Made up of former members of HIM and Amorphis, Finnish rockers Flat Earth trade their metal beginnings for homogenous hard rock. Their debut ‘None For One’ has a clear 2000s sound, and will doubtless divide fans of their earlier work. It’s not a metal album, but aspects of gothic and power metal shine through in between the more mainstream rock vibe here and there.
On first listen, it’s not immediately convincing – it just sounds like generic heavy rock. It takes a couple of plays through to appreciate properly. Take opener ‘Subhuman’. It doesn’t grab attention straight away but the riff and chorus soon prove contagious, the track becoming a bit of an earworm. It’s not a bad way for the band to announce themselves.
‘Given Time’ shows a different side to Flat Earth – less bluster and more ballad. It’s difficult not to be moved by Anttoni Pikkarainen’s falsetto vocals, as he sings “I refuse to see”. ‘Blunt’ is similar but less effective, as it possesses a less distinctive sound and the band appear to be going through the motions somewhat.
Largely, the band are best when the songs are more fast-paced. Title track ‘None For One’ has the sort of gothic quality fans of HIM will appreciate. The eerie intro evokes comparisons with Evanescence’s ‘Bring Me To Life’ before the guitar really kicks in. It’s something of a slow-burner but the emotion in the delivery is striking and the instrumental section near the end of the song is one of the best moments of the album. In contrast, ‘Noble Swine’ is loud, bold and pulsating from the off, with relentless drumming and wrath in the vocals.
This is not an album that would be revolutionary by any stretch, but it is a decent rock record. More accessible to newer listeners than their previous work, it runs the risk of alienating older fans, though there are still hints of HIM and Amorphis’ sound.
‘None For One’ by Flat Earth is out now on Drakkar Entertainment.
Words by Adam England (@AdamEnglandSO)