Artist: Musta Paraati
Title: Black Parade
Genre: Goth / Rock / Post-Punk
Release Date: 19th October 2018
Label: Cleopatra Records
MUSTA PARAATI (“Black Parade”) is a Post-Punk band from Finland. In the 1980s they were quite famous in Finland and played many gigs and all major festivals. The band split up eventually and there were a few reunions with various instrumentalists. In 1993 vocalist Jore Vastelin died and this seemed to be the end of MUSTA PARAATI. Some of the founding members reunited in 2015 with vocalist Herra Ylppö (MAJ KARMA) and so the band published an EP and played several gigs and all major festivals in Finland. Lyrics were still in Finnish by then.
Their album ‘Peilitalossa’ was republished in 2001 and 2012 in Finland and in 2018 in the USA as there was quite a demand for MUSTA PARAATI’s music. The band decided to publish a new album with English lyrics for the fans abroad as well as their fans in Finland but the band had to find a new vocalist as Herra Ylppö was too busy with his own projects. Having the music ready but no vocalist was frustrating for everyone and this was the point when Jyrki 69 (THE 69 EYES, THE 69 CATS) was asked to join the band. ‘Black Parade’ was published on October 19th 2018 via Cleopatra Records.
The new album includes 10 newly composed songs in English (okay: a bit of German and French) with lyrics by Jyrki 69 and one reissue of the band’s 1983 single, ‘Johtaja’, which was translated into English (‘The Leader’). If you ever tried to translate a text in Finnish via an online-translator, you can get an idea about how difficult it had been to translate a Finnish “cult-song” into an English version that can be performed to the old vibes of the music that were created for a Finnish version.
Most people know Jyrki 69 as the vocalist of THE 69 EYES, but don’t you worry, this does not sound like a 69 EYES album. The vibe is dark & Goth and the sound refers and lyrics refer mainly to the 80s although the sound has the advantage of the technical developments of current times. Now you may think: “Okay, the album had to be in English, because they wanted Jyrki 69 as a vocalist and he can only perform in English.” You are mistaken here. Jyrki 69 did a fantastic duet in Finnish with Matti Esko (‘Pimeää’).
‘Black Parade’ kicks off with ‘Animosity’, a perfect choice to show the listener he’s on a journey into the “Goth” 80s vibes and it’s gonna be a fantastic journey into your perfect “Goth-mood”. The title sounds heavy but the low synthies, rather soft bass vibes and a touch of DEPECHE MODE in it. ‘Nacht Der Untoten’ (‘Night of the Undead’) was published as the second single of the album with a cool video directed by Jarkko Tiitinen. “If the dead come alive and hell is on earth...” can there be more “Goth” and “Horror” in a song? Although lyric consist mainly of the repeating of the title, it does not get boring for you can you can listen to musicians who know their instruments, their music and do not strive to imitate anyone. The pronunciation of the German in the lyrics reminds you of Neue Deutsche Härte so it’s an 80s music set with a welcome and fitting attitude of the 90s, especially as there is a German band, UNTOTEN, with a dark and gothic vibe. It is definitely an up-tempo song you should put on your Halloween-playlist.
‘The Leader’ shows that an 80s topic is still up to date. If you listen to the lyrics carefully, you might ask yourself if anything has changed in this world since the 1980s. Several disasters happened and there are various “Zero-Zones” around the world, the song still gets you into a perfect “Goth-mood”. Check out the brilliant video directed by Vicente Cordero. ‘Aujourd'hui’, the monologue of one person to another (beloved) person, creates a melancholic mood. Missed chances and the idea that there must something else behind the darkness (for the speaker) come to your mind. ‘Chopsticks’ has an intriguing chorus and it clearly leads you to the events in Peking in the 1980s. The catchy tune is provided by keyboards and you won’t get rid of the melody for a while, definitely the song that is the most Pop one on this album. ‘The Race Is On’ is clearly adapted to New Wave and I found myself humming the chorus after listening to the album for the second time. The lyrics lead you to the essential questions of war, killing and survival and leaves you musing about how far you would be ready to go, if peace is disturbed and you want to survive.
‘Radio’ contains heavier guitar-riffing, a very intriguing chorus .The synthies and the mood can throw you back to an 80s dancefloor, if you wish. ‘Digital Twin’ remembers one of the most famous movies of the 80s? Right. Close your eyes and watch ‘Blade Runner’, if you like. ‘Reaper’ immediately took me back to the uncensored version of an 80s horror movie. The music and the vibes are quite strong, could be an opener for a show or an album. ‘Today’ is screaming “PUNK” at you and points out that the album does not try to be only Goth or only Rock. ‘If I die tomorrow’ sends you back to the 80s political strategy of spying, the feeling of animosity and the question where humanity has gone. Finally the song leaves you with the question “What if...?” Put the album on repeat and enjoy your perfect “Goth mood”, you won’t get bored.
02. Nacht Der Untoten
03. The Leader
06. The Race Is On
08. Digital Twin
11. If I Die Tomorrow
Saku Paasiniemi – Guitar
Pasi ‘Panda’ Nikander – Bass
Yrjö ‘Ykä” Knuuttila – Drums
Jykri ‘69’ Linnankivi – Vocals
Total: 10 / 10