Triptykon: Melana Chasmata

Posted: 30th August 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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Triptykon
Melana Chasmata
Century Media

cover-Triptykon-MC

For the past couple of months, I’ve really been trying to write this review, but all past efforts weren’t nearly enough to make me satisfied. I’ve already lost count how many times I’ve erased everything already written and started from scratch, just to find myself bashing my head into a wall named Melana Chasmata. Seriously, it feels like this damn album doesn’t even want to be written about! It’s like a slippery piece of soap falling from your hands while taking a shower, and after you’ve picked it up again thinking you can handle it, that bastard falls again, and again, and again, and again. I’ve got to admit, there’s been moments of disbelief when I wanted to give up and just let this review go. Why bother, as there are tons of other records to talk about.

Well, because that is NOT how we roll around here. If I’m going to start something, you can bet your ass that particular something will be finished. So let’s do this! I will not submit to you, Melana Chasmata! Read the rest of this entry »

Steelfest Open Air – Villatehdas, Hyvinkää – May 16–17, 2014

Festival summer 2014 commenced with the third public edition of Steelfest, an extreme metal gathering that originally started as an insider event of mere locals, but took the leap towards the big boys’ league in 2012, and has since become an underground force to be reckoned with.  Especially now in the absence of Hammer Open Air, Steelfest’s line-up revolving strictly around different variants of black and death metal branded them as an integral player on the field of Finnish summer festivals, proudly standing separate from the grey mass of more mainstream-oriented events.  While their roster was again a fine representation of the different shades of dark, there was a shortage of pure thrash this time, but it seemed like even the narrower spectrum had enough draw, as Tiketti’s website was showing the “yellow light” on the tickets already a few weeks before the D-day. Read the rest of this entry »

Edguy: Space Police – Defenders of the Crown

Posted: 15th May 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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Edguy
Space Police – Defenders of the Crown
Nuclear Blast, 2014

The undisputed fact is that power metal, or any of its subordinate genres, isn’t even close to my favorite style of music. Actually, I’d state that it’s generally speaking one of those genres that tend to nauseate me when making its way to my consciousness through my ears’ auditory canals. But still there are some exceptions that confirm this rule, and Edguy is one of those special cases. Seriously, this goofy German group of five has always had a certain place in my heart. Read the rest of this entry »

Teitanblood: Death

Posted: 18th April 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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Teitanblood
Death
Norma Evangelium Diaboli, 2014

cover-Teitanblood-Death

For those who aren’t acquainted with this Spanish group, they play putrid and uncompromising old-school death metal at its finest with hints of other extreme forms of metal. Their music is heavily based on brutal, low-key riffs with even lower tuning, accompanied by manic and primitive drumming. On rare occasions, this sepulchral pummeling is interrupted by rather unmusical guitar solos that fancy insane shredding, arpeggios and whammy-bar abusing (Slayer, anyone!?). The vocals are mainly grunting and growling as if delivered from beyond the living world, and with no clear rhythmic patterns or arrangements, as they are presented more like frenzied bursts of phrases or haunting devilish praise. Add to these factors that the songs themselves are erratic and illogically built harvesters of Chaos without any regular structures, and you’re really starting to feel like you’re embarking on a seriously dangerous trip when experiencing Death. Read the rest of this entry »

Toxic Holocaust & Exhumed – Nosturi, Helsinki – March 19, 2014

Exhumed’s sadistic string section: Bud, Matt & Rob

This cold and (at least weather-wise) miserable Wednesday evening marked the only log bomb that Toxic Holocaust and Exhumed’s over a month-long European Invasion dropped on Finnish soil.  Having already caught both bands a few times during their previous visits, there was no long built-up tension in the air for me, but as 2013 had seen a fresh full-length from the Portland predators as well as the San Jose slaughterers, I welcomed this clash of West Coast wackos with relative excitement. Read the rest of this entry »

Valkyrja: The Antagonist’s Fire

Posted: 21st March 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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Valkyrja
The Antagonist’s Fire
W.T.C. Productions, 2013

