Svartna – Long Time Lost EP


Crafting an experience which is just as potent on the ears and emotions as it is visually on the imagination, the Long Time Lost EP from Finnish rock band Svartna is one of those propositions you just immerse within without reservation. It is a mesmeric fascination of sound and feeling which envelops and consumes attention and thoughts, a rich emotive flight unafraid to court its shadows as deeply as its beauty whilst providing an absorbing canvas for the bewitching voice of project founder Janica Lönn, who has previously worked with Black Sun Aeon.

Svartna emerged to the end of 2012 within the thoughts of Lönn, its intent as an audio-visual creation already and to some extent secretively laying seeds within the artist across almost a decade of musical invention and realisation up to that point. Concentrating solely on the new adventure and fusing her love of photography and crafting new ventures into its music, Lönn has conjured a debut which invests the invigorating essences of rock and metal with a pop infectiousness, the result a trio of songs which merges numerous styles and flavours into startling and gripping melodic landscapes coloured by rich sonic textures and heavy emotional breath.

Evocative melancholic keys open up first song No Signs of Life. Already the heart of the track and its narrative are caressing ears before the elegant smouldering tones of Lönn and an orchestral ambience glide into the emerging picture. It is a symphonic seeded suasion which to its seductive coaxing brings a shadowed clad drama and to its expanding scenery slightly sinister whispers. Bass and guitars offer a subdued but clear snarl to the emotive beauty washing the senses too whilst the increasingly sirenesque vocals and poetic melodies ignite the imagination, the full incitement of the song coming with a broad and climatic wind which drives the compelling expulsions at the heart of the song. The track is a masterful musical canvas for the lyrical and vocal melodrama, a picture which evolves with every chord and flume of sonic endeavour. It is quite glorious and never falls into the over blown realms so many bands and artists find when emotions and passions align with orchestrated invention and epic tempestuous structures; at times it is almost earthy and certainly surprisingly intimate in the throes of its fullest impacting voice.

From the outstanding start Cornered by Death takes up the reins of the release’s persuasion next, again keys sculpting the initial premise as rhythms play within their graceful countenance. The song glides into view in comparison to its predecessor, keys and vocals the warm initial sun upon ears and thoughts before a stormier yet still relatively unthreatening swell of heavy intensity, rapacious riffs, and prowling rhythms cloud the simmering emotional flight below. Once more it is offers a powerfully evocative aural sight though it is with the subsequent enthralling crafting of the guitars that the song truly comes alive; their lyrical designs virulently tempting even in their brief shaft of light before the full body of the song comes over senses and emotions once again. Though not matching the opening triumph, the track is a transfixing and exhilarating creative soundscape.

The EP closes with Worlds Apart, its entrance emulating the previous pair in being shaped by keys and vocals alone. To be honest there is a little disappointment that it does not bring a completely different first touch to the ears compared to elsewhere but a thought soon forgotten as the breath-taking voice of Lönn and a sinew built range of rhythms roam the expressive radiance flaming over the senses through the provocative keys, blazing guitars, and always the persistently striking voice of Lönn. It is an ambrosial conclusion to a fascinating and sublime release from an artist and band which are surely destined to seduce ears and acclaim for a long time on this evidence.

Long Time Lost EP is available through Violent Journey Records now!


RingMaster 30/05/2014

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Kaunis Kuolematon – Kylmä Kaunis Maailma


Wringing every dramatic provocative texture and imposing emotion out of their dark creative depths, melodic death metallers Kaunis Kuolematon have unleashed a thoroughly compelling and intimidating debut album in the tempestuous shape of Kylmä Kaunis Maailma. It is a startling release, one bred in menacing atmospheres and thick emotive climates. It consumes and captivates without mercy though it is not always the easiest of journeys for senses and thoughts to explore, landscapes harsh and drenched in intensive causticity which permeates and scores everything from ears to psyche. It is a persistent danger which once undertaken rewards with continually strengthening potency.

