Tuple is the solo vehicle for the singer Tommi Salmela with Welcome To Hell now being his second album following on from Wooden Box which was released in 2020.
Salmela is a well known name on the Finnish rock circuit having previously worked with Tarot, Lazy Bonez and a founder member of Raskasta Joulua which is one of those crazy ideas that only the Finns could ever come up with. Hugely popular in their home market Raskasta Joulua is a fun vehicle with the band performing traditional Christmas carols and seasonal music in a heavy metal style; this is the land of Lordi so anything goes particularly when the Finns are in party mode! The debut album was a concept work but one with a difference as it told the story of the life of Tommi Salmela and the ups and downs that he has experienced so far. Obviously, this must have been some sort of healing process and a way of compartmentalising his life and this maybe was also some sort of cathartic process too. He had a talented team around him and it was a crazy work but featured some quite wonderful AOR/melodic rock that did very well in the Finnish market.
We now come to his second release and this too is a concept but now the story is something of an epic and takes a dark and dim look at 19th century Colorado and the ensuing silver rush which created something similar to Hell on Earth in a violent and ugly microcosm of society whilst the rich and powerful again profited at everyone else’s expense. Has the world ever been anything different? Again, Tuple follow the well trod AOR/melodic path with some great, rousing songs built upon melody with plenty of hooks and the normal vocal harmonies that carry you away with the music.
There are plenty of pleasing guitar and keyboard moments and there is something of a pop sensibility about the proceedings with Tuple’s delivery being very warm and enticing. Much of the team that that worked on the debut have come back for the latest album with Tom Rask on drums, Riitis on guitar and keyboards and Jykä Sirainen on bass. Riitis is the wordsmith responsible for the songs on both albums and he is a very special talent indeed and thoroughly enjoys getting immersed in the story that he is telling.
There were some very talented guests on the first album and Tuple has brought in another team of musicians to help with Noora Louhimo (Battle Beast) guest vocals on Survive, Erkka Korhonenminor with guitar solos on five of the eleven songs, Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica) on backing vocals and Janne Tolsa playing keyboards as well as mixing and mastering the album.
The album is unmistakably Finnish but draws much inspiration from the likes of REO Speedwagon, Toto and even FM and is a thoroughly enjoyable AOR delight with a delicious Finnish twist.
Welcome To Hell track list
- Welcome To Hell (4:12)
- Hold On To Me (3:40)
- 1-2-3-4 GO! (4:01)
- So Damn Cruel (4:13)
- Pride (4:17)
- Stay (4:00)
- Not Enough To Love Me (4:13)
- Hiding In Plain Sight (4:09)
- Survive (3:55)
- Lies Grow Lies (3:52)
- Silver (7:07)