Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of bands resurrect themselves from the dead, so to speak – Slowdive, Ride, Medicine, Swervedriver immediately come to mind, for instance. But the gap between their latest output and any output being released today usually span no more than 3 decades. Today we have the opportunity to salut a band presenting their first new album in 34 years, and to actually premiere it for you. Finnish post-punk legends Musta Paraati present their new album ‘Black Parade’, which is out today via Cleopatra Records.
The album features 11 tracks in English, 10 of which are new. This is a stark departure from the band’s 1983 debut album ‘Peilitalossa’ and 1984 sophomore album ‘Käärmeet’., which were entirely in Finnish. So what changed. Well, for one, the world has become a place where English is the new ubiquitous Lingua Franca. Second, the band’s original vocalist Jore Vastelin passed away in 1993. Fast forward many years ahead – the band began to work with Jyrki Linnankivi from The 69 Eyes.
Original Musta Paraati members Sakari ‘Saku’ Paasiniemi (guitar), Pasi ‘Panda’ Nikander (bass), Yrjö ‘Ykä’ Knuuttila (drums) are all still in the band and all feature on this album.
“Jyrki have that brilliant thingy that older he gets, better he’s voice gets. He is like the Johnny Cash of Goth… I think it was good that we kept it simple, the guitar, bass and drums being played live in the studio. I still want us to sound raw enough when we play live on stage,” says Saku Paasiniemi
Following Cleopatra Records’ 23-track deluxe reissue of their ‘Peilitalossa’ album, they also decided to support the band’s first English-language offering, which turned out brilliantly, calling to mind such artists as Killing Joke, Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, HIM and The 69 Eyes (owing to Jyrki 69’s unique aesthetic and delivery). This new album by Musta Paraati is stunning – the work of Nordic dark lords, forged by time and a strong sense of melody. Expect goose-bumps at times.
Highly regarded as Finland’s premiere post-punk / goth rockers, Musta Paraati was making music before their countrymen Russian Love, Two Witches, and The 69 Eyes. With their own unique sound that is upbeat and with an old school punk attitude, their music gained them cult status in their native Finland, their albums being considered prized contributions to record collections, and also led to touring with other cult bands like Lords of the New Church and Hanoi Rocks.
“We started this project with Jyrki to make couple of songs in English for our fans abroad, but it grew into a full album. We are really exited and proud about our new album ‘Black Parade’. It has pushed us to the next level and we are already working new material for the future releases,” says Yrjö.
“Since the material sounded virtually like the music Musta Paraati was making back in the 80’s, I took an imaginitive journey back in time and studied everything I found from that era, including music, movies, and politics. I also kept the somewhat naiive approach for lyrics and rock’n’roll to keep things simple,” comments Jyrki 69.
The album cover for ‘Black Parade’ features photography by Stefan Bremer, the same photograper whose image features on the band’s debut album so many years ago, taken at exactly the same location.
‘Black Parade’ is now available from online stores and streaming platforms, such as Spotify, as well as Bandcamp at https://mustaparaati.bandcamp.com/album/black-parade . Physically, fans will appreciate both CD and limited edition purple vinyl pressing, available via Cleopatra Records at https://cleorecs.com/store/?s=Musta+Paraati&post_type=product. This album will be supported with a full-scale international tour starting in November.
2. Nacht Der Untoten
3. The Leader
6. The Race Is On
8. Digital Twin
11. If I Die Tomorrow
Music by Sakari Paasiniemi
Lyrics by Jyrki Linnankivi
Except “The Leader” – lyrics by General Njassa & Jyrki Linnankivi
All arrangements by Musta Paraati and Karo Broman
Produced by Karo Broman and Musta Paraati
Recorded by Karo Broman at Secret Flat Studios, Helsinki
Keyboards by Karo Broman
Mixed by Karo Broman and Musta Paraati
Mastered by Jürgen Engler
Photography by Stefan Bremer
Also check out their video for ‘The Leader’, filmed in Los Angeles, produced by Industrialism Films and directed by Vicente Cordero.
All words via Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.