The Hamina hailing Finnish band began in 2012 with vocalist/guitarist Mikko Heikkilä (Black Sun Aeon, Routasielu, Sinamore) forming the band to take his songs to the world. The first year saw the release of a self-titled EP to strong responses but it was the single En Ole Mitään last year which raised a definite appetite and anticipation for the band’s first full-length, a hunger which it impressively feeds. Recorded with Saku Moilanen (Red Moon Architect) and mixed and mastered by Saku Moilanen and by Juho Räihä (Before The Dawn, Gloria Morti) respectively, Kylmä Kaunis Maailma takes the listener into the darkest intrusive levels of life, almost welcoming death as a destined friend. It is frightening, intimidating, and impossibly seductive, a narrative to bravely embrace for the surest of pleasures.

Opening track Pimeyden Valtakunta emerges from a portentous sonic mist, its ominous breath a dark hum which is soon veined by a KK- Front_800riveting melodic design of guitar and a vocal sample seemingly seeded in negative events. By its entrance rhythms are rigorously casting heavy imprints, soon to be towering incitements, on the scenery as rapacious vocal roars spill across the air. It is a dramatically evocative experience, imagination running with the descriptive hues and vocal scowling, interpreting sounds and the Finnish language used for their own haunting and imposing visions. It is an immensely dramatic start to the album, a malevolent rapture which finds greater seduction with the clean vocals and melodic graces which colour the formidable soundscape surrounding them.

     Itsestään Kuollut follows with an electro coaxing at first though it is soon suffocated by the ravenous strides of antagonistic rhythms, savage riffery, and bestial vocals squalls. Predacious grooves only accentuate the weight and glorious toxicity of the track as it twists and tightly seduces the psyche, senses abused and caressed with pulsating keys which still hold that electro suasion, and a rampant urgency to the ravaging. It is a masterful slavery of the passions that increases its virulence with even more intensive repetitious grooving and a web of serpentine and varied vocals, the fade-out the only minor annoyance.

Both Kivisydän and Kuolematon seize their own unique grips on attention and thoughts. The first brings a swamp of emotive shadows over pestilential intensity, though it also washes the senses in a beauteous caress of keys and solemn melodies, whilst the second bursts from within a radio search with bulging rhythmic muscles and sinewed bred riffs, both caging the appetite as expressive keys and drifting angelic harmonies add their glancing touches before carnivorous intent brings its voracity to bear over body and imagination. As with the album, both tracks need plenty of time to truly reveal their full persuasions but start with a thoroughly compelling and lingering base, the second of the two an intriguing presence especially with its outstanding sirenesque female vocal calls.

The earlier mentioned first single from the album, En Ole Mitään steps in next, clean vocals wrapping the senses soothingly before coarse tones enter the scene. The music is equally restrained at first before inviting its malicious side to join the affair, the guitars of Heikkilä and Ville Mussalo entrancing and enticing before becoming sonic predators led by the intensive rhythmic examination provided by bassist Jarno Uski and drummer Miika Hostikka. The track expands across its beautiful but rugged terrain with enthralling skill and invention though arguably is less predacious and certainly more merciful than other tracks, such as the next up Sieluni Sirpaleet, though it too is unafraid to allow a delicious weave of keys and the ever impressive and welcome clean vocals within the band to radiate potently from within the stark and aggressive causticity climbing all over the senses.

The album continues to ignite thoughts and emotions as the likes of the spellbinding Pahan Kasvot, a track which manages to seduce an ardour and tear layers from the senses with its raw voraciousness within the less than four bestial minutes of its body, and the enchanting Aamu seize ears and imagination. The second of the two with melancholic strings and emotionally reflective vocals mesmerises across its extensive flight, the stormy passages and vocal tempests only enhancing its elegance stance and emotive beauty. The song is irresistible, setting the listener up for the final exhausting adventure of Haudasta Hautaan, an encounter as abrasing as it is sonically bracing and as rabidly emotive as it is blisteringly seductive.

