Sound — 8
Scrolling down the 'alternative rock' artist lists on Wikipedia, I came across Poets of the Fall. And their second album, 'Carnival of Rust', is definitely one of the most innovative sounds I've ever heard. Although a Finnish band, the Poets sing in English, and their playing, while not any particular work of genius, is skillful in it's own right. The first five to six songs have a faster sound than the second half and the album's title track 'Carnival of Rust' gives a distinct remeniscient point of Evanescence. More importantly than that, however, the unpredictability of some tracks pumps up a rather haunted-carnival-like theme to the album, 'Sorry Go Round' and 'Locking Up The Sun' in particular. The vocal work is flexible and fits in well with the second half of the album, a lighter and more acoustic-sounding few songs. While the band's musical work is nothing overall ultra-platinum, they are definitely bringing a new sound to the table, and with one of their aims being to be heard and distributed outside of Finland, they have the ability to make it happen.
Lyrics — 9
Mark Saaresto is the lead singer and is incredibly fluent in his vocal work, able to switch between octaves like nothing, which in turn allows him to bring the haunted-carnival atmosphere to the forefront of the album. The lyrics themselves are meaningful and heartfelt, particularly on the second half, with 'Roses' being a prime example. On the first half, 'Sorry Go Round' is a definite track to listen to, with Saaresto able to twist and turn his way around the words, convoluting them as he sees fit, including a very brief point where he sings 'Rock and roll star' in the voice of Brian Johnson of AC/DC. Saaresto is a magnificent singer for the slower songs, and I have not managed to find a weak point of his singing (so far). The lyrics can get confusing at times, but the singing is definitely the high point of the album.
Overall Impression — 9
The most impressive songs from the album for me were 'Locking Up The Sun' and 'Roses' (I actually get teary when listening to 'Roses'). The Poets manage to pack a bit of everything into the album - a nice guitar solo in 'Fire', the carnival feel in 'Sorry Go Round', beautiful imagery in 'Carnival of Rust', a techno sound in 'Locking Up The Sun', beautiful acoustic work in 'Roses', and a lovely piano finish in 'Dawn', together with the heart behind the lyrics in absolutely every song. My favourite point of the album is the fact that you get something new and interesting in every song, while not starying from one formula that makes the Poets what they are. If you listen carefully, you can manage to pick up hints of other bands during some songs - AC/DC, Coldplay, Evanescence and Panic! at the Disco all make very brief but certain little 'glitches' in the album which make it all the more interesting. Definitely something to put onto your shelf if you want something new and interesting, especially for a band from Finland.