Tuesday, May 10, 2011

AJATTARA - Murhat CD review

Osasto-A Records
Genre: Death/Doom
Rating: 3/5

This is my introduction to Finland's AJATTARA even through they've been pumping out full lengths since 2001 and this is their seventh so fuck me running. Maybe calling them Death Doom is somewhat misleading since these Finns bring a lot to the mixer as far as musical styles go. Opener "Kunnes taivas meid├Ąt erottaa" borders on melodic black metal like DARK FUNERAL until the song breaks into a cleanly sung chorus. I'll give one thing the guitar sound on this cut is cold and brutal like their Swedish neighbors. From the background info on AJATTARA they were not always this way. Supposedly their past releases were more on the Avant-Garde side of the aisle. There are touches of that with some cuts like "Aura" which even leans into the groove metal thang. So is AJATTARA a bunch of gothic dressed Finnish rednecks? Maybe so since the cut which follows it, "Sokea liha", dabbles in the "core" zone for a stretch until it turns into some atmospheric doom break, then it's back to the pit.

The best I can say about Murhat is that it's varied to the point where there's a bit of everything being put upon it. The song "Routalempi" is pure death doom with harsh screaming, growls and even whispers plus chanting. The closer "Veljet" is raw Finnish blackened bliss with some extra crispy doom elements ala AMORPHIS. The only thing missing is the kitchen sink. Normally when I hear a band that throws a bit of everything at you my bullshit detector starts sounding off. But in this band's case it's quiet since there's is a foundation which AJATTARA has obviously built upon over their career. Instead of being "OK this is our doom metal or black metal song". The band simply incorporates everything into their cache. Seeing that there's only one original member, Ruoja on guitars, keyboards and vocals, with the rest joining in 2007 and closer to now then it's obvious to why their sound is not honed into one genre. If I could sum it up with one word I'd say it's "heavy". Unfortunately one word won't cut it especially since the title translates into "murder" and I would not go as far as to say this dink kills. It has a bit a swagger albeit wrapped in a dark metal construct.

Label: http://www.osastoa.com/

Official: http://www.ajattara.fi/

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/ajattara

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