Sadistik Forest mash with their brand of death metal on vicious stopgap EP ‘Obscure Old Remains’

Few things are as vile and disgusting as Finnish death metal, a form that has a definitive DNA you practically can smell coming and that always finds a way to deliver quality. It just feels more sinister than most other forms of death, almost like it’s rotting your guts and your brain at the same time, lurching toward you like an old zombie intent on making you a meal.

Another solid entry from that contingent is Sadistik Forest, a band that’s been plying their destructive trade for nearly a decade and a half, reminding the world just how formidable their country’s blend happens to be. They’re back with a quick EP “Obscure Old Remains,” a sort of stop gap after 2018’s “Morbid Majesties” and whatever comes next, but this is no pit stop you can just ignore. It’s a ferocious four-track (well, technically five, but read on) explosion that the band—vocalist/bassist Markus Makkonen, guitarists Antti Heikkinen and Jarkko Lahtinen, drummer Vesa Mutka—turns into a furious, bloody, and filthy display that demonstrates that their teeth are getting sharper, their bloodthirst thickening as they plot their next moves.

“Mandragore” begins with drums pummeling and filthy riffs that tear everything apart. Fiery growls destroy as the vicious bass rams through the gates, the guitars twist steel, and the ending is destructive as hell. “Barbarian” twists guts as the playing jolts with power, feeling vicious and mashing. Ugly growls tear into flesh as the leads go wild, speed combines with melody, and the hammering force bleeds out. “Nihil” fades in but wastes no time stomping all over everything, leading to gut-wrenching shrieks and a thrashy tempo. The body is fast and crunchy, the bass and drums team up to maim, and the guitars cut through the center, leading to an explosion. Things gets muddy and remain clobbering, ushering in warm leads that feel like flowing blood. “Waters Black” seemingly ends things as it’s the last listed song. Doom slithers as sludgy riffs pump their chest, and a gargantuan assault starts to blacken eyes. Amid the corrosion come swaggering riffs, forceful growls, and more doom humidity, working into a slowly moving, pulverizing assault that fades into darkness, making you think things are over. Yet after about 10 seconds of silence comes something you could blink and miss, their cover of the Napalm Death classic “You Suffer,” all 3 seconds of it. Nice touch. I popped.

Sadistik Forest continue their spiral deep into death metal’s rotting guts and putrid wounds, which this stellar EP “Obscure Old Remains” aims to accomplish. It’s mangling, gross, and oddly catchy, a burst of death metal you won’t mind chewing, strange taste aside. This stopgap between records is packed with bloody carnage, and if it’s an indication as to what’s coming, their future is going to be violent.    

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