Then again, in a way this obviously is alternative rock music, certainly if you analyze the word 'alternative'. Yes, it's rock music and no, you won't hear this on your local commercial radio anytime soon. Yes, there a loads of atmospheric post-rock passages but there is also sheer brutality. In the end, it doesn't even matter what genre this is because this simply is a blast of an album, haunting, immersive, adventurous and epic.
We're dealing with a band from Finland here, and that might be worth mentioning. Throughout the past few decades, Finnish bands have had a great flair for musical darkness and an inventive approach towards their art. In that aspect, Serotonin Syndrome might become one of the most interesting bands from that country in the next couple of years, incorporating an impressive array of influences into their sound.
The album opens with 'Twelve Step Circle', a song that Amorphis could have made if they were a blackened post-metal act. This is a torpid, impending piece of music music, guided by a solid bass, steadfast drums and grinding guitars. 'Rusted Rainbow In The Horizon' repeats that recipe, reminding me of a blend of Alcest and Isis. 'My Boat Is Filled With Blood' goes even further, coming extremely close to depressive black metal bands, both musically and as far as vocals are concerned.
So yeah, perhaps this simply is one of the most extreme post-rock albums I've ever heard. 'Catharsis' certainly sounds like a post-rock song. Of course, it evolves into something that feels a bit like an hydraulic press on your brain, like any good doom metal song does. Maybe it's also worth mentioning that there are quite a few other influences here too, like Tool, Deftones, Opeth and some nice people from the drone-doom industry.
Title track 'Sarajas' closes the album perfectly and anthem-like, again in excellent post-rock tradition. By now, i'm pretty much convinced that this album exceeds all genre limitations and I no longer care about all those tags. If you want your music to be slow, immersive, atmospheric and intense, this is an album you should have by now. My conclusion is simple: this is brilliant. I can't wait for Serotonin Syndrome to come over to Belgium soon. I want to see this live...