Kylmä Kaunis Maailma is a striking debut from Kaunis Kuolematon and though it is a touch frustrating in not being able to fully understand each track’s theme because of language restrictions, that small aspect cannot hide the feelings raging within each encounter or stop the album from impressing intensely.

Kylmä Kaunis Maailma is available through Violent Journey Records now!


RingMaster 25/04/2014

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Nuclear Omnicide – Bringers Of Disease


Not just going for the jugular but ripping it out and violating it like a whirling dervish, Finnish thrashers Nuclear Omnicide uncages their new EP Bringers Of Disease. Six tracks of unbridled and rapacious old school thrash metal which rampages with a speed and voraciousness which cannot be denied, the release is an uncompromising assault on the senses easily giving healthy satisfaction whilst sparking an eager appetite for its antagonistic riot.

Consisting of bassist/vocalist Benny Raivio, guitarists Igi Ignatius and Kappe Koutonen, and drummer Alex Anttila, the 2010 formed Kirkkonummi quartet first made their mark with the Unleash Yourself EP of 2012, though it was debut album The Presence Of Evil in March of last year which brought the band to wider attention. Forging a rich death metal essence to their thrash aggression the band now has Bringers Of Disease poised to leap at the world on January 3rd via Violent Journey Records, an EP which gives the band’s sound a boost of raging adrenaline and intensive weight. There is nothing particularly new within the release and sound of the band, it drawing on well-trod genre toxicity and anthemic potency but equally it has a presence and contagion which is quite irresistible.

Opener We Came to Thrash! says it all for song and release, the track careering through the ear with riffs breaking sinew and Nuclear_Omnicide_-_Bringers_Of_Disease_Front_600cartilage whilst rhythms splinter bone under the infectious grooving and anthemic group vocal calls. Just exceeding one minute in length the song is the perfect introduction and indication of what is to come and what to expect from the EP, expectations soon rabidly fed by the next up Curse of the Undead. Rhythms venomously tumble down upon the senses within a scathing blaze of fiery and predacious riffery, the start instantly magnetic and raising a hunger in the passions which is reinforced by the savage progress of the track. The vocals of Raivio spread the lyrical poison with a raw growling lilt as raucous and merciless as the sounds around him, it all adding to a thrash assault which may not be original but knows how to utilise existing invention to its full potential and power.

Ruler with the Iron Fist stirs up the imagination with a tempest of imaginative endeavour and sonic twisting. Not as dramatically forceful as its predecessors but with a similarly intensive presence littered with melody crafted grooves and shifting changes of gait and enterprise, the track is an outstanding encounter taking the EP to another level alone. The guitar teasing and sculpting of Ignatius and Koutonen merge cute adventure with brutal riffery across the track whilst the rhythmic side of the band punish and coax throughout with an equally compelling temptation.

The opening slow dawning entrance of Institution (Execution) offers a doom clad bait which wraps its lingering suasion around the imagination before from within its dark heavy breath riffs spark into life and spear the air with fiery infectiousness alongside crisp rhythmic provocation. Once the vocals start their scarring squall the music kicks up a gear in pace and venom to score and ignite the senses all over again, the track like the one just before forging a presence which feeds and treats the instinctive thrasher in us all.

Both Merciless Butcher and Bringer Of Disease bring the EP to a pleasing end, the first immediately recruiting feet and neck muscles with its vicious chugging before exploding into an even more violent fury of riffs and rhythms, a Municipal Waste like element feeling its way through certainly the vocal and punkish essences within the maelstrom. Its successor is simply ravenous thrash at its nasty merciless best, every aspect gnawing upon and stirring up senses and passions.

As mentioned you will not find anything brand new on Bringers Of Disease but for thrilling use of existing invention and unbridled enjoyment which makes you overlook that lack of originality, Nuclear Omnicide gets the job done with skill and ease. The EP is a great way to set thrash metal on its way in 2014 and a release easy to be drawn back to time and time again.


