Ajattara - Murhat
Osasto-A Records
9 songs (31:47)
Release year: 2011
Ajattara, Osasto-A Records
Reviewed by Charles
Ajattara’s last album was Noitumaa, a bloody marvellous (whatever moaners might say) piece of ‘acoustic folk’ which really was nothing of the sort. Surely one of the most unique, and the funnest, black metal experimentations with acoustic ideas, it eschewed the serious-faced ancestral channellings that have been a part of the genre since its beginnings, and produced a stomping, surreally danceable tirade of enthusiastic twanging and shouting. With Murhat, though, they have returned to the sound of the records preceding that- but in a modified form. This is a slow album, greatly expanding the myriad doom metal influences that were hinted at on the debut Itse (the only other album of theirs I own, I must admit) to good effect.

Thus, Murhat opens with the standard-issue blasting meloblack of Kunnes taivas meidät erottaa, in which the Dissection-like charge is disrupted only by the jolting and slightly unwelcome grunge-rock choruses. But after this, Ajattara switch down a gear and largely stay there. First there is the headbanging mid-tempo groove of Ihmisen Luku, with the drums rocking a backbeat as if they were auditioning for Pantera. The vocals feel surprisingly appropriate for this sort of thing: on Noitumaa their rhythmic bark gave a pounding, grooving sensibility to their acoustic riff-twangs, and it has the comparable effect of making these doomy grooves seem credible here, too.

And in this way it continues: the pace picks up briefly with the odd (perhaps ill advised) alternative metal tones of Aura, but the memory of that curiosity is drowned in the viscous treacle surrounding it: the gnarly doom-death of Sokea Liha, the weird gothic sway of Routalempi or the fist-waving stamp of Murheiden Kilta, the latter replete with the interjections of belching Cannibal Corpse vocals. The record veers between shameless crowd pleasing (e.g. the ‘Oy! Oy!’ chanting of closer Veljet and more adventurous offerings, which suggest a desire to emulate the masters of walking-pace metal from a host of different scenes. So H.A.I. raises intriguing spectres, evoking Triptykon in the titanic calibre of its down-tempo grooves, and inspired Baton Rouge sludgies Thou in the washed out, grimy melody that sinks solemnly into the funereal riffs.

So, a strong album, all told. Compared to the chin-stroking weight of today’s more cerebral black metal it could feel a little ephemeral, for sure, but it is no bad thing to inject a sense of fun from time to time.

Killing Songs :
H.A.I., Veljet
Charles quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Ajattara that we have reviewed:
Ajattara - Noitumaa reviewed by Charles and quoted
Ajattara - Itse reviewed by Joe and quoted 70 / 100
Ajattara - Kuolema reviewed by Crims and quoted 83 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:51 pm
View and Post comments