Finland's notorious heavy rock outsiders The Black League released their 4th album "A Place Called Bad" in November 2005. The album introduces a rejuvenated line-up and refines the band's hard rock sound further from their previous "Man's Ruin Revisited". With their new album The Black League show all unbelievers that the band is in frighteningly great shape. When in late 2004 both key members, Taneli Jarva (vocals) and Maike Valanne (guitar) were living in the nation's capital Helsinki, rumours began to circulate that the Oulu-based quintet was on the verge of a split.
Reasoning that the 1300 km rehearsal trip was beyond their budget, the guys recruited a second guitar player (Heavy Hiltunen) and a fresh rhythm section (I.T. - bass and Rale - drums) and signed a new record deal with indie visionaries Major Leiden/WolfGang records (home for Hanoi Rocks, Wigwam, Blake etc.). The impact of the 60% new line-up can easily be heard on "A Place Called Bad". The rhythm ramblers bring in a fresh groove to the old League jive, while Heavy's roots-based guitar slingin' Allman/Winter/Vaughan completes nicely Maike's heavy duty riffing and Jarva's distinct vocal style.
Some smart-ass was already quick enough to label The "New" League as "Country-Rock from Hell"! Albeit intriguing, the description doesn't quite make justice to the band's multi-faceted nature. The first two full-length albums "Ichor" (2000) and "Utopia A.D." (2002) showed an essentially more "metallic" side of the band, blending unlikely influences such as Mot?rhead, Fields of the Nephilim, Danzig and Pink Floyd. Their third album, the in-you-face, stripped-to-the bone rocker of a record "Man's Ruin Revisited" came as nothing short of a shock for many long-time fans, but in turn managed to attract a new segment of listeners - from the white trash red neck district, accidentally.
With the new album The Black League pays audible homage to the old days, but keeps the aim right ahead in the future, sounding timeless not tiresome, heavy but not metal, and essentially more relaxed than ever. A definite milestone on their nearly decade-long carreer and for Finnish underground rock in general.