Adamantra “Treacherous Valour” for #METALMOMENTUM

6 min read

Band: Adamantra
Title: Treacherous Valour (single)
Label: Self-released
Release date: May 29th, 2024
Country: Finland
Format reviewed: High-Quality Digital Recording

Single Review:

Adamantra – “Treacherous Valour” (single): Echoes of Conflict.

“Experience the haunting beauty of Adamantra’s latest single, “Treacherous Valor.” With its evocative melodies and introspective lyrics, the song delves into the complexities of the war’s aftermath, offering a warm, contemplative journey. Featuring the velvety and powerful voice of Tuomas Nieminen and complemented by Mikael Salo and Erik Kraemer, this song combines musical sophistication with emotionality. A true progressive metal gem”. By Elyna Steel

Adamantra emerged on the music scene in 2005, debuting with an EP in 2006, followed by their first full-length album, “Revival”, in 2009. The band’s plan was for worldwide distribution of that first album, but for unforeseen circumstances, they had to release it only in their native Finland. Still, without losing steam, the band embarked on a creative journey in August 2010, bringing new material to life and refining their sound. After years of painstaking production, Adamantra triumphantly returned with “Act II: Silent Narratives,” which premiered worldwide on May 23, 2014. From this one, I highly recommend the track “In The Shadow Of The Cross” – If you enjoy progressive metal I am positive you will love it as well, for it’s absolutely amazing!

As revenge for the limited release of their first album, Adamantra was responsible for securing the remaining stock of CDs from their former label to facilitate international availability. These actions demonstrate the unwavering will of these guys to show their music to the greatest number of people around the world, which makes them true heralds of good underground metal music, beyond the borders of wonderful Finland.

The current line up of the band is Tuomas Niemen on vocals. Jukka Hoffren on bass guitar, Panu Kiskola on guitars, Chrism on keyboards and Mikko Sepponen on drums.

Adamantra is up to release their third album from which 2 singles have been unveiled so far: “ An Unfinished Tale” released on April 23rd  and “Treacherous Valour” released on May 29th. This second single is the picked one for the following review. It was written by Jukka Hoffrén and composed by Tommi Ahtila and Tuomas Nieminen besides Jukka, and features Mikael Salo  (Ex Dyecrest, ex Metal de Facto, ex Everfrost, lead vocals in Finnish Rhapsody, Night People) and Erik Kraemer (Kraemer, Amorta, Circo de Rock, ex Simulacro) as backing vocals.  With that background in mind, let ‘s delve deeper into this journey.

War is the basis of this story, which is actually the lived testimony of a soldier who suffers pain firsthand and who, upon leaving the battlefield, lives immersed in confusion, hopelessness and doubt. When thinking about all the death that surrounded him – and that he himself invoked with his weapons – he lives in continuous mourning, questioning his value, his beliefs, his loyalty even. 

It is the post-traumatic syndrome that most soldiers must face once they leave the battlefield. Being prostrate, wounded in a bed, he remembers the screams of his companions and his enemies, the death everywhere and he cannot help but feel deceit in the face of the scam of war, in the face of the lie that they are always been told: that they should fear and hate his enemies, who in the end are men just like him. 

Next to him, there is his enemy in agony and pain and he can’t help but think why he should hate or fear him – after all, he also suffers the horrors of war, he is also a victim of war propaganda, which it puts them as disposable pawns at the service of interests they cannot even see. 

This is one of those songs that shakes us and makes us think about the real extent of war for those who carry it out – the little soldiers who, pushed by the current of hatred, allow themselves to be manipulated to the point of inflicting pain and giving death to another human being, and then regret it for the rest of their lives.

The song has a YouTube lyric clip with evocative and powerful imagery about war, aggression and suffering. 

The melody kicks off giving a flashback sensation- akin 80’s music, like an opening song  – or a fantasy movie even. At a slow rhythm, the song begins with nostalgic keyboards – one as an atmospheric base and then another keyboard lines that, added to the rhythmic base crescendo, evoke the sensation of being in front of a waterfall, into which you launch yourself with the first riffs and drum pulses that join at the first intermezzo, bringing to mind Dream Theater’s progressiveness. The first verses are played with guitar without distortion, giving prominence to the rhythmic base, keyboards andTuomas Nieminen’s velvety voice,  in his mid register, creating a “dim-light” alluring ambience.

The following sections before the chorus feel gloomy, somber, with many tonal nuances and progressions that add layers of dynamism to the overall. 

Musically complex, yet captivating to the ear. They remind me of sitting on a bench on some walkway in front of the sea on a cloudy and cold day, with gray skies, but with some sunbeams peeking through and shining intensely on the waves as soon as we enter the choir. The melodic and rhythmic base resonates in the chest while Tuomas here shines in his upper-middle register, along with the vocal harmonizations in the background courtesy of the amazing guest singers Mikael Salo and Erik Kraemer. 

At times, Tuomas reminds me of James LaBrie, although I confess that I like Tuomas’s voice much more; It is warm, simple and flows with the melody,  in this wonderful chorus. 

The emotion and tonality here is nostalgic yet hopeful, like a warm breeze, akin to the kind that announces a storm – the one I would wait for like an old friend, because I’m nuts and love storms, gray clouds, rain and so on. As an anecdote, the title of chaser of storms and tornadoes was one of my favorites as a child, so this song suits me perfectly.

The structure remains stable in the second verse and chorus and after this we enter the final part of the track. Here the rhythm and blues style guitar solo stands out, full of feeling and rich nuances. And closing the song, the bass as the protagonist in the last minutes, romantic, sensually elegant. Here the sensation it evokes is freedom, no urgency, no hurry. It’s the freedom to flow with the wind, wherever it takes you, just enjoying the ride. 

This is a warm, contemplative second single. At a leisurely pace, “Treacherous Valor” is one of those emotional, complex and strangely relaxing songs. It is the ideal track to play in the car when you are about to embark on a long and tedious trip and this song makes it an endearing adventure. And it’s one of those tracks that I personally can listen to on repeat without getting tired – only interrupted by some daily chore.

In conclusion, Adamantra’s “Treacherous Valor” is a deeply contemplative, emotionally rich, musically complex and warm single.  The aftermath of the war in the lyrics and the evocative musical composition make this song an empathetic journey to the tormented soul. Tuomas Nieminen’s velvety voice supported by the incredible Mikael and Erik, along with the atmospheric 

keyboards, the beautiful rhythmic base and the guitar and bass solos are a caress in the middle of the storm, a breath of relief and freedom.

Dynamic, fluid despite its complexity, “Treacherous Valor” is a warm journey, an oasis for both lovers of progressive metal and for those seeking a powerful message in music.

For all of the reasons mentioned above, I give it a rating: 9.5 / 10 by Elyna Steel


9.5/10 Epic Storm
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