Formed in 1997, Alamaailman Vasarat (meaning “The Hammers of the Underworld”) is a Finnish avant-garde band whose instrumental music is influenced by European Folk, Klezmer, Jazz and Metal. Their list of instruments includes saxophones, distorted cellos and tubas among others, but their music’s backbone is driven by drums/percussion that add a new twist to already known styles like Tango, Cabaret/Circus, Polka, Bossa Nova and Klezmer (read full bio here).
Their fusion of World music with Metal makes for one great listening experience, as they know how to blend all these different moods together, whether it’s Metal’s heaviness and strong distorted sound, the energetic Gypsy and Polka beats or the exotic flavors of Tango and Bossa Nova. Like it or not, there’s a whole lot of music going on here and it’s definitely true to the real meaning of avant-garde music.
Their latest and 6th studio album “Valta” was released in May 2012 by Laskeuma Records. I recommend it to fans of Estradasphere, there’s always a feeling that the music will suddenly erupt into a fast Folk-ish run with a heavy distorted and sometimes dissonant sound, although at times, they stick to the song’s original mood in order to entirely engulf the listener in it, and not confuse them with constant changes. A good example of that is “Henkipatto”:
So where’s the Metal in that? This is the key to the band’s success in the World Music scene, they don’t shove all their influences into each and every song just because they are labeled with this or that musical genre. This results in an overall satisfying listening experience when going through an album which highlights several genres.
Take “Norsuvaljakko” for example, a heavy song led by riffs with odd-time signatures and Death Metal-like chugging at times, or “Väärä Käärme” which kicks off with a fast tempo and Folk melodies, and later explodes into magnificent Metal riffs.
Still, the heaviest song on the album is definitely “Hirmuhallinto”; you’ll be surprised of just how intense Brass and Wood can sound like (if you thought Apocalyptica is heavy, wait till you hear this).
Eventually, a part of being a Metalhead is to be open-minded, especially when it comes to cultures and musical history, and that’s what Alamaailman Vasarat are for, to spread Europe’s Folk music while letting everyone know that Metal is also becoming so internationally recognized that its culture and history are now forming new subgenres in World music by means of Fusion!