posted on 9/2008 By:
I was about four songs into Teloitus when I realized that I didn't really want to be sitting here listening to this anymore.
Sotajumala's previous (and only) full-length was titled Death Metal Finland. That chosen title, and the act of giving that album that chosen title, should say a review's worth right there. This is death metal. Plain and simple. All thirty-eight minutes are plain and simple. My guess is that these guys just don't give a fuck about throwing the listener for a loop. So they instead pummel with the tamest parts of Morbid Angel entangled in the chaos of a diet-Vader. I need a tenth album from those Polish beasts like I need a third from these Finnish ones, which is to say that I don't. I have enough of that shit to last me through the real end of the world, and not just the one that these bands keep fantasizing about.
Sotajumala reek of the year they were conceived. Opposite of progressive, it's 1998-fashioned barbarianism. Tightly wound barbaric war-themed DM. Which is all fine and dandy if what I think is true is actually true. I have a theory about this two-albums-in-ten-years thing: throwback. Gee, they must spend alot of time with their other projects. They do have extensive resumes as the incestuous Finns often do (members were involved with or are currently involved in Horna, Atakhama, Alghazanth, De Lirium's Order, etc,). Could it be that Sotajumala is an outlet for nostalgia? I can respect that. After all, I respected Nifelheim's Envoy of Lucifer enough to high-praise it, and they're the epitome of taking a holiday. It's all about restraint, my good people. It's about perfecting the atmosphere; that place in time. If Sotajumala is indeed playing like everyday is Halloween, then go ahead and put 'em on the boards. It would somehow make it that much more enjoyable knowing that these compositions were intended to not achieve full potential. I have a feeling that these guys can outdo this album tenfold. Don't get me wrong, the picking and the stick-hits aren't sloppy or amateur, the kick drums were played like they're fighting for their lives, and the soloing pretty much fucking shreds. My only beef with this is, why emulate mediocrity? One song rises from the shallow end. The strategically placed title track. It is the eighth and last song, and since I am not capable of hitting the skip button because I then feel like I've cheated the artist's artistry, I grin and bear the other seven to get to the eighth. Funnily enough, it's the slowest track on here and keeps that same pace for almost eight minutes. Its hills and valleys separate it from this eight-pack, but what kills on this track besides the good measure is the snare work. And no, it's not "gravity-blasting", or "Finnish hyper-blasting", or whatever other terms for snare vomit you can come up with. It's the opposite of that. It's the fragility and bounce that this guy cares enough about to hide it behind the icy string work. Listen for it. It's making the other thirty minutes well worth having sat through.
My paranoid delusions aside, if you're that kid that lives by the rule of "whoever dies with the most death metal, wins", then this is a much needed addition to your collection. For my prudish tastes, and because I'm kinda that same kid, I'll want to know that I have it, but it will not warrant repeated listens, unless of course you're that first kid and we're going neck to neck for the supreme title. In that case, I'm turning this up to (h)eleven, and washing you away.
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