Lost Society listening party, Sonic Pump Studios Helsinki, Nov 20, 2015
There’s a certain sense of excitement in the air – naturally mainly surrounding the band: all dressed up nicely for the occasion, eager to find out about the first reactions to the new album. But also the journalists seem to be eager to find out what Finland’s Thrash newcomers Lost Society have to offer on their third output (release date Feb 12, 2016).
Smalltalk, and we cannot avoid discussing recent events with the French colleague – our mutual agreement is “we don’t let these fuckers win” … and then we are finally invited into the holy halls of the legendary Sonic Pump recording studio, to listen to “Braindead”.
“Braindead” not at all.
“I am the antidote” will definitely have your jaw drop. Especially those who know the first two albums and/or have seen the band live. Less Speed, more groove, I would even draw parallels to Power Metal… don’t get me wrong, it’s a change in a positive way. Those guys show off their songwriting skills. Ear candy. Awesome sound makes you appreciate the filigree guitar work.
“Riot”, more aggressive than the previous track, might be what you have expected to hear from the band; precise riffing Pantera style and wicked soli confirm a certain change towards complexity.
“Mad Torture” put a huge grin on my face right away. First they hit it off as you learned to know and love them – this massive carefree “straight in your face” attitude, but then they switch to more grooving parts, no longer following the usual verse – chorus – verse – chorus pattern. Sophisticated, complex. Outstanding, maybe already my favorite of this album.
“Hollow Eyes” is another example how those youngsters have assimilated Thrash classics, transformed them and made them their own. There’s even a “Heavy Metal Waltz” part that might be a bow to Testament. Have I mentioned the awesome guitar work already?
“Rage me Up” might be the song that could have been on one of the previous albums – high energy “punch-in-the-face”, a chorus to shout along right away – then a real complex part in between seems to be there just to confuse the listener a bit, before they flatten you again with crazy Thrash power.
“Hangover Activator” continues the high speed attack, which could be compared with Metallica’s Motorbreath. Merciless riffs drilling into your brain, soli that surely set fingertips on fire. Several details in the song put me into LOL modus…
“Only My Death Is Certain” takes off with a Metallica Black Album feeling, but no tear jerker ballad, rather another complex mixture of Thrash and Power Metal, uptempo and groove is nicely balanced, a clean guitar carrying an almost haunting theme, crowned by a catchy chorus. Another outstanding example how those guys developed their songwriting skills.
… and as the following 2 songs are supposed to be bonus tracks, and maybe a surprise, I better leave my comments right here…
Afterwards the band seems happy and more relaxed, also because everybody had one or two refreshments in the meantime… “Not what we have expected” is the journalists’ commentary afterwards – in a positive sense. Keeping their line of business (Thrash) but showing that they have developed further – or as I put it when I talked with Samy Elbanna: “You guys grew up!”
Samy describes the recording of Braindead, the third album at Sonic Pump with Nino Laurenne (mastered by Svante Forsbäck), as “probably the funniest session we ever had”.
Being “just” fans themselves only a few years back, you can feel that the band is still excited not only meeting (almost) all of their idols, but also playing on those big festival stages themselves. “Hellfest was the coolest experience of my life”, Samy says and recalls the excitement facing so many people, although they had such an early slot at 11h. And soon they will be playing with Anthrax at Hartwall Arena, where he hopes to finally get to meet them for a chat too. “There was no chance when we both played at Tuska”.
When I mention this incredible energy they radiate, from their albums and even more when on stage, Samy explains that “the energy works both ways, you get it from the crowd, that’s what I’m living for.”
And a statement that could not be better to round up this story: “We don’t take anything for granted,” Samy says. “We are fucking lucky”.