RingMaster 01/01/2014

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Ironclad – Strike & Ravage


It is fair to say that genres are not being re-invented or boundaries pushed with the Strike & Ravage EP from Finnish metallers Ironclad, but equally it is very easy to declare the release as one extremely enjoyable and undemanding yet commanding slab of heavy metal. Like Motorhead does power metal with the classic respective attributes of Exodus and Iron Maiden adding strong aggression to the mix, release and band makes for an extremely satisfying confrontation. It is not without elements which labour a little but as an invigorating encounter it is a very easy fit for the emotions.

Released via Violent Journey Records, Strike & Ravage immediately turns heat onto the ear with the entrance of the title track. The Ironclad_800opener is a blaze of melodic endeavour and flames from the off, the guitar of Duke Belmont a sonic sabre across sturdy riffs and sinew bursting rhythms, and once the Lemmy like delivery of vocalist Edward Steelgun unleashes his gravelly growl the track is in full stride and drawing an eager appetite for its persuasive charge and riotous folk metal like chorus. The bass of Dick Wolfgang prowls through the track without leaping at the ear but alongside the rhythms of Thorborg Bomber provides the intimidation and shadows needed to temper and compliment the burning guitar causticity. It is a straightforward attack yet one which ignites the imagination with a pleasing raw stomp which only leaves you wanting more.

Its successor comes in the equally rapacious form of Harder Than Steel, another track which simply snarls and rampages through the ears with recognisable but richly satisfying endeavour and resourcefulness. A contagious groove spears the track, a thrash cored incendiary device that leaves limbs, neck, and emotions alive before its arguably predictable but undoubtedly anthemic temptation. As good as the starter was, the second song on the EP is a masterful recruitment of the passions, the kind of expectations filling bruising you can easily devour with greed.

The following Warriors is less successful, though again a song which is well crafted and delivered. It is a mixed bag of success though it is more personal tastes dictating than a lacking on the song’s part. The heavy throaty bass stalking is immense throughout whilst the predatory riff attacks only spark a belt of pleasure but tempering their potency is the atmospheric keys brewed ambience and slow drawl of a vocal narrative which diminishes the power of all the highlights of the track. It is the most imaginative and adventurous song on Strike & Ravage but least successful because of that, though for others you can only imagine it is the opposite.

The closing Demon Heart returns to the snarling ravaging of the first two tracks, its carnivorous intent and storm of voracious riffery a brawling pleasure. The rhythms within the track are rabidly unrelenting alongside riffs which persistently taunt the ear whilst the vocals bring a good blend of scathing and harmonic venture to enhance the force of the track. With another groove to incite a lustful appetite, the song is a thrilling conclusion to a rather satisfying encounter.

As mentioned the Strike & Ravage EP is not going to set scenes alight or leave the listener slack-jawed but for a turbulent sprawl of honest rock ‘n’ roll, Ironclad get the job done with an obligingly eventful and rousing riot.


RingMaster 04/11/2013

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Aratic – To The Early Grave


Bred from an open passion for old school thrash metal, To The Early Grave the debut album from Finnish metallers Aratic takes no time in barging the listener onto a bruising and riotous ride of ravenous riffs, squalling vocals, and hook loaded grooves which wrap around the senses and passions like a sonic python. The release is honest and proud in its declaration of its inspiration with the thoughts of Venom, Slayer, and Exodus unavoidable as the quartet from Pori chews up the ear with accomplished and ridiculously addictive sounds. Admittedly there is nothing new being unleashed or even skirted but for unbridled destructive pleasure and incendiary passion igniting enterprise you will not be left hungry by this uncompromising confrontation.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Henri Virolainen, bassist Antti Hurmerinta, guitarist Teemu Täckman, and Mika Uusivirta on drums, Aratic leap on the ear from the first note of opener Residents Of Evil and does not resist and show mercy right through to its final punch on the senses with the closing title track. As the first song stomps with belligerent riffs and quarrelsome vocals you know exactly what the band offers and will provide across the album, the track a fury of caustic energy and spiteful intensity framed by malevolent rhythms crafted and unleashed by Uusivirta. Though the song feeds expectations it equally takes small but pleasing adventurous side tracks within its charge, a hardcore edge adding extra fire to the verbal assault and guitars teasing with devious grooves away from the core temptation.

