Sunday, November 04, 2007


Ervo, Arvo, Kaarle ja Simeoni Viikate

Rakkaat ihmiset... there is a band I have wanted to tell about some time ago. For some reasons I have not managed to tackle the theme until these days. I think seeing them live on stage is more than a good opportunity to write a few lines. The band is VIIKATE.

The Finnish friendship I have had brought some good music into my life; very Finnish music, to be precise. Now I continue the exploration on my own - and as I am in Finland, this mean
s going to as many very Finnish gigs as possible. To Viikate I have been introduced at the beginning of this year. I remember how I listened to them in spring, but I did not pay that much attention to the music. Then, some strange magic has happened. For the last few months Viikate has been my favorite band by all means. Perhaps life in Finland has increased my affection towards their music; I cannot really say. This love has just emerged all of a sudden.

The band's name in English would be Scythe. Four members with recognizable artsy names; they also share the surname Viikate. Online sources tag their sounds mainly as metal, wire metal, rock and folk rock. If I lean on my own disc
overies and humble knowledge about music genres, I could also say their music reflects 1950s rock style, quit rockabilly-like. The influence of Finnish schlagers is strongly present, too; the important name here would be Reino Helismaa since Viikate's style has been described as Helismaa-metal. Viikate are oldfashioned, but in a very good way.

For me, Viikate is much more than just one very Finnish metal band. It is hard to say how metal they actually are. Their music reaches far beyond metal - and sometimes even beyond words. Do not ask me which is my favorite Viikate song; there is lots of them. I like their melodics, the riffs seem so unique and, most of all, so beautiful.
Genuine style indeed. As I always put a lot of stress on good lyrics, Viikate does not let me down here either. They feature real poetry - only in Finnish. The language of their words feels oldish; it is not easy Finnish for sure. Just imagine gloomy words within merry riffs and lively, sometimes rockabilly-like sounds. Melancholy and darkness, but on the other hand also very special joy, even irony. As a foreigner living in Finland and being in strong contact with Finnish culture I could say Viikate capture a great deal of pure Finnishness. Also, if I compare the overall atmospheres, Viikate could be Aki Kaurismäki in music.

Kaarle Viikate Lutakossa, toinen päivä marraskuuta

Friday November the 2nd was the day to see Viikate live for the first time. The band has just published their new album Marraskuun lauluja II - November Songs. Since this is the month of my birthday I am happy there is a band that prefers November so much they have published actually two albums dedicated to it. Anyway, I am sure Viikate have been playing in Lutakko many times, but still the place was full of people. The audience seemed a bit older, like my age and more; I have also seen
two ladies in classical trousers and high heels, wearing Viikate shirts.

Kaarle ja Ervo Viikate Lutakon lattialla

The gig itself was just great. At least I felt it so; a few months ago I had fallen deeply into this music, and the oportunity to see the bend live came so soon. Frontman Kaarle Viikate knows well how to address the audience - very in style. Almost in book Finnish, kirjakieli, and again with a bit oldfashioned expressions. The band has lots of presence on stage, the
performance is proper. Their live sounds do not differ much from the recordings; the melodic parts created jolly atmosphere. I guess I was among a very few foreigners, if there were any, that could sing-a-long with the rest of the Finnish audience. Nice event by all means - and yes, I am already looking forward to see Viikate live again.

Kaipuun taivaalla loistaa kuu
Hallamaillakin aurinko nousee

Tuomion t
ähdet kimaltaa
Tuomion t
ähdet kimaltaa, ne toisille kimaltaa
Viikate - Hallamaat - Marraskuun lauluja II

P.S.: I might post Viikate music video in the days to come, but until then check out their sounds here.

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