Posts Tagged ‘Finland’

scumripper - all veins cover.jpg

A band called Scumripper. On Hells Headbangers. With an album entitled ‘All Veins Blazing’. A happy romp through a land of wizards and unicorns is unlikely. This nasty, deathpunkcrust blast of violence is out now, and promises to be 20 minutes of nothing but hate.

Opener ‘Colonel Gator’ is just that, crusty black/death metal that sounds like a rabid animal chewing through your flesh. There’s an innate catchiness to it all, a rawkish call to arms to invade your local sewer and batter out some rancid tunes. Every song sounds like there’s been a hefty dose of venom secreted into the riffs, and the insertion of random samples adds to the menace. The grinding bass that opens ‘Eight Rapes a Week’ is fantastic, and it then spirals out into pure Discharge worship. My only gripe is that the songs do all sound very similar, and a little experimentation wouldn’t go amiss. Not too much though, because they don’t want to lose that tone.

‘All Veins Blazing’ doesn’t stick around for long, which means you need to slap that repeat button a few times to really scratch that itch, but the nasty punkish attack gives you plenty to think about. Scumripper need to work on their range a little bit, but they’ve totally nailed the sound.

https://www.facebook.com/scumripper/

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/

https://scumripper-finland.bandcamp.com/album/all-veins-blazing

Vordr - Vordr

Vordr (‘warden’ in Old Norse) are a band difficult to pin down. This is one of many, many releases to be self titled, so keeping a track is a little tough. This ‘Vordr’ is the full length just released this August by Terratur Possessions, and is a collection of riff heavy, minimalist Finnish black metal!

‘Erianoisiv’ opens us up with a meaty, tremolo riff that has a good gallop to it, and that is actually an apt descriptor for most of this record. It is a collection of great, black metal songs that feels like latter day Darkthrone but retaining a more traditional black metal atmosphere. The crusty rasp of ‘Goretusk’, the howling ‘Driftwood’ or the savage ‘Enchanting Fires of Pain’ all blend together into a wonderful, rampant whole of first wave darkness. Vordr have one gear, and that gear is fully engaged throughout.

The minimalist approach to black metal certainly works when executed like this, and while ‘Vordr’ isn’t overflowing with original ideas, it is a record of appealing simplicity; here is how Bathory made early black metal, now go and practice it until you can do it every time flawlessly. Nailed it.

https://terraturpossessions.bandcamp.com/album/vordr-vordr

Aethyrick - Praxis

The debut album from Finnish black metallers Aethyrick aims to capture the spirit of black metal’s original, primal flames and yet take it to new and vast regions. ‘Praxis’ is out now through Sinister Flame Records, and is a swirling and savagely atmospheric record.

The opening track has both snarling, traditional second wave-isms and a plethora of sweeping, atmospheric highs that imagine snow crested vistas blasted by howling winds. If there’s one thing black metal does better than everything, it is evoking imagery. There’s some glorious moments on this record where it opens up from furious black metal into soaring beauty, and it is possibly best done in ‘Pilgrimmage’.’Quietude’ pays homage to those slower, darker bits of prime My Dying Bride in black metal form, while the mesmerising flights of ‘Adytum’ are essential listening.

‘Praxis’ is the kind of record that black metal bands try to make to show they aren’t just one dimensional, but few actually achieve. Equally epic and fierce, when the music dives back through the clouds to the blizzard beneath it feels natural, and when it soars above, you never want to leave. Aethyrick are special.

https://aethyrick.bandcamp.com/music

http://www.thesinisterflame.com/store.htm

Curse upon a Prayer - The Three Woes

Finnish black metallers Curse Upon a Prayer dropped their hotly anticipated new EP ‘The Three Woes’ back in July on Saturnal Records, and it is a three prong assault of highly traditional black metal hatred from a band that draws attention due to its anti-Islamic themes. However that doesn’t really come across a huge amount in their lyrical content.

‘Let Thy Kingdom Come’ is a howling thrust of classic black metal coldness, where raspy shrieks haunt blastbeat laden riffs, and the second wave gods are appeased. The fiercely melodic and gloomy ‘Thou Shalt be Cursed’ is more reminiscient of the likes of Gorgoroth than their Finnish brethren, and it allows Curse Upon a Prayer to not just be another BM band squeezed from their home soil. Blasphemies reign supreme throughout the closing beast ‘Woe! Woe! Woe!’ as well, bringing us to a disappointingly early finish. It is a masterful piece of regal, melodic black metal that will be a definite mainstay in my best songs for 2018.

