There are a couple of things that I asked myself when I first listened to “False Lights” by Pressure Points from Finland. “How far up my ass has my head been that I haven’t heard this before now?” and “Why the hell aren’t Pressure Points MASSIVE?!?” “False Lights” is the reason that I write reviews. Every now and then it’s nice to have a reminder with something as exceptional as this album.
The band are amazing musicians. All five of them are some of the best players but beyond that they write REALLY great songs with tons of melody, lots of hooks and power to spare. A key to this album are the incredible guitar solos on each song. The solos aren’t your typical shredfest. Instead they are some of the best emotionally charged solos that I’ve ever heard. Yes I said “ever.” Kari Olli handles the bulk of the solos but kudos to his counterpart, Jaakko Lehtinen, as well.
Another key is the triple threat on vocals. Olli handles all the harsh vocals and the majority of the clean vocals. His style reminds me a bit of Dan Swanö, very rich clean vocal and powerful harsh vocal. Lehtinen handles the vocals for the choruses on “Wreckage” and “Between the Lies.” His style reminds me A LOT of Ian Gillan’s mid range. It makes an awesome change of pace. Keyboardist Veli-Matti Kyllönen handles the verses on “Electric Shadows.” It’s such a cool dimension to have multiple vocalists.
As soon as the opening section of “Wreckage” started, my eyes got big. I knew I was in for something good. Then the song kicks in with the main riff and yes I did say “WOW THIS IS GOOD!” audibly. The song effectively blew my mind and when “Between the Lies” proved to be equally well written and executed, I wondered just how long this incredibly high standard would last. It lasts the entire album!
Back to “Wreckage,” the band also showcase their chops on this track but never to the point of making it about the playing. Each section finds Pressure Points putting the song FIRST. Too many bands are worried about showing how well they play and don’t write great songs. The songs dictate what the band does all throughout “False Lights.”
As with any band that I like, the drummer has to be the one pushing the band and Vili Auvinen does that. He never overplays but he has plenty of excellent fills and keeps his foot on the gas to drive the band onward. Besides the guitar solos, Kyllönen’s keys are crucial to the songs. His piano work is beautiful for example. Check out the middle section of “Electric Shadows” for proof.
“Sleepwalk” is one of my favorite tracks. It starts out sounding a bit like a long lost Nightingale track. It has that radio-friendly prog sound that Nightingale are known for. That’s until the track really kicks in and has a section that reminds me of a chugging freight train. Keyboards are pulsating, Janne Parikka’s bass is thundering, it just kicks such major ass.
There are but six songs with each being between 8-10 minutes long. Each song never feels like they are that long. A long song should never have you checking to see how much is left. That’s how great each song is. And each song has its own unique identity which is quite amazing.
I could keep typing about why “False Lights” is a masterpiece but the more time of yours that I take by reading this, the less time you have checking this album out. Pressure Points renew my faith in bands making great prog metal without putting their egos first. “False Lights” seems effortless in its construction and execution, it’s that innate ability to allow the music to decide it’s own path that make Pressure Points such a talented band. This is exceptional.
2. Between the Lies
3. Electric Shadows
5. Dance of Coincidence
6. In Desolation