STUD is a Finnish Heavy Metal band, formed back in 1986. Its members already acquired experience from previous bands and then they decided to join forces. In that same year the single “Mä Haluun Elää / Viimeinen Yö” was released. After a line-up change and many gigs, the band worked on a new release, but as no label deal could be made, this probably played a partial role in the band calling it quits. That was in 1989.
Anno 2011 the original line-up came back together and again work had started to create an album. The single “Lovers In The Night / Out Of The Darkness” came out in March 2013, the full-length “Out Of The Darkness” saw the light of day in October 2013. Prior to the release bassist Pasi Hietanen left the band and was replaced by Matti Jalonen.
The album kicks off with the title track, “Out Of The Darkness” . It’s a catchy, melodic Heavy Metal song, reminiscent of IRON MAIDEN with a touch of Glam, and/or PRIMAL FEAR, SAXON (see “Power & The Glory”), etc. Especially the chorus is a like a mix of PRIMAL FEAR and SAXON. The obligatory guitar solo rounds things off. “Rock Little Mama” is a typical 80s’ Hard Rock / Heavy Metal track; simple, catchy, and straight-forward, though with a galloping rhythm in the verses. The singing is clean, throughout the entire album.
“Renegade” starts with powerful riffing building the song, flowing over into straight-forward rocking! Think of AC/DC, but a little faster. This is another linear song, but as catchy as the others. And it can serve to improve your mood, if needed. The solo is also well done. “Lovers In The Night” – and pardon the name-dropping – reminded me of U.D.O. / ACCEPT, musically. This song is firm and powerful, with high-pitched clean singing.
The tempo drops a bit in “Holy Light”, but the music still rocks. However, at this stage, a speed increase – and it doesn’t have to be that much – would have been welcome. The band did add a nice break before the solo moment. “Traveller” is a ballad. Nothing fancy, but not so super either, if you ask me. A spooky moment introduces “Run To The Shelter”, after which it’s pedal to the Metal. Another ear-pleasing song. The powerful intro of “Secrets Of Love” transcends into 80s’ Heavy Metal, and that was somehow expected. The clean, powerful singing goes well with the music, where the focus lies on flashy guitar play and a catchy chorus. To spice up the melodic aspect, the organ was added to the solo moment.
I already mentioned the Glam influence in the first track. It’s also present in “Feel Good”, a simple rocker in vein of AC/DC, MÖTLEY CRÜE and so on. All in all, an ok song, but nothing more. With “Sea Child” STUD wrote a song that could have been a DIO one in the era of “Killing The Dragon” and “Master Of The Moon”. Very nice! Last but not least, “Reach Out”: it begins with a clean, slow intro going into a ballad-laden chorus. The second half of the song is where the contrast comes out. Now it’s about ROCK! And a faster tempo. In addition, it’s as catchy as BLACK SABBATH’s “Heaven Or Hell”, but the faster part of that classic.
STUD did well to come back, for they released a debut album to be proud of. “Out Of The Darkness” offers fine 80s’-inspired Heavy Metal. It’s catchy, it’s uplifting, the production is well done. Of course, there is also the musicianship without which none of this would have become reality. As it’s a self-release, you’ll have to contact the band to obtain your copy. In short: a recommended release!
- Out Of The Darkness
- Rock Little Mama
- Lovers In The Night
- Holy Light
- Run To The Shelter
- Secrets Of Love
- Feel Good
- Sea Child
- Reach Out
Ari Toivanan – vocals
Mika Kansikas – guitar
Matti Jalonen – bass
Stenda Kukkonen – drums