Pressure Points about five years to come back with the successor to their good debut album "Remorses To Remember", which almost came out of nowhere back then. What changed? Who are they and what do they play now? The Finnish band remained pretty much the same, and the only new entry is the guitarist Jaakko Lehtinen (Blind Stare). Musically speaking, there has been an evolution from their path heavily influenced by Opeth, widening the range of their research. In fact, this time we can hear some elements coming from their fellow countrymen Amorphis and Insomnium, or Dan Swanö's many projects, some Katatonia, and a pervasive Seventies vibe reminiscent of Pink Floyd.
All these names might give away the idea that "False Lights" is one of those good records that can't step out of the shadows of its main influences. Nevertheless, we can say that the band's coming of age is evident, both in the song structures and in the notable vocal approach by the experienced Kari Olli (that I also had the chance to hear with De Lirium's Order). This contributes to making this release more than just a sufficient performance or a show-off, since much room was given to emotion and atmosphere as well, becoming a fundamental part of Pressure Points' musical textures.
The choice to include less songs, while maintaining a similar total duration (six tracks instead of the seven featured on the debut album), makes the band's approach even clearer: the challenge is to create long tracks that feature both the muscular and fierce face of death metal, and the more melodic and refined side heard in progressive and gothic metal. This contrast has long been abused, making it a bit difficult for a listeners that have experienced it through so many other bands.
At least for me, Pressure Points passed the test. You can hear it from the elegant opening of "Wreckage", or the enthralling chorus included in "Between The Lies", or also from the crescendo ending of the intense "Electric Shadows". The peak is finally reached in "Sleepwalk", perfect embodiment of the balance between technique and passion that was met on this record.
It is true that this genre has already given us so many masterpieces, but I must say that Pressure Points have seriously started exploring its possibilities, making up for the initial lack of character of their debut with more intriguing and diverse sounds. This way, they have managed to become something more than a banal diversion, well worth further understanding.