Circle - Tulikoira

Circle: Tulikoira (edition 2009) CD
[Ektro Records (Ektro-033)]

Circle: Tulikoira (edition 2009) CD
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The mysterious acronym "NWOFHM" was revealed to the world for the first time in 2005 when this mysterious sequence of letters dominated the centerfold of the booklet of Tulikoira, a studio album by prolific Finnish rock band Circle. It is likely that the meaning of NWOFHM was initially nonsensical to most of Circle's listeners, but some of them may have been able to dig up the phrase "New Wave of British Heavy Metal" from the nethermost recesses of their helmets, and to deduct that this variation probably referred to a localized Finnish version of this 80's phenomenon - only over twenty years too late.

"The New Wave of Finnish Heavy Metal" may sound pompous and far fetched, but listening to the album the label does sound quite appropriate. Tulikoira is an album that consists of only four tracks but manages to explore quite a few moods and styles during its run. Album opener Rautakäärme would be a beautiful hymn if there wasn't a metal band playing riffs at a breakneck speed behind the vocals. The second song - Tulilintu - is a relatively short burst of energy and high-pitched vocals bringing Judas Priest to mind. The rest of the album goes off a on completely different direction altogether, with closing track Puutiikeri being a 20+ minute avantgarde jam bookended by bursts of heavy metal riffing. (Eetormentor)