Reviews of 'Bed of Thorns'

Review from

Once I saw song titles that included "Another Dirty Whore", "Torture", "Left for Dead" and "Sadistic Charm" I knew this wasn't going to be get up and get happy kind of album. It's fairly downbeat and even harsh in the lyrics and the music follows along with that mood.
Eric Aittala handles most of the duties on this album so I am guessing that many of the songs are personal to him or at least his ideas. Now most of the songs are dark and moody, but the musical style very as they include hard rock, metal, doom and others. Aittala handles the vocals well even in the various musical styles.
There are times where the music starts to drag, but his vocal melodies always revive the song and keep it going strong. I am not huge on the use of keyboards here, but they don't exactly hold any other part of the music back.
The guitars are generally strong and versatile with some splendid solos. The overall sound at times reminds me of mid-70's Alice Cooper and even KISS only far more complicated musically and more serious in the overall tone and presentation.
The playing talent is obvious and that's the strength of this album and what makes it worth hearing.
What holds it back in mind is a mopey feel to several songs that I think holds back what could have been done. I understand the topics are dark and meant to be so, but I think that on several times that the flow of the album is hampered by an overall moodiness. Instead storming ahead the songs sometimes get bogged down.
Still there is a great deal here to appreciate and I heard enough to potential to be interested in what comes out next from this band.

08 April 2010 by Metal Mark

Review from

When heartbreak, sadomasochistic sex, incest and molestation drive the subject matter on an album, you can bet it's not exactly "walking on sunshine" territory. Aittala's "Bed of Thorns" wallows in its misery lyrically, with gloomy music to match.

That's all well and good, except that often the album sounds like the kind of love letter a 15-year-old horny goth kid would write to his ex-girlfriend who just left him for the football quarterback. Eric Aittala, who plays most of the instruments and handles the lion's share of the vocals, could've used some help in coming up with lyrics that weren't basically expressions of "control issues."

The album starts off well, with "Filthy Dog," which has Aittala sounding uncannily like Gene Simmons as he sings "You are the pain of my pleasure" over a heavy guitar riff. Soon, he's "on my hands and knees" and "a broken man" being treated "like the animal that I am." Aittala punctuates the song with an excellent heavy-on-the-whammy-bar guitar solo.

"By Trying" brings organ-esque keyboards into the mix, over a sludgy heavy riff. This time, Aittala's trying to control someone else. "Another Dirty Whore" is an exercise in degradation — both of himself and the partner in the song, with him admitting to a drunken indiscretion of some kind.

"Torture" brings a female duet partner, Wendy Branaccio into the picture. She and Aittala harmonize well together, but I'm not exceptionally wild about the keyboards that dominate the proceedings.

"Left for Dead" begins with an excellent acoustic guitar part backed by symphonic keys. Aittala's vocals and harmonies work well. I really enjoyed the acoustic guitar solo near the end that's simultaneously elegaic and bluesy.

Aittala heads into full-on doom territory in the intro of "Sadistic Charm," which then turns into a meditation on hot wax, blindfolds and degradation. "Numb" is another breakup tune, but I like that this time, there's bouncy drumming and bass that keeps things from getting too mopey. "Bed of Thorns" follows up with similar material lyrically.

"Lust" is an intentionally repulsive discussion of incest that, frankly, made my skin crawl. I'm sure that was Aittala's intention — but I certainly didn't need to hear about a daughter tasting her father's love "as it goes down your throat" to the sound of industrial keyboards. (After the initial publication of this review, Aittala sent an email to this site saying that the song is actually written to be about "sexual role play," rather than actual incest. That may have been the point of view he wrote it from, but the lyrics certainly don't make that distinction clear.)

The album ends on a solid note with "All but Died," which has a great fast chorus and an excellent piano solo.

Instrumentally, there's not a lot to complain about. Aittala's obviously got some chops on guitars, bass and keyboards. He's a decent enough singer, though there are a few moments when it's hard to tell the vocal line from one song apart from that of another one. Being a "word guy," I found fault with a lot of the lyrics, but that might not be a problem for folks less interested in the words than I am.

Those who want to wallow in an artist's misery could do worse than to lay down in Aittala's "Bed of Thorns."

Highs: "Filthy Dog," "Evil" and "Left for Dead."
Lows: "Lust," with its graphic descriptions of incest will make your skin crawl — and the music's not great either.
Bottom line: A downer album with some lyrical issues — but a mostly well-performed one.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)

23 March 2010 by EdgeoftheWorld

AITTALA Bed Of Thorns
Independent Release
Rating: 9 Out Of 10
Reviewed by: Bam-Bam from

North Carolina Rocker Eric Aittala has paid his dues on stages for a good portion of his life and that work has paid off in spades as he readies for the release of his first solo effort, Bed Of Thorns.

Taking on vocal duties as well as being a total shredmaster on guitar, Eric drives the listener through many highs and lows throughout eleven solid tunes. The album opens with, in my opinion, one of its highlights; the nasty and plodding “Filthy Dog”.

The first thing you’ll notice is Aittala’s very unique voice. He sounds like a 1976-era Gene Simmons combined with a “less depressed” Peter Steele from TYPE-O NEGATIVE. It’s an incredibly original sound and one that compliments every tune to perfection; becoming especially effective on the slinky “Another Dirty Whore”.

While not the easiest style to put your finger on, Eric’s music is definitely piercing and hard to turn away from as the subject matter and lyrics are stunningly shocking. It’s like reading a great horror novel; the stories are interesting, take you right to the front row, and then slap you right in the face with their realism. Combining his expert grasp of not only the Rock idiom, Aittala throws in Jazz and Atomic R&B licks within his phenomenal solo breaks. Seriously, there’s not a single guitar solo on this album that won’t stun your senses. Favorite tracks are the aforementioned “Filthy Dog”, “By Trying”, “Sadistic Charm” and “Evil”.

Spooky, doomy, sadistic and sweet…this one has everything you could possibly be looking for when trying to stay just left-of-center and off the beaten path. Definitely rings a huge bell for fans of TYPE-O NEGATIVE and some of the Swedish Doom Rock bands that are coming to the surface. With many different facets of the Rock genre being uncovered here, there’s not a lot more you can wish for.

Head over to (Amazon Store) or (ITUNES) and grab a copy of this stand-alone artist’s musical journey to Hell and back again.
Also, check out his website at by clicking here. A very interesting listen filled some of the most incredible guitar work you’ll hear this decade! Very Highly Recommended!!!

17 October 2009 by Bam-Bam