The strong start continues with Satan’s Witnesses and the excellent I Am The Night, the first another in the face altercation Aratic_-_To_The_Early_Grave_Front_600cast by exhausting riffs and vocal searing whilst its successor raises the game of the album with hungry rhythms amongst niggling sonic persuasion clad in toxic grooves which lead the passions into a greedier appetite. There is a punk grazing to the vocals which leads to whispers of Municipal Waste and Suicidal Tendencies, though the song is firmly entrenched in the seeds of bands like those we mentioned previously, and with a sudden brief guttural expulsion there is equally an extra vapour of death metal to the imagination.

The best song, and easily the top scrap on the album, comes next in the epidemically infectious Ninth Gate. Rife with insidiously addictive grooves and blistering sonic tempests of energy the track stands astride the senses and chews their skin with carnivorous intensity and corrosive drenched rhythmic teeth, It is a violently persuasive thrill which captures imagination and heart, a tempestuous agitator crafted with skill and vitriolic enterprise.

Through the likes of Destructing The Light, Shrooms, and Lobotomy Christianus, the band keep the grievous please coming with strength and raging aggression, and though the tracks pale a little behind the might of the likes of Ninth Gate, there is a heightened need to devour their individual conflicts earned.  The first of the three ignites another belt of voraciousness through its impressive sonic solo and rapacious appetite, and the following two with predatory and intensive riff guided gnawing and blackened rapacity respectively. There is very little to temper the enthusiasm for the weaponry raised by the album and even though originality takes a step back on the album such the rich satisfaction and thrill ignited by songs and release the issue does not ride any thought at any point during its potent company.

With the title track offering a final brutal treat, To The Early Grave is a thoroughly enjoyable and breath-taking slab of primal compulsion. Aratic has provided an introduction which will undoubtedly and deservedly find a home with all thrash fans especially those also inspired by the origins of the genre.


RingMaster 14/06/2013

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Unhoped – Nuclear Death


We are not going to try and convince that there is anything particularly new going on with Nuclear Death from Finnish metallers Unhoped, but that the resourceful and fiery album is thoroughly enjoyable is a persuasion which is easy to declare. The six track release is an insatiable and brawling confrontation driven by a thrash metal core wearing at times a coat of death spawned malevolence, one which takes the band from the shadows into a sharper spotlight of promise.

Formed to the end of 2007, Unhoped first made an impression with their debut EP First Blood at the beginning of 2010, the release finding acclaim in the media and amongst fans setting the band up for a busy year. A change of vocalist followed as the band began working on second release Die Harder, the album also gaining strong responses and support. Released by Violent Journey Record, Nuclear Death has all the caustic charm and weaponry to take the Varkaus bred quintet into the widest awareness and as mentioned though it might not be breaking down walls of invention the doors of thrash have been kicked wide open by the band.

Pestilence opens up the ferocity, its immediate assault of crippling rhythms and raging riffs a squalling turmoil upon the ear, a unhoped-nuclear_death_cover_600sonic maelstrom of carnivorous hunger which the senses have to take a firm grip to stand tall in the face of. Once the opening strike has settled the band unleash a barrage of merciless destruction through the drums of M. Huisko, co-instigator bassist S. Parviainen growling with equal rabidity. It is prime thrash with the rapacious riffing from guitarists K. Laanto and A. Paasu as exhausting as it is enterprising in its unfussy but greedy barrage. The band’s influences such as Slayer, Testament, and Exodus are certainly more than strong breezes within the rampant fury working on the senses adding to an invention which is not unique but wholly captivating from Unhoped.

