To lose someone dear, it’s an awful and terrible experience that could change an individual forever. Juha Raivio unfortunately has that to bear, but he’s not alone. As a tribute to Aleah Stanbridge, he record along with Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis vocalist), and Gas Lipstick (ex-drummer of HIM), an album called “No Star Upon the Bridge”, that deals with themes like despair, loss, sorrow, and death. Thus bringing Hallatar to life one last time.
Juha Raivio did all guitars, bass, and keyboards. One might say he did a great work, and that the listener will be able to feel his passion and grief, entwined in the melancholy of the melodies. They somehow will remind him of Swallow the Sun, and Type O Negative. The sound is based around Doom metal, with many melancholic parts, and some remaining tracks with the voice of Aleah that were placed on the songs of the album. Such songs are as doom as the listener can get, like “Mirrors”, “Melt”, “My Mistake” (with the participation of Heike Langhans on the vocals), the beautiful ballad “Severed Eyes”, and “Dreams Burn Down”.
In this swan song by Hallatar, we can find an extreme smashing atmosphere around the record. In here, the bitter sweet melodies allied to crushing riffs, that pace organically. The listener until the end of an album that is definitely one of the surprises of this year, and definitely the best of this genre for this year.
Produced and mixed by Jaani Peuhu, and with lyrics written by Aleah, the growlings are intense, but the clean vocals are also beautiful. It is safe to say that Juha could be really proud of the result, because wherever Aleah may be, she would be proud of something like this, which has her spirit, her heart and soul.