Kristalliarkki (Crystal Ark) is the third LP by Finnish psychedelic occult heavy rockers Seremonia. I must say that I've been a huge fan since the beginning, and the band just seems to be getting better and better and progressing without loosing their essential spirit. This new album is perhaps a bit more psychedelic, otherworldly and varied but just as dark, gloomy and heavy as before. I really like the fact that there's organ on several tracks as well as flute which gives some more dimensions and vibes to their usual punky, fuzzy proto-hard rock sound. I think it's fair to say that there are also some prog rock influences. The female vocals are in Finnish as usual, and I feel the vocals that are strongly influenced by occultists like Crowley and Blavatsky somehow seem to be more thought of and not just as off-the wall as before.
The album starts off with the two-minute "Vihkimys" and it's a suitable, atmospheric introductory incantation to the ceremonies. The energetic and heavy "Alfa ja Omega" rocks hard and works very well and also has some organ in the chorus. "Tee mitä tahdot" ("Do What Thou Wilt") is a bit more complex, mystical and very interesting track full of Crowley's Thelema. "Musta liekki" ("The Black Flame") is a cool, mid-tempo hard rock/boogie freak-out, and "Lusiferin lapset" (The Lucifer's Children") rocks faster again getting close to psychedelic stoner rock in the guitar solo section. Great! "Vapauden polku" ("The Path of Freedom") is slower, doomy song with some mind-blowing sound-effects and a great chorus and prog organ solo that I also enjoy very much. "Kuolema voittaa" ("Death Will Win") is a short, more straight-forward, fast and punky rocker again, although the chorus is a bit more progressive. "Jokainen Askel" ("Every Step") is a dark, gloomy and slow track with a great chorus including church organ sound, a cool jamming ending and a strong Black Sabbath vibe. The title track "Kristalliarkki I" is the longest on the album at 14:35. It's also rather different in mood since it's peaceful and there are no distorted guitars in the first three minutes, but then things start to get more freaky, experimental and esoteric... We also get some flute, organ and sax, what a weird and wonderful experience. "Kristalliarkki II" is a short and fast punky eruption that ends the album in a harsh way. This is a highly recommended album for all lovers of psychedelic occult hard/heavy rock and remember also to buy their new 7" Hasiskultti that includes two tracks not on the album! The band will play two album release gigs: tonight at Bar 15 in Seinäjoki (w/Circle) and tomorrow at Lauantaitranssit festival in Helsinki (w/Circle, Death Hawks, Teksti-TV 666 etc.). Can't wait to see them again!