Seremonia: Kristalliarkki

Spooky Finns take their own turn off the occult doom map

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Even amid this decade’s flowering of woman-fronted occult psych doom, Seremonia continue to distinguish themselves with their spooky, instinctive garage jams.

Propelled by the ragged, elastic drumming of Erno Taipale and topped with the haunting, dispassionate Finnish vocals of enigmatic frontwoman Noora Federley, Kristalliarkki (‘Crystal Sheet’) rocks and rolls between heavy, heady ritualistic doom, frenetic bursts of psychedelic punk and pine-scented mellow passages – most powerfully evoked on hypnotic epic Kristalliarkki I, brooding and building for 15 blissful minutes – augmented by otherworldly flutes, horror-soundtrack synths, bonkers Hammond plus a dash of harp and sax.

Although the pretty sleeve might appear to presage a more accessible approach, that’s hard to detect in these dark, cryptic vibes, although tunes like Alfa Ja Omega further develop Seremonia’s exotic 60s pop savvy.

There’s something resonant and beguiling about this freaky five-piece that transcends time and scene./o:p

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.