Album Review – BloodBlind / False Light EP (2021)

Light, darkness and ass-kicking metal music. That’s exactly what this Finnish band has to offer us all in their new EP.

3.0rating

bloodblind-false-light-ep-2021Recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered by Niila Perkkiö at Sniper Sounds, the fast and melodic False Light, the brand new EP by Helsinki, Finland-based Heavy/Groove Metal unity BloodBlind, picks up where they left after going on a two-year hiatus shortly after the release of their 2017 self-titled debut EP, while at the same time offering us fans a fresher and more dynamic sound thanks to the excellent job done by Tommi Kokko on vocals, Joni Halmetoja (Rottendawn, Legacy) and Marko Lundahl (Six Inch, Korpsesoturi) on the guitars, Janne Saksola on bass and backing vocals, and Frank Fagerström on drums. In other words, if you enjoy the heavy, groovy and melodic metal music made not only Finland, but also from the entire Scandinavia, you must take a listen at the new EP brought forth by those skillful musicians from the land of ice and snow.

The whimsical keys, violin and cello by guests Kelly Walsh, Oona Yliperttula and Suvi Lehtimäki, respectively, in the intro Lucem Ac Tenebras (or “light and darkness” from Latin) will put you in a trance before BloodBlind begin their wicked metal feast in [Redacted], where the headbanging, visceral riffs by Joni and Marko are effectively accompanied by the pounding drums by Frank, blending the fury and groove of bands the likes of At The Gates and Lamb Of God. Then the sick bass jabs by Janne will invite you to slam into the circle pit to the Punk Metal-infused tune Hits and Blood, with Tommi roaring and screaming nonstop like a demented creature. Furthermore, this metallic composition is thrilling and electrifying from start to finish, also showcasing classic guitar solos and, of course, bringing rage to our damned hearts. Lastly, leaning towards the trademark sound from countless Finnish Melodic Death Metal acts, the title-track False Light keeps the EP moving forward at full speed, with the heavy beats by Frank dictating the pace while supporting Tommi with his vocal attack until the very last second.

bloodblind-2021If heavy music is your business (and business is good), you can enjoy False Light in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course the best way to support underground metal is by purchasing your favorite format of the EP by clicking HERE. Also, don’t forget to show the guys from BloodBlind your love and tell them how much you like their music by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and also to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their high-octane music. The term “false light” might mean an untrue or misleading portrayal, but that’s not what BloodBlind have to offer us in their new EP; quite the contrary, it’s ass-kicking metal music with no filters nor any artificial elements, staying true to their roots and, consequently, pointing to a bright future ahead of those unrelenting musicians.

Best moments of the album: Hits and Blood.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing 
1. Lucem Ac Tenebras 1:22
2. [Redacted] 4:42
3. Hits and Blood 2:08
4. False Light 4:46

Band members
Tommi Kokko – vocals
Joni Halmetoja – guitar
Marko Lundahl – guitar
Janne Saksola – bass, vocals
Frank Fagerström – drums

Guest musicians
Kelly Walsh – piano and synths on “Lucem Ac Tenebras”
Oona Yliperttula – violin on “Lucem Ac Tenebras”
Suvi Lehtimäki – cello on “Lucem Ac Tenebras”

Album Review – Lord Of Pagathorn / Age Of Curse (2021)

This unrelenting horde is ready to strike again with their newborn spawn of vicious, death-reaping Finnish Black Metal.

3.5rating

lord-of-pagathorn-age-of-curse-2021Hailing from Finland’s capital Helsinki, the unrelenting Black Metal horde that goes by the name of Lord Of Pagathorn is ready to strike again with their newborn spawn, entitled Age Of Curse, bringing to our ears eight original songs of death-reaping Finnish Black Metal crafted by vocalist and guitarist Corpselord, guitarist Skrubb, bassist Ronitor and drummer Skalder. Recorded by the band’s own Ronitor, who was also responsible for the album’s sick artwork, and mixed and mastered by Trollhorn (aka Henri Sorvali) at Trollhouse Audio, Age Of Curse is Lord Of Pagathorn’s most detailed and cohesive opus since the band’s inception in the distant year of 1992 in the city of Rovaniemi, showing those black metallers still have a lot of fire to burn in their path of evil and darkness.

