HardReviews 3
by Martin Popoff

Liberation = Termination (Listenable)

These plucky Finns prove once again that the real progressive rock is housed within metal, and extreme metal at that. Take the solo section and its skyscraper arrangement of 'The Animal Within', where this six-piece loads up and layers their militaristic Gothenburg death thrash with all manner of keyboards and blistering note densities. And onward we go, vaulted cathedrals of sound, much of it faster and heavier than the sum total of the band's first two albums, a neo-French thrash vibe entering the expert fray. Of note guitarist and chief writer Jori Haukio has since left the band, so one expects the slightly above average variety between albums for this bunch to continue. Still, for now, what you get is a mechanistic, almost impossibly crammed-full (synthetic?) album of highly technical thrash topped with plentiful Bodom-ish keyboard tones. Highlight: 'Sinners Defeat' which roars despite a strange and strings-ish keys sound up top, and Portnoy-ish cymbal work all around the crispy-fried edges.
Rating 7.5

Dead Again (SPV)

Drugged and destined for death... this is the impression out there worried fans have for our man Pete. Which puts extra gangrenous rot on the Type O world, not that it ever needed extra reason to decay and talk about it. A suspicious multitude of voices and vocal tricks are all over this sprawling 78 minute opus from the laconic ones, but other than that, Dead Again is a typical record of ugly music rancid butter-churned just because they can. Dirges turn simple punk, guitars buzz like they've eaten through the cones, time is suspended, the centre cannot hold, or however that goes. Opacity is embraced for a lark, or because Kenny's nature is to fill the void. There is no let-up until 'September Sun' an abrasive ballad which reads like Pete' epitaph. Ad infinitum into a record of evident, accessible green cores slopped in black performances and production choices until yer pulled into the vortex of the band's half dozen characteristics no one else dare think they can steal. So yeah, there's lots here, including the Sabbath doom and the dark part of the Beatles, all loaded into the din of the band's garbage bin. Oh yeah, and the lyrics are amazing, colourful yet to the point, clear and graphic, although you're forced to hear them while reading them, on account of the backward 3-shaped e's, backward n's, backward r's and Cyrillic a's (did I miss anything?). Cross-shaped booklet too, like the Danzig and one other that I currently forget.
Rating 8

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