SOTAJUMALA
"Teloitus"

(Woodcut)

01. Tappaja Ja Tapettu
02. Arkku Vailla Vainajaa
03. Kuolinjulistus
04. Riistetty Viattomuus
05. Verellä Kirjoitettu
06. Oikeutus
07. Kidutus
08. Teloitus

RATING: 7/10

Here is a case of familiarity not breeding contempt, as the death metal style of Finland's SOTAJUMALA (translation: "War God") is one with obvious influences, yet the act pays tribute without complete artistic robbery and does so with personality. "Teloitus" is not the future of death metal; it is simply a sturdy effort that attacks with a crisp, modern sound and one heck of a lot of crunching riffs and machine gunning percussion.

As you may have gathered from the album and song titles, the lyrics of SOTAJUMALA (talk about a mouthful!) are written in Finnish. But unless you are one that scours the lyric sheet for inspiration to turn your fantasies into morbid realities, would you really have understood Mynni Luukkainen's vocals anyway? The front man's growls are craggy and precise at once, a necessity considering the militaristic tightness of the music, the one aspect of the act's sound that brings DECAPITATED to mind. Polish death metal in general often seems to aggress with a certain malice characterized by staccato beats and spiky riffs that stab and slash with pinpoint accuracy, much like those heard on "Teloitus". Overall though, the style heard here is most reminiscent of mid-period MORBID ANGEL, in some cases crossed with a modern VOMITORY vibe (e.g. "Tappaja Ja Tapettu"). In fact, the lumbering riff and pinch harmonic — the latter peppered throughout the disc — vaguely reminds of "Where the Slime Live", albeit with a modern treatment. One can hear the occasional CANNIBAL CORPSE snippet as well. Finally, the guitar soloing is accomplished without suffering from clinical sterility and contrasts trenchantly to the razorblade riffing.

A little groove here and a lot of crush there, "Teloitus" is an album that fans looking for quality death metal that seeks to wreck necks, rather than redefine genres, may be interested in checking out. Heck, it might be your motivation to learn Finnish.

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