A cryptic, sinister intro titled Burning Ominous Words sets the stage for the Finnish quartet to kill in Baneful Curse To Destroy Them All, with Corpselord and Skrubb delivering old school Black Metal riffs while Skalder hammers his drums nonstop. Put differently, it couldn’t have sounded rawer, more devilish nor more traditional than this, and continuing their feast of pure malignancy, Corpselord leads his infernal horde with his wicked gnarls while Ronitor and Skalder will make your head tremble with their hellish kitchen in Conqueror of Im-Kharasak. Then slowing things down a bit and adding a visceral dosage of Doom Metal to their core madness, the band fires the headbanging Insatiability of Man, with Ronitor’s bass jabs supporting the strident guitars by Corpselord and Skrubb; whereas their Black Magic-infused riffage will pierce our souls mercilessly in Over Throned, while Skalder dictates the pace through his intricate yet bestial beats in an awesome display of pure Black Metal.

The title-track Age of Curse is a lecture in old school, unfiltered Black Metal by Lord Of Pagathorn, with the band’s guitar duo being in total (and infernal) sync with Skalder’s drums, not to mention how vile the screeches and roars by Corpselord are, and more of their spine-chilling sounds permeate the air in the venomous Crush The Holy Spirit, a nonstop hurricane of Black Metal riffs, beats and growls that will please all fans of classics the likes of Mayhem, Immortal and Marduk. There’s no time to breathe as the band’s Stygian onrush of sounds goes on in Prophecy of Androgyne Being, bringing to our avid ears more of Corpselord’s demonic screams amidst a pulverizing and melodic sonority. And last but not least, the gates of hell are wide open to the sound of the sluggish and grim Dragging in the Dust, another wicked Black Metal extravaganza spearheaded by the neck-breaking beats by Skalder, all spiced up by Doom Metal elements carefully inserted into the band’s trademark sound.

lord-of-pagathorn-2021You can easily join the Black Metal cult led by Lord Of Pagathorn by following the band on Facebook, but of course if you want to prove to the entire world you’re a true servant of darkness you should purchase Age Of Curse (which is by the way available for a full listen on YouTube) from the Woodcut Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, as well as from Record Shop X or from Discogs. Lord Of Pagathorn are one of those bands that will always be loyal to the foundations of Black Metal, having followed the dark path since their very first demo released in 1993, and based on the sulfur and obscurity flowing from their excellent new opus I’m pretty sure the Black Metal scene in their homeland Finland will stand strong for decades to come.

Best moments of the album: Baneful Curse To Destroy Them All, Age of Curse and Crush The Holy Spirit.

Worst moments of the album: Insatiability of Man.

Released in 2021 Woodcut Records

Track listing   
1. Intro – Burning Ominous Words 1:36
2. Baneful Curse To Destroy Them All 3:15
3. Conqueror of Im-Kharasak 5:29
4. Insatiability of Man 5:06
5. Over Throned 6:23
6. Age of Curse 5:26
7. Crush The Holy Spirit 4:41
8. Prophecy of Androgyne Being 6:01
9. Dragging in the Dust 7:56

Band members
Corpselord – vocals, guitar
Skrubb – guitar
Ronitor – bass
Skalder – drums

Album Review – Re-Armed / Ignis Aeternum (2020)

A modern, melodic and entertaining album of heavy music about positivity, about constant change and seeing life as it is in every level, directly from Finland into your heart and soul.

Mixing their trademark Melodic Death Metal with classic Death and Thrash Metal and symphonic influences in order to bring to the scene a more vibrant and modern sound, Kerava, Finland-based unity Re-Armed has been on a constant evolution since their inception in 2001, moving from what’s usually known as the Gothenburg sound to their current shape and form, culminating with the release of their brand new album Ignis Aeternum, the fourth full-length opus in their solid career. Produced and recorded at Studio UG and mixed at ShedStudios in Kerava,  mastered at Audiamond in Niinikoski, Finland, and featuring a caustic and grim artwork by Brazilian artist Romulo Dias, Ignis Aeternum is about positivity, about constant change and seeing life as it is in every level. It is a trip, a breathtaking view about life’s diversity, and an ode to life, all embraced by the slashing metal music blasted by frontman Jouni Matilainen, guitarists Allan Välimaa and Oskari Niekka, bassist Juhana Heinonen and drummer Iiro Karjalainen with tons of precision, dexterity and feeling, just the way we like it in Melodic Death Metal.

