Arion: “Vultures Die Alone”

Arion, the metal band from Helsinki Finland, is releasing their third full-length album, “Vultures Die Alone” on April 9th.  “Vulture Die Alone” is the band’s second album to be released through AFM Records and is a solid effort that is sure to please their fans.  The album was produced with Matias Kupiainen (Stratovarius) and mixed by Adam “Nolly” Getgood (Periphery).

In addition to frontman Lassi Vääränen’s powerful vocals, Iivo Kaipainen (guitar), Arttu Vauhkonen (keys), Georgi Velino (bass), and Topias Kupiainen (Drums) show off their musicianship on each of the album’s impressive ten songs. The opening track, “Out of My Life,” was released as a single on January 11th and gives the listener a good impression of the quality of metal this album has packed in it. In the first few moments, the listener is hit with a volley of catchy guitar riffs and pounding drums. Lassi’s vocal delivery is wild, yet controlled. About two-thirds of the way through the song, there is an ambient pause before the band kicks back in with a big finish, showing that Arion is both well-timed and diverse.

The first single, “Bloodline,” was released on December 18th of last year and surprised many listeners with guest vocalist, Noora Louhimo, vocalist of the Finnish metal band, Battle Beast. The song starts with a pulsating beat with accented choral voices.  It doesn’t take long before the two vocalists blend their powerful voices and lift the listeners into a call to rise above fear and fight. Not only does the driving beat carry through the song, but the guitar solo is spectacular!

One of the other highlights of the album is the song, “In the Name of Love,” which features Susanna Aleksandra of the rock/pop band, Cyan Kicks.  The song’s tempo slows down a bit, but it is no less heavy than what you would expect from Arion.  Susanna’s vocals really complement Lassi Vääränen and produce a beautiful harmony, giving this song the ability to speak to a wide audience. As with “Bloodline,” this song also thrusts the band’s founder, Iivo Kaipainen, into the spotlight for an incredible guitar solo!

As is with many album releases, the singles are great, but some of the deep tracks are the ones that show off the incredible talent of the band.  I was curious about some of the lyrical themes and reached out to Iivo. According to him, the title track, “A Vulture Dies Alone,” is about “toxic, opportunistic people who exploit others and [believe] in getting revenge.” “I Love To Be Your Enemy” is the heaviest song on the album and is the avenue the band used to release their frustration and aggression toward the music industry. Iivo explains, “I Love to Be Your Enemy is about certain individuals treating us like we’re worthless.”  “Where the Ocean Greets the Sky” is a five-and-a-half-minute-long instrumental track that carries the listener on a musical journey as the rhythm swells and intensifies. The album ends with the softer, emotional ballad, “Until Eternity Ends.” 

There are countless metal bands from Europe, yet Arion seems to know how to stand out from most.  Their incredible talent and intuition for writing great music excel in “Vultures Die Alone.” Between the incredible music, the killer vocals, and the unbelievable guitar solos, metal fans should expect this Finnish quintet to continue pushing their way to the front of the genre.