Sotajumala - Kuolemanpalvelus
Cobra Records
Death Metal
8 songs (53:58)
Release year: 2010
Sotajumala, Cobra Records
Reviewed by Goat

There’s not much to argue about with a Finnish Death Metal band that called its first album Death Metal Finland, is there? Hailing (obviously) from Finland, featuring Horna/Black Sun Aeon/Ajattara’s Mynni Luukkainen on vocals and playing the sort of brutal yet catchy Death Metal that you thought had died a death with Zyklon, Sotajumala (‘wargod’) are, bluntly, pretty awesome. That unwieldy album title translates as ‘ceremony of death’, and duly delivers fifty minutes of groovy bonesnapping post-Cannibal Corpse/Morbid Angel Death Metal that will have absolutely anyone moshing like a drunkard. For whatever reason, non-Swedish Scandinavian Death Metal is often ignored by the extreme metal public, and the likes of the excellent Blood Red Throne from Norway get less attention than they deserve. Quite how anyone could go on doing so after hearing even the kickass opener Syvyydessä here is beyond me, groovy and technical with plenty of different riffs, time and tempo changes, and some phenomenally skilled drum-beating from Timo Häkkinen.

Just how excellent the writing here is becomes apparent at the end of that track, as the ending sets up the even better Paratiisin Kutsu, where the riffing takes a Thrashier turn and little epic atmospheric touches are discernable behind everything else. There’s not a filler track on the entire album, pleasingly, each song seeming better than the last – Kuolleet Toinen Jae’s catchy grooving as memorable as Sokeus’ speedy maelstrom and histrionic soloing. As good as the likes of Toinen Tuleminen all are, it’s towards the end of the album when the real genius comes, the seven-minute Luut Sinusta Muistuttaen upping the intensity with an added frantic atmosphere and even more whiplash-inducing riff combinations than before, turning into a nice bit of ambience that opens the fifteen-minute title track. About two minutes in it starts a grandiose build-up, developing into a wonderful bit of mid-paced Domination-era Morbid Angel worship that twists and turns proggily before depositing you exhausted, wanting only to hear the whole album again.

Kuolemanpalvelus is thus a more than solid album, actually more impressive and enjoyable than the aforementioned Zyklon, who always felt slightly overrated to me. This is a blast, and sure to enthral any Death Metaller who likes his grunt n’blast to have a bit of maturity and good songwriting behind it – recommended.

Killing Songs :
Syvyydessä, Paratiisin Kutsu, Kuolleet Toinen Jae, Sokeus, Toinen Tuleminen
Goat quoted 85 / 100
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