Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sotajumala: Kuolemanpalvelus (2010) Review

Sotajumala (Finnish for "wargod") is a death metal band from Finland. I've had their 2004 debut Death Metal Finland for quite a while now, so when I saw their new release Kuolemanpalvelus had come out, I jumped on it immediately.

The band does nothing high-brow, and they don't do melodic, technical, progressive, or any other evolved death metal. This is very straightforward, early Florida-style death metal, with emphasis on crunchy riffs over anything else. Only two things set them apart: 1) Finnish lyrics, and 2) a guitar tone with a slightly industrial flavor.

Compared to their debut, little has changed. The drumming and lead guitar are improved, and the production is much cleaner. Highlights of the album include "Sokeus" (mostly for the solos), the slower tempo "Luut Sinusta Muistattaen", and the killer "Paratiisin Kutsu".

There are a few missteps along the way, notably the awkward tempo change on opener "Syvyydessä" and the disconcertingly abrupt ending to the album. But overall, it's a very enjoyable listen.

The Verdict: It's simple, old-school death metal, and sometimes that's a good thing. It's not perfect, but it sounds good and holds your attention. What more could you want? I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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