Glasstrophobic is an ambitious release from Finnish five-piece Medicated, which also happens to be their strongest release to date. Released at the end of November last year, this is a CD that I can proudly say has rarely been out of my CD player since – it really is that good.
The Verge is only the intro track but it’s a very distinctive song in its own right. It’s catchy and builds up the overall mood of the EP very well – it sounds like the perfect music to come onstage to and get the crowd going, and it leads seamlessly into the second track, Fever – it’s almost like it is an extended introduction for it, which is definitely not a bad thing.
One of the things I have always admired about Medicated is the versatility of frontman Aleksi Sihvonen’s vocals. He can switch between harsh and clean vocals seemingly effortlessly – even at times combining the two in more “musical” screams, and what’s great is that his vocals are incredibly strong in both areas – and his clean vocals are especially distinctive. Fever is full of energy right from the get-go and the vocals are aggressively energetic with a huge chorus that is just begging to be sung along with, and ends with a particularly impressive scream.
Title track Glasstrophobic picks up immediately where Fever left off, instantly kicking off with some harsh vocals backed up by fast-paced drums and aggressive guitars – it’s a fantastic blend of noise before getting a little more melodic and leading into a completely different softer and relaxed section. On paper, it doesn’t sound like it would fit, but this works really well. It’s almost like a little break in the middle of the song before you get dragged back into the action once more.
Fourth track Take It is my favourite by a mile. The first time I heard the opening guitar riff, it just blew me away and the further I got into the song, the more impressed I became. Put simply, it’s a fantastic blend of everything and if you’re going to check out one song of theirs then it absolutely must be this one. The chorus is so catchy that it will instantly get stuck in your head, and I have been known to sing the melody to myself on multiple occasions. This track also features a stunning guest solo from one of Sihvonen’s ex-Imperanon bandmates and current Finntroll keyboard player Aleksi Virta which really showcases what a great keyboardist the guy really is – which can never be a bad thing!
The EP finishes with a rerecorded version of Magnum For Amen from their first EP with the same name. In a sense it’s almost like a bonus track, but at the same time it doesn’t sound out of place on Glasstrophobic. The original version of the track sounds a little ‘rough and ready’, but this newer version sounds more polished – in fact, when you listen back to the original, it sounds a little like a demo in comparison! The guitar solo in the newer version sounds cleaner and more finished. Although I admittedly do prefer the lyrics being spoken after the guitar solo in the original, it does seem to flow better upon being switched for harsh screams.
Overall, this EP is a bit of a mini-masterpiece and if this band doesn’t make it big over the next few years then it will be a crying shame because everybody deserves to know about them. Glasstrophobic (as well as their other two EPs) is available for free download via their website, so what are you waiting for?