playing that is slightly above average for that type of music. If you’re looking for a quality rock or metal album I’d recommend that you keep shopping. If I wasn’t writing this review I wouldn’t have made it all the way through ‘Becoming.’ I honestly couldn’t wait for it to end.
- Tim Carroll
If you’re looking for a quality rock or metal album I’d recommend that you keep shopping. If I wasn’t writing this review I wouldn’t have made it all the way through ‘Becoming.’ I honestly couldn’t wait for it to end.