Tag Archives: Finland

Moonsorrow – Jumalten aika

Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika

Moonsorrow [Finland]
Jumalten aika
2016
Full Length
Century Media Records
Folk/Pagan/Black Metal

I’ve heard of Moonsorrow since their 2007 album, V: Hävitetty, but being young and impatient back then, the band’s brand of epic metal failed to capture my attention. So it was with little knowledge of the band’s sound that I chance upon this Finnish outfit’s seventh full length album, Jumalten aika. With all the band’s release up till 2011’s Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa drawing critical acclaim, it is with little surprise that fans of the band hold high hopes for the record, especially with the long 5-year wait.

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Satanic Warmaster – Fimbulwinter

SATANIC WARMASTER - Fimbulwinter

Satanic Warmaster [Finland]
Fimbulwinter
2014
Full Length
Werewolf Records/Hells Headbangers Records
Black Metal

It’s been close to ten years since the first time I encountered black metal and Satanic Warmaster, with their then-newly released full length Carelian Satanist Madness quickly being one of my favourite black metal records of that time. The focus on the atmospheric elements in their music resulted in an almost surreal listening experience, cumulating in the 2010 release, Nachzehrer. 4 years on, Werwolf returns with their brand new full length effort, Fimbulwinter.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

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Desolate Shrine – The Heart of the Netherworld

DESOLATE SHRINE - The Heart of the Netherworld

Desolate Shrine [Finland]
The Heart of the Netherworld
2015
Full Length
Dark Descent Records
Death Metal

Finland’s Desolate Shrine was one of those bands that grabbed my attention back in 2012 when they released their sophomore full length album, The Sanctum of Human Darkness, showing what utter chaos and darkness that a trio could create, along with the unique lineup of a single instrumentalist and two vocalists. It’s been more than 2 years since The Sanctum of Human Darkness, and the trio returns early this year with their third opus, The Heart of the Netherworld.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

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Albums of the Month – January 2015

The Gods of Heavy Metal have been kind on metal heads, with so many outstanding releases so early into the new year. In January, bands – both underground and more, erm, mainstream – have put out some of their best works in their career so far. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top few picks of January 2015.

Iron Lamb – Fool’s Gold (30/1/2015)

Iron Lamb - Fool's Gold

Featuring members of bands such as DismemberRepugnant, General Surgery, etc… My point is, Iron Lamb features a lineup full of old school Swedish death metal veterans. Yet Fool’s Gold is nothing close to Swedish death metal, as the band indulges in their old school rock ‘n’ roll pleasures with their infectious brand of punk/metal fusion. While the band’s debut The Original Sin was a fun as hell, Motörhead-inspired record, Iron Lamb expands their range of influences on their sophomore full length. [Read our review of Fool’s Gold here]

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Album Review: Archgoat – The Apocalyptic Triumphator

Archgoat - The Apocalyptic Triumphator

Archgoat [Finland]
The Apocalyptic Triumphator
2015
Full Length
Debemur Morti Productions
Black/Death Metal

Less than 2 weeks into the new year, and we are already blessed with the new full length from filthy black/death metallers ArchgoatThe Apocalyptic Triumphator. With the last new studio material being 2011’s rather short EP, Heavenly Vulva, and the last full length being quite a distant 6 year ago, rabid fans of the band are left hungry for more, and The Apocalyptic Triumphator seeks to quench this bloodthirst. To further sweeten the experience, at 42 minutes, this is the longest studio record that Archgoat has put out thus far.

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Album Review: Hooded Menace – Gloom Immemorial

HOODED MENACE - Gloom Immemorial

Hooded Menace [Finland]
Gloom Immemorial
2014
Compilation
Doomentia Records
Death/Doom Metal

Hooded Menace is one of those bands that I have every intention to follow, yet find it tricky with the whole host of EP and split releases that they have. While the band has 3 full length releases under their belts, a release like Gloom Immemorial is therefore something that I actually look forward to, a compilation of tracks taken from EP and split releases from the start of the band’s career, for those lazy to dig up those releases (like me), or for those who are unable to find these (possibly) out-of-print releases.

