The first thing to note about Finns Happily Ever Blind is that they really don’t sound like anything that’s currently burning up the ears of metal record company A&R scouts. You’ll already know whether you feel that’s a good or a bad thing, but you should still afford this five track EP the courtesy of a listen, cursory or otherwise…

It’s not easy going; the vocals of John Emslie slip neatly into the ‘acquired taste’ category from the get go, and your enjoyment of the tracks on offer may well be predicated by how you react to them. There’s no power metal warbling or death metal gargling on show; rather the man adopts a slightly crazed-sounding yelp which is certainly unique. And, surprisingly, it fits the jagged, uncompromising guitar-based maelstrom whipped up by the rest of the band to a tee.

Consequently tracks like Grinding Bones and Yggdrasil creep up on you with insidious intent and lodge themselves in the memory almost in spite of their fuck-you natures. Opening track Saturnalia isn’t quite so successful but does possess a certain leery charm, the upshot of all this being a release that repulses as much as it beguiles, daring the listener to remove the record from their ears yet simultaneously demanding attention. This is a strange one, for sure, but is a pretty interesting way to kick off 2018!

You Are Dead is set for release on January 15th.