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A FOOLISH man once claimed that you can have too much of a good thing. In reality, of course, you simply can't, and we at Spinefarm Records UK will be aiming to prove that point with the amount of great bands nestling 'neath the 'SFUK' banner... and this is just a selection of them!

As you can see, there's plenty of variety on display here, with each & every act boasting a vision of their own (be it the extended drama of a Moonsorrow track or the brutal and uncalled-for kick to the shins that is Rotten Sound in full flow), but there is a common thread that binds this ever-burgeoning roster at the seams; not just through the music - in fact, if anything, it's more to do with the attitude of those involved...

Put simply, there is no attempt here to conform to the fashions or the trends of the moment, to wear a certain kind of haircut or play a certain kind of guitar. For the Finnish Rock Army (Elite Division), a flying-V and a centre-parting is quite good enough, thank you, and best give ground o ye small of stack if you don't wish to be trampled into the mud by a riff the size of a woolly mammoth. Yep, when it comes to riffs, attitood and of course drinking vessels, there is no question that size is of the utmost importance, and Finnish music (from the heavier side of the tracks especially) has never had a problem when it comes to doing things on a grand scale....

I guess this aspect may have something to do with ol' Ma Nature herself, as for Finnish musicians, certainly the ones we're talkin' about here, environment does provide both a context and an inspiration for their chosen creative path. Listen to Kiuas or Ensiferum, for example, and the overriding impression is one of frozen landscapes populated by ancient tribes, warrior people kept warm by fur & flame, proud folk who will only bend a knee before the great Wolf-God in the sky. Put simply, music from this part of the world is steeped in a particular kind of culture, and it's one that is entirely conducive to producing rock & metal acts who, had they been born in earlier, less sophisticated times, would doubtless be clad in chainmail and wielding weapons of destruction rather than drumstick or guitar - although in the right hands (Alexi 'Wild Child' Laiho's hands, for example) the humble six-string can inflict its own special kind of damage.

Sweet pain, indeed!