‘The Three Woes’ is a superb EP, full of fire and rage, bringing forth fearsome blasphemy that will scald and flay you. Hopefully there will only be a short wait until their next full length, becasue Curse Upon a Prayer are incredible.

https://curseuponaprayer.bandcamp.com/album/the-three-woes

https://www.facebook.com/CurseUponAPrayer/

http://www.saturnalrecords.com/web/

bonehunter - children cover.jpeg

The third and possibly most anticipated album from Finland’s Bonehunter is ‘Children of the Atom’, and the collision of classic Bathory, punk and death/thrash has never been more vibrant. Due out on Hells Headbangers in September, I was a big fan of their ‘Evil Triumphs Again’ debut so this looks to be another gem.

Wrapped in awesome Joe Pentagno artwork, thrashy opener ‘Demonic Nuclear Armament’ sets the stage perfectly with its raspy mix of early Sodom and Bathory, but shot through with some cool punkish guitar parts. This is an incredibly hooky record, with every song having some part of it being really catchy. A very primal form of deaththrash, ‘The Reek of Reaper’s Scythe’ is a manic stabbing of a track, while the title track gallops like a more vicious NWOBHM heyday track. In fact, the whole thing reminds me of a more polished version of one of my favourite bands of the last few years, Hellripper.

It’s nice to get a break from all hell for leather though, the slower doomy section of ‘Black Star Carcass’ is a nice change of pace, before the blastbeats return with a vengeance, and the cool solo in ‘Spider’s Grave’ also mixes it up a little. Sure, the bread and butter is blackened deathy thrash but Bonehunter show that you can dip in and out of other genres and speeds without sacrificing intensity. Still, ‘Children of the Atom’ is at its best when barrelling forward like a runaway train, and the Motorhead-like ‘Cybernetic Vampirism’ is a perfect example of that.

Scouring the best parts of old Sodom and Bathory, cranking up the intensity and then dropping melody nukes right on top of it, ‘Children of the Atom’ is an absolutely beast of a record; monstrous and ferocious and yet insanely catchy. Why can’t everything be like this?!

https://bonehunter-finland.bandcamp.com/album/children-of-the-atom

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bonehuntermetal/

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Finland’s Lurk are due to release their new record, ‘Fringe’, at the start of August and it is a multifaceted, layered sludge doom record that incorporates elements of death metal and black metal into a churning whole. Transcending Obscurity is dropping yet another modern classic here, as Lurk take us to strange and alluring vistas of pain.

The baleful opening tones of ‘Ostrakismos’ feel very black metal; cold and gloomy. It has a perfect balance of innate heaviness and a glacial bleakness about it, with whispered growls lurking underneath. Dense and murky, ‘Tale Blade’ lurches forward with tar thick groove and a deathly roar powering it. Imagine coating this powerful beast in the gleaming blackness of Panopticon, or Wolves in the Throne Room and witnessing the soaring black metal presence. The grinding fury of ‘Offshoot’ is brutal, and the unsettling notes at the start of the stunning ‘Elan’ mixes well with the an almost soulful vocal. Both of those, of course, disappear into a void of trudging, suffocating nihilistic rage, crawling from a black filth. ‘Fringe’ is a record that encapsulates much of mankind’s darkest moments, but leaves enough spaces for the odd ray of ethereal hope to shine through.

Mysterious, ghostly but very much rooted in the soul of our blackened earth, Lurk’s magnificent carvings into the walls of sludge doom are a sight to behold. Cavernous yet fragile, visceral and yet soaring, ‘Fringe’ is an album unlike many others. It is capable of touching you in ways you didn’t expect, never losing that primal heft. A unique addition to 2018’s canon of excellent records.

https://tometal.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lurkdoom/

https://lurkdoom.bandcamp.com/

Axegressor - Bannerless_Digital Cover.jpg

The rotting, deathly thrash of Finland’s Axegressor is another example of how there is always something a little darker and a little morbid about music from the land of a thousand lakes. ‘Bannerless’ is out now through Brutal Records, and it is the fourth record in a slowly building discography of quality.

The opening ‘In Safe Space No One Can Hear Your Scream’ is a statement of bloodied intent, with a gripping collection of riffs and some throat shredding vocals. ‘Bannerless’ is an album full of songs that you could describe like that, each threading Bay Area riffing through a nastier filter. That’s not to say that the music is boring or samey, the opposite is more factual. There’s a little Voivod weirdness in ‘Terminal Ignition’, some galloping Slayerisms in ‘Human Travesty’ and the particularly fearsome chug of ‘Barren Bloodline Worship’ is guaranteed to set pits alight.

‘Bannerless’ is a difficult album to review, because essentially each song has the same descriptor; killer riffs, insidious melodies and cool raw vocals. An album that is totally excellent, Axegressor are keeping the thrashy nature of proto death alive, and each poisonous riff is a blade to the bone. Get this and bang your head!

https://www.facebook.com/axegressor/

http://www.axegressor.net/

http://brutalrecords.us/