Upon receiving this CD I was pleased to discover that UHRILEHTO contain two members from PESTIFEROUS, another Finnish Black Metal band with whom I was greatly impressed. Hoping for something similar I was surprised yes, but far from disappointed…
The album opens with a misleading, straightforward, Black Metal blast with the appropriate underlying cold melody. However, it doesn’t take long for the true nature of the band to assert itself. The similarities with their countrymen HORNA go much deeper than unpronounceable song titles, as “Ihmisvihan Eliitti” perfectly captures the same quality of sharp, head-banging grooves. Their intensity however, is more like BEHEXEN and has that same fresh, crunchy edge.
Underneath the frantic Black Metal is a layer of pure old-school Death Metal, with all the ferocity and rotten filth of the 80’s. However, this has been galvanised with a new blackened coat of equally depraved modernity through the layering of inventive melodies that span wide a range of influences. Some of which recent AKERCOCKE would be proud to call their own. Still, not all is well, as some of their melodies can be a little slap-dash and ruin any pretence of atmosphere. Moreover, some are just so enigmatic and tantalisingly strange that they will either impress or alienate many listeners. Unfortunately, I stray towards the later a few too many times for comfort.
Their old-school blasting shows the perfect blend of atmosphere and ferocity and their grooves are some of the best I’ve heard since GORGOROTH’s seminal early work. Even the modern aspects are worthy when taken on their own, unfortunately that is the key problem. Not enough has been done to incorporate some of the more refreshing and ingenious passages into their traditional sound. Maybe it’s all just a little too clumsy, or, more likely, it’s just not something I find overly appealing. Indeed, individually the sections reek of blackened brilliance, but perhaps it just shouldn’t go together. (Online April 6, 2006)