The vocals of Jyrki Luostarinen steer and guide the opener through creative waters, his snarling breath and choppy textures when shuffling things up richly pleasing and it continues into the following Modern State Of Sodomy. The track admittedly does not have the ability to hook the listener as its predecessor and most of the subsequent songs, but as a tempest of well-crafted and effective intensity it leaves one wanting little else.

The album steps up another gear with the excellent Eternal Infernal and gets better and better across the remaining songs. The track abrases and slaps the ear from start to finish, again the tempestuous invention across the stance and delivery of the song unpredictable and thus riveting, whilst the chugging appetite of the beast is insatiable and infectious. Originality maybe scarce but passion and imagination has a prime seat in the adrenaline powered song and release.

Empire Of Lies is the best track on the album, its chunky throaty bass grind and sabre sharp riffs welcoming in the impending furnace whilst the drums scythe through bone with thunderous and honed spite. In full gait and muscular expanse, the track exploits the air with venomous enterprise, offering a range of grooves either of serpentine of carnal spawning and shards of sonic flame in searing solos. As ever the vocals graze and scowl with potent antagonism to intimidate and accentuate the strength of the provocation elsewhere.

The closing title track is old school thrash and shows there is nothing wrong with returning to roots and rejuvenating them with fresh maliciousness and energy. It completes a thoroughly pleasing release which makes no demands or promises but leaves a deep depth of pleasure to feed upon regularly. For thrash fans of all tastes Nuclear Death and Unhoped is a contagious treat to keenly devour.


RingMaster 24/05/2013


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Antipope – 3 Eyes Of Time


With more grooves than a tyre wall at Silverstone, 3 Eyes of Time the new album from Finnish harsh progressive metal band Antipope is an intriguing mix of flavours and spices within a weave of eclectic metal influences. Awash with vibrant melodies and pleasing progressive enterprise it is a release which ignites plenty of appetite for the band and whilst not being the best or most original record to step forth over recent months it is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable.

Formed in 2004, the Oulu band have always been aside of most extreme metal bands, essences of black and death metal standing side by side with those of doom, gothic, and industrial metal within a continually evolving landscape of ideas from the band. After numerous EPs and demos Antipope drew the strongest attention with their debut album Desert which was released in 2010 on their own TCM Records. It was followed by the band signing with Violent Journey Records for the follow-up House of Harlot the following year and also this their third full length. Their second album saw the band create an even more groove laden collection of songs which 3 Eyes Of Time pushes further within its rich wealth of shadows and rapacious sound. The new release also sees vocalist Mikko Myllykangas take on bass duties after fellow band founder Santtu Heinilehto left the band in 2012, and leaves an eager wash of satisfaction for its imagination capturing escapades.

Opening song Close makes its introduction with a melodic beckoning of a singular guitar which smacks of The Eurythmics song Antipope_800Sweet Dreams, it is a heavily shadowed lure with bass in tow soon joined by a magnetic sonic tease and the expressive vocals of Myllykangas offering a slight Marilyn Manson feel. Once settled into its place the track wraps emotive arms around the ear whilst the vocalist moves through varied deliveries to bring a pleasing and unpredictable voice to the melodic wash now in charge of the still attention grabbing sinews. It is not a startling encounter but a strong and satisfying beginning to the release which passes over to the excellent Last Chance.

Guitar and bass immediately provoke and niggle the ear with compelling temptation whilst concussive beats begin their offering to the brewing sense of antagonism. What follows is a tempest of demanding but thrilling rhythmic and riff laden hunger lain with potent melodic endeavour and power metal like embraces. Admittedly the song ebbs and flows with the insistent and industrial honed urgency leaving the appetite greedy whilst the gentler flames incites a drop in intensity to the brewing ardour but it all goes to make the song imaginative and enthralling.