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Album Review: Creinium – Project Utopia

Creinium - Project Utopia

Creinium [Finland]
Project Utopia
2014
EP
Inverse Records
Technical Melodic Death Metal

Having already been pampered by so many other impressive death metal artworks this year so far, Finnish technical death metal band Creinium‘s Project Utopia‘s cover looked rather… Amateurish. But as they always say, do not judge a book by its cover, and indeed, looking past the cover artwork and the visual aesthetics of this Finnish outfit, one will soon discover that the real gem is hidden in the musical output of the band.

The band creates a rather epic soundscape with opening track Societal Collapse, with that dramatic ambient synths conjuring that apocalyptic imagery in the listener’s minds, before letting some industrial beats and elements coming into the picture. With such strong synths, backed by electronic elements, one would already have an inkling of the style of Creinium, and the band certainly does not disappoint. As soon as the first riffs of Project Utopia hits the listener’s ears, one is quickly reminded of the style of bands such as The Monolith Deathcult or Septicflesh, with their brand of aggressive death metal backed by a symphonic backdrop, leaving a deep impact on the listener.

Rather than going all out on their speed and aggression, what makes Project Utopia such an impressionable record is the way the tracks are written, and despite this being a short 5 track EP, Creinium makes full use of every second on the record. The band cleverly includes and utilises slower moments on the album to build up the climax and the tension in the air that the listener feels, and these are often accompanied by nice, melodic leads by guitarist Tone and Mikko, along with the synths at the back creating the ominous mood.

There is so much going on in just 30 minutes on Creinium‘s new EP that after numerous listens, one still continuously finds new things that further enrich the experience. Definitely one of the bands to look out for.

[xrr rating=3.5/5]

 

Creinium on the internet:
Official website
Facebook
Inverse Records

Album Review: Desecresy – Chasmic Transcendence

Desecresy - Chasmic Transcendence

Desecresy [Finland]
Chasmic Transcendence
2014
Full Length
Xtreem Music
Death Metal

Finland’s death metal duo Desecresy returns this year with their third full length album, Chasmic Transcendence. With their last album, 2012’s The Doom Skeptron being one of my favourite Finnish death metal records of the year, I could hardly wait for more crushing onslaught by Desecresy, and Chasmic Transcendence is the answer to that craving.

If one wondered whether Desecresy could go even slower and heavier after what they presented on The Doom SkeptronChasmic Transcendence quickly proves naysayers wrong, and the band is relentless in their aural assault. The Ethereal Bane immediately hit the listener hard, and for whatever speed that they have discarded the band more than makes up for it in heaviness and intensity. Yet not everything goes at a doom pace, as Shattered Monuments comes in fast and rather unexpectedly with the mood and expectations already set up on The Ethereal Bane, yet it is this constant element of surprise throughout the album that makes Chasmic Transcendence an extremely enjoyable album.

Unlike the material on The Doom Skeptron as well, Desecresy takes a slightly different approach this time in their songwriting, with each of the tracks on Chasmic Transcendence often having a shorter length than the material on it’s predecessor, and this certainly works in favour of the band in delivering their dosage of death and destruction to the listener. The thought that the band has put in in creating an album experience is also obvious, and though tracks like The Denied Legacy may be short, they fit in the overall scheme of the album. Autumn of Souls even ends rather softly compared to the chaos that the band presented prior, closing the album on a haunting node, at the same time re-emphasising the focus on the atmosphere on Chasmic Transcendence.

With each of the members coming from the now-defunct Slugathor, the doom influences that they have brought with them are obvious in the songwriting, and apart from the influences from legends such as Incantation, the influences from their compatriots such as Demigod are also easily discernible. The heaviness throughout the album that results also brings to mind bands such as Undergang and Cruciamentum, resulting in a merciless, suffocating atmosphere that lasts the entirety of Chasmic Transcendence.

However, fans of Desecresy‘s previous material, as well as Slugathor need not fret nor worry about Chasmic Transcendence being a less-than-satisfactory album. Despite the slower and gloomier outlook that is on Chasmic Transcendence, the band still ensures that their roots are still present, and fans of the material that they presented on The Doom Skeptron and on Slugathor releases will not be disappointed.

[xrr rating=5/5]

Desecresy on the internet:
Facebook
Xtreem Music

Album Review: Evilnight – Stormhymns of Filth

Evilnight - Stormhymns of Filth

Evilnight [Finland]
Stormhymns of Filth
2014
Demo
Hells Headbangers
Black/Speed Metal

Out of Finland comes yet another evil as fuck band, and Evilnight‘s name just says it all. Stormhymns of Filth is the band’s second demo in 2 years, and one who knows their metal would instinctively know what Evilnight has put in place for those that have had the fortune to chance upon them – filthy, old-school blackened speed metal.

