All posts by Tommi Ilmanen

Triptykon: Melana Chasmata

Triptykon
Melana Chasmata
Century Media

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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! Continue reading

Edguy: Space Police – Defenders of the Crown

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. Continue reading

Teitanblood: Death

Teitanblood
Death
Norma Evangelium Diaboli, 2014

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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. Continue reading

Valkyrja: The Antagonist’s Fire

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. Continue reading

Mantar: Death by Burning

Mantar
Death by Burning
Svart Records, 2014

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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. Continue reading

Innsmouth: Consumed by Elder Sign

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. Continue reading

Magenta Harvest: Volatile Waters

Magenta Harvest
Volatile Waters
Inverse Records, 2014

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For starters, let’s make one thing clear here: …and Oceans has always been – and still is – the most important band for me considering metal music. Consequentially, the debut album of Magenta Harvest appealed to me more than enough, as the band originally started as a duo consisting of two ex-members of this personal all-time-favorite group of mine. And should the claims on their bio be true, the music on Volatile Waters could be just mind-exploding, as its basis is said to lie on the same musical fields that …and Oceans roamed around in ’95. Continue reading

Glorior Belli: Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls

Glorior Belli
Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls
Agonia Records, 2013

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I’d like to see myself as a rather open-minded person considering music.  When I’m searching for and listening to some new bands and artists, I prefer to give my attention to those who have something fresh and original in their music.  For example, even though the debut album of Impaled Nazarene is a masterpiece, there is no point in making a replica of it.  Why reinvent the wheel when you can craft something of your own?

That being said, everything has its limits.  Some borders are not meant to be crossed, and some musical genres are not meant to be mixed together.

The name Glorior Belli was somewhat familiar to me before listening to Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls, so I really didn’t know for sure what to expect.  But upon hearing that their newer material should be a mixture of black metal, stoner and southern rock – all of which I highly enjoy – a shadow of skepticism started creeping up my back; can this ever work properly throughout a full-length release?  So, for the sake of open-mindedness, I decided to give this album a fair chance to prove my preconception wrong. Continue reading