Today’s review will start with a short lesson in the Finnish language. SOTAJUMALA translates to wargod and is indeed a fitting name on the music found on "Death Metal Finland". The music could best be described as a tank rolling onwards to battle and therefore I think the cover picture is very fitting as well, as it shows a tank rolling down whatever stands in its way. Every song deals with war one way or the other, just type the song titles into an online translator to understand what the songs are all about. As every song is sung in their mother tongue, a translator of some kind is essential if you are interested in getting the most out of the lyrics. Some may see lyrics in Finnish as a flaw, but I see it as one of SOTAJUMALA's strengths. The lyrics are spitted out with a speed that equals a machine gun, matching the machine gun riffing and drumming perfectly.
"Death Metal Finland" is a record that I think every Death Metal fan should give a listen to. I've read several different reviews of it and there has been a quite mixed response to the work of these Finnish warmongers. Some dislike it, others are indifferent and then there's people like me who really find something worth raising the fist for. As a start I would like to state that the members of SOTAJUMALA are absolutely brilliant at their instruments. If SOTAJUMALA indeed was a tank, it would be one that fired on all cylinders, with every crew member fully focused on the battle. Most of the time the tank is moving on fast forward, crushing everything on its way, but other time the gears are shifted down to avoid overheating. Some of the complaints that those who didn't like it had, was that it was too much of the same, too little variation in other words. I can't support those statements. With a playing time just above 30 minutes, the slowdowns that are present are enough to keep my interest up all the way through.
Some of the riffs have some of the same groove that can be found on ILLDISPOSED records, the difference is the speed it's played at. Headbanging to some of these riffs could make your head depart from the body. As a guitar solo enthusiast, especially those of SLAYER, I find it heart-warming to hear the quality of the solos on "Death Metal Finland". As I mentioned SLAYER I must say that the solos that SOTAJUMALA use aren't really like the ones SLAYER are doing. I just felt for mentioning SLAYER, can they ever be mentioned enough? Anyway, the solos on "Death Metal Finland" are excellent and the same goes for the riffing.
I find it unnecessary to mention any favourite song on "Death Metal Finland" because the whole record is a favourite. I think it's strange that this record hasn't been embraced by the Death Metal community, as I find it to be one of the best Death Metal records released in this century so far. Sota Forever! (Online July 27, 2005)