After releasing the single “Draining By Your Flame” in March 2020, Helsinki-based Flat Earth was forced into hiatus due to the pandemic: release dates had to be pushed, as well as tour dates. But, at last, their sophomore effort “High On Lies” will be released on September 2, 2022, via Cargo Records/ AWAL. Here, the band deliver a heavy hard rock album, with a fuller and more unified sound than their debut “None For One”. Featuring Niclas Etelävuori (bass), Linde Lindström (guitar) and Anthony Pikkarainen (vocals), Flat Earth still counted on drummer Gas Lipstick for the writing/recording of “High On Lies”, before parting ways.
Album-opener “Enough Abused” hits us with a heavy intro, mellows down to allow room for Pikkarainen’s vocals on the first stanza, but builds up into the chorus, where the singer delivers distorted tones that convey the anger expressed in the lyrics. “Adore” follows, with a groovy guitar riff and synths that create a slightly unsettling atmosphere. “Every You” is a beautifully painful ballad, featuring strings and elegant guitar work by Lindström.
“Brother”, the fourth track, has a ‘90s atmosphere, and one of the nicest guitar solos of the entire album, making it a heavy-hitting song to listen to. “Draining By Your Flame” is next: a dirty rock song, with vocals soaring high, a catchy guitar riff and a nice groove. The best song in the whole album, it brings a slight ‘70s feel, and yet, it does not feel nostalgic. The subject matter of the song is a common rock’n’roll theme: trying to get rid of the bad habit of drinking more than one should. “Neverhappy”, an acoustic rock song, reminds me of psychedelic rock: this one feels a bit nostalgic, bringing some calm to balance out the heaviness of the album.
“Let It Rain”, a grunge song, brings Alice In Chains’s “Dam That River” to mind, with its guitar riff and its dissonance; the dark lyrics, with verses such as “In a dream I am killing me/ Ending it” evoke violent images, like veins that rain blood. Up next is “Motherfknway”, which, alongside “Draining By Your Flame”, is, as I see it, one of the finest tracks of “High On Lies”. An energetic song, very well mixed, with the best lyrics on the album. The closing track, “Pinman”, is another decent hard rock song, with a nice groove and good guitar work by Linde Lindström.
“High On Lies” brings a new direction to Flat Earth’s music, with a more unified sound thanks to the synths, which help create a fuller and more atmospheric soundscape if compared to their first album, “None For One”. That being said, there was something on their first effort that I miss here, and that is a more straightforward, more unique, clearer sound. Even though the band is comprised of experienced musicians, Flat Earth is still in its infancy as a band. There is certainly a search for their signature sound still going on, and that is not a bad thing at all. “High On Lies” makes for interesting music that is definitely worth checking out.