Tug Of War


AHOLA is a solo / side project launched by a still relatively unknown musician in […]
By YngwieViking
May 6, 2014
Ahola - Tug Of War album cover

AHOLA is a solo / side project launched by a still relatively unknown musician in Southern Europe and elsewhere, yet a man who don't need any introduction in his native country, the singer Jarkko Ahola, frontman for the Finnish Metal stars TERÄSBETONI. Jarkko is also well known by collaborating with three others famous vocalists from Finland for the very popular quartet NORTHERN KINGS featuring Marko Hietala (TAROT / NIGHTWISH) / Tony Kakko (SONATA ARCTICA) / J-P Leppäluoto from CHARON... Highly successful stuff. The AHOLA debut album "Stoneface" gathered rave reviews everywhere and has entered the official chart in the band's home country at position No. 41... The second album "Tug Of War " is available now and the band continues in the same way, in bringing a strong concept... A revival of the old recipe of the feel good Hard Rocking music.

The first description could be a little ordinary or disconcerting, in fact it's much better than expected... Because obviously this album is not Vintage Old School only...Much more than that, right after the first good track, in a modernized THIN LIZZY vein, you'll be glad to find some true jewels such as "Road Of Creation" (an almost Doomy SABBATH riffage improved with an unexpected fabulous melodic chorus...), the positive vibes are following the same way and are even enhanced by the next great cut, the title track "Tug Of War" with a great lead guitar spot, then the hit single "Still Metal" is catchy and surprisingly addictive like a UDO meets DIO meets MANOWAR kind of anthemic song... Simple but damn efficient, the pinnacle of the album is at track n°8 "The Final Incantation" with it's awesome RAINBOWish exotic sound is based on an amazing Progressive riff and powered by another superb vocal work by Jarkko Ahola...Those five tracks only, are worth buying the disc easily.

Speaking of vocal performance, we are in a presence of a great set of pipes no doubt, the whole album is loaded with amazing singing lines recalling a great mix of Tenors like Michael Sweet (STRYPER) merged with a few Marko Hietala sparks and some similarities with the juvenile voice of Joey Tempest (EUROPE)...Yep, all that in one single guy and what a range... Impressive. The remaining songs are still quite good, from the only filler "Rock 'n' Roll" to very interesting stuff like "On The Run" / "The Will You Always Had" / "Dog" to ok numbers "One Among The Crowd" / "I Need You" / "Age Of Hubris" and a very refreshing instrumental cut "Beerland 2" as a Jazzy closing gimmick.

AHOLA strives to provide a drawing inspiration, using the timeless Classic Rock style of the early hours of Heavy Metal, while giving to the listeners the same spirit as the songs that made headbangers feels like going back to the golden age of Heavy music. They wrote this album with no stylistic constraints except making good songs, using a fresh attitude and even daring to experiment with new things, bringing the tradition to an update, with a modern and unique twist.

8 / 10


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"Tug Of War" Track-listing:

1. The End of the Line
2. Road of Creation
3. Tug of War
4. On the Run
5. Still Metal
6. Rock'n'Roll
7. One Among the Crowd
8. The Final Incantation
9. The Will You Always Had
10. I Need You
11. Dog
12. Age of Hubris
13. Beerland 2

Ahola Lineup:

Jarkko Ahola - Lead Vocals/Guitar
Anza Karhumaa - Lead Guitars
Anti Mäkelä - Drums / Backing Vocals
Jari Latinen - Bass / Backing Vocals

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