ADVENT OF FIRE – Verikaste
Dark, rumbling, and raw death from the murky depths of Finland is what we are dealing with here and this is my first encounter with quintet but given that the band is relatively new and have only released a number of demos prior to this ugly 9-track effort of theirs, that is perhaps understandable. Anyway, "Verikaste" is very much an energetic take on old-school death metal where you get an abundance of jackhammer riffs, diverse vocals from the hellish depths, a heavy rhythm section, and a sinister aura.
It is relatively straightforward stuff, and these fuckers offer no huge surprises as such, but their songs are well-written and easily digestible, and listening to malevolent pieces ala the pulverizing "Petos" and the title track remind me of why I feel in love with death metal and thrash metal in the first place. Other headbanging delights include the partly slow, melodic ,and even epic-like "Koston Päivä" and the face-melting "Saalis". The latter shows the ensemble at their most ferocious and unhinged, and I must say that I find that one pretty fucking appealing and simply right up my alley. That frantic and chaotic vibe is simply glorious. The CD version that I have here contains two bonus songs – one of which is a cover version of Black Sabbath’s majestic "Heaven and Hell". Frankly, both of them are horrendous, but the Sabbath cover is absolutely dreadful and we should probably just leave it at that. So yeah, you do not need the bonus tracks.
"Verikaste" embodies all the charms of catchy and accessible death metal and is generally rather efficient with respect to evoking that jet black atmosphere of old. Unlike the crappy album artwork, the music is entertaining and good so you should probably check it out.