Finnish metal has a rich, illustrious life, as there are so many different sounds the land is known for, and all of it is top notch. From abysmal funeral doom to flashy death and black metal (RIP Alexi Laiho) to gut-crushing death metal that feels like it could corrode, uh, metal, there’s a ton of content. There are expectations, right or wrong, when a band comes from these parts, but that’s what success breeds.
For Revulsion, their entrance into most people’s consciousness comes with their self-titled debut record, their first complete album after spending a decade and a half together. Yeah, one certainly could gleam Finnish fingerprints on their music, but the band also works outside those boundaries and makes death metal that is more akin to their personalities than from where they hail. The band—vocalist Aleksi Huhta, guitarists Jari Toppinen and Jarkko Viitasalo, bassist Tuomas Alatalo, and drummer Atte Karppinen—lays out 10 tracks in 37 minutes, giving you a very meaty serving of what they do best and also keeping things economical so that the music goes down that much better. It’s a really rosing debut record that should have any death metal fan salivating over the possibilities.
“Last Echoes of Life” rumbles into being with a wave of death and deeper growls lurching forward. Crunchy mashing goes into filth and bleeding morbidity, splattering and knifing toward a violent end. “Pyre” delivers riff and rampages through the mud, with growls marring and animalistic power bursting from the seams. The music gets nastier and chunkier, bringing everything to a merciless finish. “Walls” smothers as the band lays waste to your psyche, with the growls crushing, and the chorus creaking into your bloodstream. Again, the dirt gathers and clogs your lungs, bringing mauling tendencies to threaten your safety. “Mustaa Hiiltä” is tempered at first as a thick bassline carves a path, with the pace burning ahead of it. The steady pace also works to scorch flesh as the guitars continue to add to the pressure, and your flesh is left stinging. “Lihaan Sidottu Kirja” launches immediately into a death stomp, pulling things apart as they bring destruction. Heat rises as things get heavy and dangerous, as the track comes to a splattering end.
“Wastelands” has riffs looping in before brutal fury sends rock and lava into the air, and a massive assault comes barreling down. Gut-wrenching playing and equally gross growls chew guts while the track ends abruptly. “Unravel” blends guitars into the burgeoning chaos while the growls sludge, and the track gets thornier. The playing gets numbing and humid as the warmth build and hammers in the final nails. “Silence” brings anything but as the playing is savage as the growls unfurl, and the drumming seeks to blast holes into your skull. The playing tears through your guts as the playing is thrashy, menacing, and raw. “Pawns” explodes from the gates, making your body convulse as vicious growls lather up the intensity. The heat is lowered for just a brief respite before everything is fired up again, bringing this quick one to a punishing end. “Viimeinen Rituaali” is your closer, bringing thick riffs, sickening growls, and even a dive toward doomy waters. The melody stretches its wings as the band clobbers you, destroying limbs as the track ends in a scream-filled sound pit.
Revulsion’s debut took about 15 years to get into our hands, but the wait was more than worth it for this slab of death metal that has heavy Finnish traits but isn’t subservient to the past. Everything here feels fresh and vital, even if they aren’t necessarily reinventing the wheel, and this thing legit has zero fat attached to it. This is a grisly, menacing debut album, an excellent first stab at a full-length that leaves you sore in the best possible way.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/RevulsionFin
To buy the album (U.S.), go here: https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/
Or here (International): https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.de/shop-en_1
For more on the label, go here: https://tometal.com/