The following stroll of electronic and gothic metal fusion The River Standing Still, keeps attention firmly gripped, its heavy shadows and symphonic whispers expressing a temptation which is rich and teasing whilst the solo and melodic invention leaves a healthy desire for more. There is a sense of The New Jacobin Club to the dramatic presence of the song which asks and gets stronger involvement in its narrative whilst the following likes of the Fear Factory/ Type O Negative sounding Burn with riveting rhythms from drummer Tuska E. adding stronger addiction to the thrillingly carved textures from guitarists Juho Rikberg and Antti Karjalainen, the mix of smouldering atmospherics and fiery invention that is Exposure, and A Decomposing Ritual of Absorption all offer variation and refreshing individuality to the album. The last of these three is a prowling and consuming sinew veined cloud of blackened progressiveness and melodic acidity dripping emotive provocation and inciting expression.

With both The Logic of Self-Discovery and closer Guiding Light bringing further potent highlights to the album, the last a brawling insurgence of thrash filtered intimidation with sonic intrigue and melodic magnetism, 3 Eyes Of Time leaves a full stomach of pleasure and invigorating creative energy. It can be argued it also leaves a feeling of a lost opportunity in its wake as throughout there is a feeling that songs could have been pushed into greatness and adventure but it does offer complete enjoyment which is impossible to dismiss.


RingMaster 10/05/2013

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My Funeral – Thrash Destruction


The title of the new album from metallers My Funeral tells you all you need to know about the band and Thrash Destruction itself. A riotous and aggressive no holds barred rampage of ear worrying, senses battering ferocity, the second album from the Finnish quartet does and delivers exactly what it says on the tin. Released through Violent Journey Records, the album has no real desire to craft new boundaries or investigate never before discovered areas of metal, but for a raging uncomplicated and pleasing onslaught of hungry riffs and merciless rhythms it holds all the weaponry and goods to satisfy.

Consisting of vocalist and bassist Ilkka Sepponen, guitarists Joonas Kiviniemi and Aku Korhonen, and drummer Hannu Sivusuo, My Funeral use open influences of bands such as Slayer, Kreator, Exodus, and Death to inspire and flavour their own invention, the result a sound which whilst lacking an unique voice still unleashes enough to make the band one which provides enough feed to quench the appetite for prime thrash metal. The songs and lyrics of Sepponen are strong and punchy with their delivery potently accomplished and stylish, and though the album may not ignite burning fires in the passions, it and its songs  more than stoke up the hunger to return to the release on a regular desire.

There is no pissing around with scene setting intros or slights of aural hands with sonic flourishes as on a regular diet of releases it seems nowadays, My Funeral simply go straight for the jugular with Into the Fire, riffs and rhythms savaging the ear in an adrenaline charged rampage from its very first second. Immediately infectious with the drums driving things hard and fast through the ear whilst the riffs and sonic teasing of the guitars leave their welcome scars, the song is a potent start with a vein of invention and variety to its gait and attack which leaves one greedy for the rest of the release. The caustic scowls of vocalist Sepponen admittedly take a while to acclimatise too, something which does creep up on you a few songs in, but other than that minor niggle the track is a rousing introduction.

The following likes of Thrash Winter, the excellent persistently badgering Manhunting Season, and the bruising Alcoholic Madness bring further ear catching and well-crafted tempests of classic/thrash metal, the third of the trio especially punctuated with heavy metal honed flames of riveting guitar enterprise within the torrential downpour of raptorial riffs and bone splintering drum rallies, not forgetting the ‘drunken’ brawls of group shouts. As mentioned there is nothing going on to open new doors but why bother trying when the party is burning fiercely already.

     Satanic Black Magic with its incendiary contagion and blackened corners is a head above the parapet major highlight of the album and a song to loudly share the variation and imagination at work within the songs despite their largely formula gaits, whilst others such as Killing Spree with its insidious groove within senses annihilating intensity and barbarous riffing, and the flesh peeling acidity of the sonic insistence of Slay them All stand tall and intense within their own virulent confrontations.

As the title track offers a final gratifying scourge, the over-riding emotion is of enjoyment and breathlessness. Yes the band and album may not be providing new feasts to gorge upon but they still inspire an on-going invitation to share company.


RingMaster 19/04/2013


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