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"The Finnish outfit's latest release, "Futile", is one of those albums that grabs the listener with its atmospheric and melancholic grooves and doesn't quite let go. The album is an infectious, if not entrancing listen, where each song exudes so much energy it's difficult to discern which one moves you the most." - ECLIPSE Finland's RAPTURE formed out a few obscure underground metal acts in the haze of 1997 under a different name. The band members wanted to create something moving, music with substance. RAPTURE's first demo came in the summer of 1998 and was never officially released. However, the demo did make it to a variety of underground magazines and labels. Despite positive press, RAPTURE still hadn't garnered the label deal they were looking for. Shortly after the release of the demo, RAPTURE lost their rehearsal space, forcing the band into a short-term hiatus. During the months of inactivity, several members came and went. In the band's flux, the core members of the band started writing more material, which eventually landed in the hands of Spikefarm Records ringleader Sami Tenetz. "Sami picked us up instantly," says RAPTURE vocalist and NEUROSIS fanatic Petri Eskelinen. "We thought it was a good choice because Spikefarm is under Spinefarm, and Spinefarm is a big label. It's here in Helsinki and we can work everything out face to face." With a label deal ready, songwriters Tomi Ullgren (Thy Serpent) and Jarno Salomaa (SHAPE OF DESPAIR) commenced work on RAPTURE's debut full-length titled, "Futile." "Tomi writes most of his material when he's hung-over. He's not a depressed person," says Eskelinen matter-of-factly. "Jarno is a quiet guy. It's really hard to get a good grasp on him. I think they're really creative guys. They write music all year around." Indeed, RAPTURE's music is reflective of that statement. "Futile," the band's debut record, is a veritable pulse of wayward but introspective music that 's captivating, atmospheric and memorable. Lyrically, however, the album is based on personal experience - the tribulations of life. "Yes, my lyrics are very personal. The point, however, is that existence is a bitch every now and then," explains the vocalist in the simplest of terms. "Some people might feel anger, I feel futility. I'm tired of fighting against little things that used to ruin my day for good. It's futile to fight life, 'cause it will always have its way with you." Recorded at Walltone Studios (Thy Serpent) in Savonlinna, Finland, the production on "Futile" is robust and warm, emphasizing RAPTURE's strong sense of melody and driving hooks. Without the Walltone production, the impact of tracks like "This is Where I Am," "The Fall," "Someone I (Don't) Know" would be less effective. In fact, it's safe to say "Futile" features one of the best productions in a long time. "The guy who recorded it is very professional," states Eskelinen. "Basically, the guitars were already recorded, so I have no idea what they did to get that sound. It was mastered at Finnvox, which is the best studio in Finland." Even though RAPTURE have been quiet in the last year due to other members commitments in bands like SHAPE OF DESPAIR and Finntroll, Eskelinen assures a new album is in the works and will be more developed but continue where "Futile" left off. In the meantime, "Futile" stands as a stark reminder that dark and depressive metal continues to move forward creatively. "Futile" is the perfect soundtrack for a cold, rainy fall day.