Right from the first riffs of Evil Knight, one already knows what to expect, and the old school sound quickly brings one back to the early 80s with the forefathers of black metal, Venom. But to give a more contemporary example of Evilnight‘s sound, one just has to look over at Japan, as the vocals of Samuel L. Saxon, the high octane riffing of Ron Heresy and Hell Gibson, along with that intentionally (and somewhat sloppy) drumming of Dr. Necrophil all reminds one of the output of bands such as Abigail and Barbatos (one could almost imagine the broken and drunken English of Yasuyuki on songs like Leather Bitch). The thrashy, and at times punkish edge that the band puts in also brings about some Tiger Junkies comparison, and moments such as these, with the fusion of speed metal and black metal, one also can’t help but think of projects of Joel Grind such as Toxic Holocaust, or the cult band Syphilitic Vaginas.

But the key attraction over here personally are the leads that are littered on the album, not overly complicated yet maintaining that sense of groove and catchiness throughout. The band even pays tribute to Slayer on the track Turbofuck, with the inclusion of the intro riffs of Raining Blood in the middle of the track before going back to their full forced blasphemous, rock ‘n’ roll onslaught. The sleaziness that is on the record can also be heard on the spoken samples included at the intro of Dykes on Bikes, displaying the tongue-in-cheek approach that the band takes at times.

The production on Stormhymns of Filth is also extremely raw, which works in favour for the band’s style and this release. While being a demo, there is no compromise on the intensity and fury that the band exhibits, making Evilnight‘s Stormhymns of Filth being one that is extremely enjoyable and memorable.

[xrr rating=5/5]

Evilnight on the internet:
Facebook
BandCamp
Hells Headbangers

Album Review: Satanic Warmaster – Nachzehrer

Satanic Warmaster - Nachzehrer

Satanic Warmaster [Finland]
Nachzehrer
2010/2014 (PLP Reissue)
Full Length
Werewolf Records/Hells Headbangers
Black Metal

Satanic Warmaster, one of the first black metal bands that I got really obsessed with early into my foray into the genre. Carelian Satanist Madness was one of the very first blind buys that I made, and suffice to say, Satanic Warmaster was easily the band that got me really into the genre, along with making Finland the favourite source of black metal for me.

Nachzehrer, originally released in 2010, gets the picture LP treatment this year under Hells Headbangers. While receiving much flak from fans of the band, Nachzehrer ranks as one of my personal favourite albums, along with releases from compatriots SargeistHorna and Behexen. Following what the band had set down 5 years earlier, Nachzehrer is a raw as fuck effort, and right from the get go it is obvious that Satanic Warmaster harbours not a single intention in reinventing the genre, being satisfied with releasing black metal the way it was intended to be – harsh, cold and raw. The opening Intro sets the ominous mood that will last for the entirety of Nachzehrer, and things get grim quickly enough as the band goes into Satan’s Werewolf, and one instantly feels the coldness that emanates from the material of the band.

On Nachzehrer, everything screams Finnish from the riffs that are unleashed to the relentless atmosphere that is on the album. On top of the usual fare that Satanic Warmaster provides, band mastermind Werwolf even includes chaotic guitar solos on the album, making things even more uneasy for the listener. Werwolf’s trademark blood-curdling shrieks are taken a notch higher over here, and slower tracks like Rotting Raven’s Blood even see him using inhuman screeches, sending shivers down one’s back.

The entire album progression is well thought-out, with the slower tracks on the album, Rotting Raven’s Blood and the ambient track Utug-Hul being placed towards the end of the album, and as one listens to the album one instinctively knows that things are coming to a grim end. The one thing that made me like Carelian Satanist Madness was in how Satanic Warmaster ends their album, and Utug-Hul in particular stood out from the rest of the album, with the spoken chants of Werwolf, giving a somewhat pagan touch.

As already mentioned, Werwolf and Satanic Warmaster are not out to innovate the genre, and Nachzehrer is good proof and a nice sample of the band’s work – true underground, satanic black metal.

[xrr rating=5/5]

Satanic Warmaster on the internet:
Facebook
MySpace
BandCamp
Werewolf Records
Hells Headbangers