This time it was Swedish group Valkyrja’s destiny to get beheaded under my guillotine of criticism. The Antagonist’s Fire is their third and latest musical offering on the bloodied altars of religious black metal. As the name of this horde has been haunting me for a while, and even succeeding to trigger some feelings of interest, it was time to see if Valkyrja belongs in the drowning pool of urine among so many other wimpy artists of this sub-genre. Read the rest of this entry »

Mantar: Death by Burning

Posted: 26th February 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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Mantar
Death by Burning
Svart Records, 2014

cover-Mantar-DBB

If you’re to believe the promotional statements, this one-year-old twosome should be heavier and more menacing on their debut album than many other bands with five musicians and a full arsenal of instruments. Despite the lack of a bass guitar, this is given as a fact based on the superior talent and musicianship of these Germans (well, the drummer guy is originally from Turkey, but anyways). I must admit that when reading these pompous promises, I couldn’t help thinking whether these guys are actually serious. Or are they just trying to hide inferior music under layers of snootiness and arrogance? Well, without knowing really why, there was something that made me eagerly want to find out answers to my questions. Read the rest of this entry »

Innsmouth: Consumed by Elder Sign

Posted: 2nd February 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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Innsmouth
Consumed by Elder Sign
Abysmal Sounds, 2014

Can anybody guess what’s the worst nightmare of a music reviewer, or a reviewer of any kind? No, it’s not a product that makes the critic rip out their hair because it’s so unforgivably bad or makes them think “what was the reason I ever decided to waste my time and energy on this reeking pile of horse feces that’s somehow called art by some people”. The most atrocious and frustrating thing is to give birth to an article based on a screw-up so tedious and tasteless that every single word and phrase in the text requires immeasurable effort, leaving you feeling totally consumed once it’s finally done. When you’ve been sitting on your computer for several hours, there’s not a single word that could give a good start for the review, and you’re feeling like the dullness is going to mummify you. When you’re thinking that maybe a staring contest with a potato would be much more rewarding. Yeah, that’s a reviewer’s worst nightmare. Read the rest of this entry »

Undergang – Hymns of Death

Posted: 25th January 2014 by Kari in Interviews, Other
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Undergang_logo

New death metal bands seem to be popping up like mushrooms all around the globe, while long-slumbered elders keep on bursting out of their coffins. In the midst of this overabundance, Undergang from Denmark somehow managed to catch my attention. Despite singing in their native tongue, which I couldn’t understand a word of, their message was still very clear to me; this was a band that’s all about the slimy and filthy way of death metal! Combining all the elements I love in the genre and spewing out some of the most wicked and crushing sonic savagery, Undergang is a name you need to remember if you are into death metal (or into heavy metal, for that matter) at all. And so I approached their vocalist/guitarist David Torturdød with a bunch of inquiries, and despite being a busy beaver with his various activities in the scene, he managed to spare some time for us. Read the rest of this entry »

Dissecting 2013

Posted: 22nd January 2014 by Enslain Magazine in Editorials, Other, Reviews
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2013 was quite the year for Enslain Magazine, taking us on a plethora of awesome adventures from the frosty mountains of Dovre to the dingy alleys of Bucharest and the sunny shores of Zadar.  Most importantly, it saw the release of a new print issue, bearing the number 11.  A lot of thought was put into making the magazine thematic yet varied, colorful yet coherent – summing up our most significant experiences and passions from the last couple of years in all things metal.  We’d like to think it turned out pretty nice.

While Ossi took a more prominent role than before in the forging of the new issue, ascending to a position one might call “co-editor,” we had the honor and delight to take in some new blood as well.  With the launch of the Enslain blog, Kari joined the fold, mainly providing interrogations with groups he deems best in cruelties of death and doom, and more recently, Tommi stepped in as a record review contributor.  Welcome to Hell, dudes, let’s make 2014 the best one so far.  Anyway, as clichés dictate, here’s our wrap-up of last year, with each of us listing the five top dogs in releases, as well as the most decimating live experience endured [except Tommi, who thought that pretty much all gigs he saw last year sucked balls]. Read the rest of this entry »