It’s time to put the pedal to the metal together with the guys from Re-Armed in the epic and insurgent Dive Within, with Iiro sounding absolutely bestial on drums, providing his bandmates all they need to kick some serious ass with their respective sonic weapons, spiced up by a beautiful ending featuring a stanza taken from Eino Leino’s poem “Hymni Tulelle”. Then we’re treated to more of the melodic and electrifying sounds crafted by the quintet in Beyond the Horizon, sounding futuristic and extremely sharp while Allan and Oskari fire some Arch Enemy-inspired riffs accompanied by the whimsical keys by guest Sami Tiittanen; and the rumbling bass jabs by Juhana kick off the vibrant Melodic Death Metal extravaganza titled Ode to Life, featuring guest guitarist Euge Valovirta (CyHra, Godsplague), a song perfect for breaking your neck headbanging where their razor-edged guitars are nicely complemented by all epic background elements.

Gentle piano notes quickly explode into violent and atmospheric Melodic Metal in Eager to Collapse, with Iiro and Juhana bringing thunder and groove to the music while Jouni keeps vociferating rabidly, whereas Resistance is even darker and more epic than its predecessors, led by the vile riffage by Allan and Oskari while their bandmates add an extra touch of progressiveness, rage and heaviness to the overall result, inspiring us all to slam into the circle pit. Spiced up by futuristic background keys and tones, the band offers the thrilling The Hollow Lights, blending their trademark Melodic Death Metal with the most venomous elements from Death and Thrash Metal, flowing majestically until its climatic ending, while in Remain Unbounded the band’s guitar duo shreds their strings mercilessly until Iiro comes crushing with his Black Metal-inspired beats, keeping the song at a high level of violence and alternating between vicious, high-speed moments and more intricate, mid-tempo passages.

Get ready to bang your heads like there’s no tomorrow with Re-Armed in Words Left Unsaid, where the bass punches by Juhana will make your skull tremble while Jouni’s growls and roars sound as heavy as hell from start to finish. Following this vicious onrush of sounds the band brings forward Voyager, another solid composition showcasing all their talent and passion for Scandinavian metal, with Jouni and guest vocalist Micko Hell (Denigrate, Gloomy Grim) making a thrilling metallic duet on vocals while Iiro once again shines with his spot-on drumming. Lastly, Re-Armed conclude such great album of heavy music with another sample of their endless energy and firepower in the form of Built to Last, where Allan and Oskari are in absolute sync with Sami’s keys, therefore building the perfect setting for Jouni to thrive with his wicked gnarls until the song end’s in sheer melancholy.

In order to show your utmost support to those talented metallers from the land of ice and snow, simply follow them on Facebook and on Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel and search for them on Spotify for more of their music, and above all that, purchase your favorite version of Ignis Aeternum from several locations such as the Black Lion Records’ BandCamp page and Big Cartel, from Record Shop X, from the EMP store, from IndieMerchstore or from Apple Music. The title of the album translates from Latin as “eternal fire”, and there’s nothing better to represent life as a fire that never ceases to exist no matter what, giving the entire album an even stronger meaning and purpose and, consequently, keeping Re-Armed’s inner fire also burning for many years to come in their homeland and anywhere else where modern and captivating metal music is truly appreciated.

Best moments of the album: Dive Within, Ode to Life and The Hollow Lights.

Worst moments of the album: Eager to Collapse.

Released in 2020 Black Lion Productions

Track listing
1. Dive Within 4:31
2. Beyond the Horizon 5:12
3. Ode to Life 4:10
4. Eager to Collapse 3:47
5. Resistance 4:34
6. The Hollow Lights 4:27
7. Remain Unbounded 5:17
8. Words Left Unsaid 4:37
9. Voyager 5:22
10. Built to Last 4:57

Band members
Jouni Matilainen – lead vocals
Allan Välimaa – guitars
Oskari Niekka – guitars, backing vocals
Juhana Heinonen – bass, backing vocals
Iiro Karjalainen – drums

Guest musicians
Euge Valovirta – guitars on “Ode to Life”
Micko Hell – additional vocals on “Voyager”
Sami Tiittanen – keyboards
Aapo Salo – orchestra, symphonic arrangements