In the neverending discovery of new bands and music, I present Force Majeure. The band exudes traditional metal, but inflected with some power elements. My first thoughts instantly gravitated to Doro. Why Doro Pesch? The German champion for female fronted metal issued her album Force Majeure in 1989 on the demise of Warlock. The Force Majeure moniker instantly takes me there in my head.
Hard to shake that image, but this is totally different. This Force Majeure is a melodic heavy metal/power metal band from Finland. With beginnings tracing back to 1998 or 2001, reports are a bit conflicting. In any case, the creators and founding guitarists Jussi Reuhkala and Eemeli Ojanen met and discovered their mutual devotion to heavy metal and guitar playing. A band formation only made sense. The Force Majeure debut, Frozen Chambers, arrived in 2008. Ahead of that debut, the band had issued several self-financed demos. Frozen Chambers achieved entrance to the top 40 album charts in Finland.
2011 saw the sophomore effort, Saint of Sulphur‘s arrival, which led to shows outside their native Finland. For this Rise of Starlit Fires third installment, we find vocalist Marcus Lång joining the Force Majeure camp. The press release describes Marcus as “the heavy metal jaggerbomb”. Also holding membership cards we find Tuomas Väänänen delivering the bass lines and Jaakko Nylund seated behind the kit.
FORCE MAJEURE – The Rise Of Starlit Fires
Ambient sounds shortly lead into the launch of “Gemini Rising” to begin The Rise of Starlit Fires. Epic. This opener simply exudes an epic almost over the top melodic power metal feeling. Featuring prominent “heavy thunder” bass lines, this is exactly how I like my power metal. Oh, and “jaggerbomb” is totally accurate. Lång can hit some notes!
A thrashier, speedier tempo can be found contained in the second cut, “Apocalyptic Hearts”. Check out the official video below. Your head should be fully banging by “Blessed By Wolves”, which is solid as well. But, it’s the fourth inclusion of “The Great Starfall” where things really pick up speed. Rapid fire, marching drum beats, thick bass grooves, cutting riffs and a simply larger than life chorus thanks to Lång.
“Church Of Steam” instantly reaches for the throat with its opening charges and riffs. Keeping the pedal to the floor, we next encounter “Pantheon Of My Passion”, which is probably the most accessible composition found on The Rise of Starlit Fires. After pounding through the more than six minutes of epicness that is “The Darkening”, we wrap up with “Subarctic Showdown”.
With only one track below the five-minute runtime, and not by much, there is tons of awesome power metal on The Rise Of Starlit Fires. The album came out September 8, 2017, courtesy of Mighty Music Records.