Bullroser Records 2011
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
"Karu Maa" is dark, melodic, metallic rock music from Finland and in Finnish. The band doesn't shy about their Christian beliefs, yet their message isn't really quite as overbearing as Christian music at its' worst is. After the first quick listen I wasn't really impressed, but the album has greatly benefited of a few additional spins. The band's knack for writing memorable melodies and choruses is worth applauding and with solid performances all around, this excellently produced album should elevate the band to the frontline of Finnish Christian Hard Rock. The fans who are mourning over the hibernation of THE RAIN should check out Miriam - they have their own identity but both bands share certain key elements.
The most instant "hits" of the album for my money are "Aarre Saviastioissa" with its' gloriously melodic intro and superb chorus, the anthemic "Vaientakaa" and the potential rock radio hit "Kauna". The latter could indeed make an impact on the radio thanks to its' universal lyrical theme. It doesn't sound like a typical "Christian Rock Song"... Ironically, should this song become a radio hit, the hardcore Christians would probably be shouting "sellout", forgetting that it would allow the band to bring their message to a wider audience. There's no use in preaching to the converted, is there?