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Experimental/Post Metal • Finland

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Standing Ovation biography
Finland's STANDING OVATION play complex eclectic progressive metal featuring a strong keyboard presence and a talented vocalist whose delivery is reminiscent of a smoother, less operatic Serj TANKIAN. Forming in 2006, they self-released the EP ''Scars Suit Me'' at the onset of 2011. Gaining a wider fanbase, in November 2012, signed by Inverse Records, they released their first full-length album ''The Antikythera Mechanism'', boasting strong musicianship and themes both historical and science-fiction related. The band members are currently Jouni PARTANEN on vocals, Johannes KURVIVEN on guitars and backing vocals, Petri ESKOLA on keyboards and backing vocals, Mikko KYMALAINEN on drums, Antti KUKKONEN on guitars and Panu NYKANEN on bass.

Biography by Prog Sothoth

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STANDING OVATION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 5 ratings
The Antikythera Mechanism
4.00 | 2 ratings
Gravity Beats Nuclear

STANDING OVATION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

STANDING OVATION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

STANDING OVATION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

STANDING OVATION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Scars Suit Me


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Gravity Beats Nuclear by STANDING OVATION album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 2 ratings

Gravity Beats Nuclear
Standing Ovation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars STANDING OVATION are a Finnish Prog Metal band who have recently released their second album. Of their debut The Antikythera Mechanism (2012) I had listened to YouTube clips only and read a positive review in a prog magazine -- by a non-Metal listener as I am myself too. My first reaction of quick listening to this CD was the usual "f**k, I hate Metal, this music makes me angry!", as I was perhaps hoping for less metallic approach. But already on the second and more patient listening I began to think that this is a very good item of that genre, so well-done and artistically sophisticated that even a person who doesn't enjoy Metal in general can realize its strengths.

The opener '23+23' is an instrumental without any particular Metal elements. Mainly the acoustic guitar and synth weave a melancholic, a bit alienated atmosphere. 'Permafrost' kicks in with a Metal guitar burst and the technically excellent drumming is in plain Metal style, but both know when to leave room for the keyboards and the vocalist. Jouni Partanen has plenty of power in his vocals (which gracefully do not enter the utterly disgusting growl style). He can express both very mean and loving emotions, and the band offers also some vocal harmonies.

Also 'Killer, Iron' is a rather typical Prog Metal rocker, though not very notable Prog elements have appeared yet. 'Hellbillies' is one helluva Speed Metal song from a cannibal's point of view, and it's so over the top and ironic that even I find it sort of amusing and hilarious. The prog aspect increases from the 10-minute 'Fool's Parade' on. The keyboards still don't take Wakemanesque spotlight lead, but I like the way the piano colours the sound. In a little instrumental section there's an accordion-sound, and few minutes later there's a good synth solo.

The greatest highlight is doubtlessly 'Lifeline' (18:20). At least here and there it sounds more like [Symphonic] Prog with Metal nuances than vice versa. The keyboards sound better and better, sometimes remimiscent of MARILLION. The epic proceeds from agony and painful self-searching to the realization of life's wonder and is loaded with powerful emotion. This is possibly the finest Prog Metal epic I've ever heard, not that I know very many of them. The acoustically oriented 'I Am' closes the album in a very delicate manner. "One day I'll see your face / One day I'll hear your voice / One day I'll see your smile / But not yet." A beautiful ending to give the album some conceptual feel too.

I really have to give a good rating to this excellently (self)produced album, even if the genre is not close to me. Warmly recommended to listeners of intelligent Prog Metal.

 The Antikythera Mechanism by STANDING OVATION album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.67 | 5 ratings

The Antikythera Mechanism
Standing Ovation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Finnish band STANDING OVATION has been around in one form or another since 2006, but it took them a good few years to start actually recording any of their material. An initial EP saw the light of day in 2011 however, and towards the end of 2012 they were ready with their debut album "The Antikythera Mechanism", which was released through Finnish label Inverse Records.

For a debut album this is a production that has a lot of positive elements to it, as many debut albums tend to have. This is a band that have chosen metal as their style of choice, they are exploring it in a manner that will see them placed inside the progressive metal umbrella somewhere, and they do so in a manner that makes it difficult to place them inside some of the more heavily explored directions of that subgenre. While they have many familiar sounding details in their material I'm at a loss for pinpointing any specific references in this case too, and while this may document that I don't pay close enough attention to the metal scene more than documenting a case about a band heading in a truly new direction, it's still very nice to be able to say about a band that they don't really belong to any specific "school" within their chosen style.

What this band does do, at best with a smooth elegance, is to wander fairly freely within a territory that has thrash metal, power metal and heavy metal as the outer boundaries, frequently combining all of these elements in a single song and in a manner that makes the progressive moniker obligatory. From harsh, staccato and aggressive riffs to joyfully galloping rhythms and riffs and gentler escapades with acoustic guitars and perhaps some piano. With fairly frequent use of keyboards as both a contrasting element and as an additional layer utilized to craft more majestic arrangements. And within a progressive context it's also worth noting that this is a band fairly fond of quirky riff constructions, a nice contrast to the more aggressive thrash oriented as well as the somewhat more generic power metal expression they occasionally visit.

"The Antikythera Mechanism" is a fine album, but at least according to my ears this is still a band in development. Some of the songs doesn't quite gel for me, sometimes the lead vocals aren't quite what the song needs in my admittedly subjective opinion, and in general the album is slightly uneven. A good album, and one that merits an inspection by progressive metal fans in general and those fond of bands exploring some of the less explored pathways in particular, but ultimately this is a good rather than great album to this set of ears. Well worth investigating though, as long as you don't expect to come across perfection purified.

Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition.

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