Thursday, February 17, 2011

OK, JUST LET ME GET THIS OUT OF MY SYSTEM...


Ah, Finland. Eastern Europe's hanging scrote, land of snow and wolves, land of reindeer and Santa Claus, land of plenty, home of the Dudesons.

Finland was historically a part of Sweden and from 1809 on, an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire. Finnish Declaration of Independence from Russia in 1917 was followed by a civil war, wars against the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and a period of official neutrality during the Cold War. Finland joined the United Nations in 1955, the OECD in 1969, the European Union in 1995, and the eurozone since its inception.

Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s. Thereafter, economic development was rapid, Finland built an extensive welfare state and balanced between the East and the West in global economics and politics. The country tops continuously the international comparisons of national performance. Finland ranks the best country in the world in the 2010 Newsweek survey based on health, economic dynamism, education, political environment and quality of life. Finland has also been ranked the second most stable country in the world and the first in the 2009 Legatum Prosperity rating. In 2010, the World Economic Forum deemed Finland the 7th most competitive country in the world. Finland is currently ranked as having the 3rd highest graduation rate, percentage of graduates to the population at the typical age of graduation, in the OECD Factbook 2010.

Somehow, all of this information translates to really awesome metal.

You guys know I've been on a major Finnish DM bender, and I apologize for pounding the fact into your heads so incessantly. Please allow me to purge just one last time today, and then I swear I'll take a little break. Really. I promise.
A half dozen more records should do it...


ABHORRENCE - SELF-TITLED EP (1990)


Contained herein are the earliest rumblings of Finnish death metal, poorly recorded and shoddily distributed, but nonetheless full of passion, malice, and evil. 4 songs of pure malevolence, all of them displaying the pratfalls of The Late 80's/Early 90's Demo--wobbly, overdriven guitars, tinny drums, recorded-in-a-toilet vocals--but this thing still CRUSHES, and acts as a place-marker for all good things to come. Abhorrence only managed to produce this and one other demo (Vulgar Necrolatry), but their legacy endures to this day. One listen to this 7" will confirm why.

Download HERE

Metallum/Last.FM


FUNEBRE - CHILDREN OF THE SCORN (1991)


Another early mission statement from the Finnish underground, Funebre's uh... cleverly? named Children of The Scorn also suffers from a slight case of under-production, but ups the bar on weirdness and composition, surpassing Abhorrence in the Guitar Wizardry Department but still remaining grounded and pleasantly filthy. These guys actually split up shortly after the release of this album (their only full-length), but also left a short trail of demos and an EP (going back to '89) before it. A brief run, but a fucking solid one, to be sure.

Download HERE

Metallum/Last.FM


THERGOTHON - FHTAGN-NAGH YOG-SOTHOTH Demo (1991)

Above: Re-issue cover art. Below right: Original demo artwork.

Thergothon is definitely the "odd man out" in this post, as their pioneering brand of funeral doom shares only a few common elements with the "death metal" genre: the guttural vocals, the crushing, down-tuned guitars, the murk, the anguish... But I felt compelled to include it anyhow. Fhtagn-Nagh Yog-Sothoth is an article of pure pain and depression, garnished with delicious slices of Lovecraftian concepts and imagery. My pre-emptive apologies to Mr. Abdul Alhazred (who I'm almost positive has posted this demo in the past) for trodding ground firmly established as his, as Thergothon is first and foremost Swamp-Fodder that I have no business toying with. But hey, we've gotta cross swords every now and then, right?

Download HERE

Metallum/Last.FM


CONVULSE - WORLD WITHOUT GOD (1992)


Convulse's World Without God is an undeniable classic, an album that, along with Demilich's Nespithe and Demigod's Slumber of Sullen Eyes, formed the unholy tripod that all Finnish metal would build upon in the future. It's dirtier and grind-ier than Sullen Eyes, it's a little more straightforward than Nespithe, it's the middle ground--the peanut butter to Demigod's whitebread stomp and Demilich's psychedelic jelly. I've used the term before, but World Without God truly is chicken soup for the Hessian soul: warm, chunky, and nourishing in every way.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE

Metallum/Last.FM


SENTENCED - NORTH FROM HERE (1993)


Probably my favorite album out of the six posted here today, Sentenced's North From Here expands on the classic Finnish DM formula by adding a healthy dose of progged-up techical thrash, creating and end product both viscerally crushing and cerebrally challenging. Impressive structures and twisted riffs, definitely a formidable statement for any band circa 1993. Sentenced, of course, went downhill from here on out, but I'll be GODDAMNED if this fucker doesn't withstand the test of time.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE

Metallum/Last.FM


DEPRAVITY - SILENCE OF THE CENTURIES EP (1993)


Sounds exactly like the cover looks.

Download HERE

Metallum/Last.FM

8 comments:

SEANFORD said...

the dude in the beherit shirt is actually shelby.

m said...

Fuck YES!!!!! Finland is often left out of the equation because let's face the music, a lot of shitty music comes out of that country. But Funebre and Thergothon? Don't get no better than that. They have some pretty awesome folk music as well.

Nekromantis said...

Since you mentioned Thergothon I have to namedrop Skepticism and Unholy just as well. The funeral doom thing used to be really thriving here. However we are overlooking the vast majority of finnish metal now because this is also the land of smooth metal - could something like Northern Kings come out from any other country in the world?

Nekromantis said...

Well maybe Italy.

Shelby Cobras said...

Shit, man. I never even knew you're located in Finland. Epic.

PS Why you gotta call attention to my Bathory shirt while the child molester to my right goes unpunished???

Alex_P said...

So many greats here. I <3 Abhorrence. I'd been looking for the Thergothon demo... thanks.

abdul alhazred said...

Shelby, I did indeed post that Thergothon demo at some point, but the madness is for sharing, not hoarding! I second the Skepticism and Unholy plugs, too, and look forward into diving into some of this other stuff...

Shrike said...

Just a quick word (I was googling for images of the Demonic Death Judge/Semtex/Frogskin split CD cover and for some reason Abhorrence EP cover was there) from the vocalist of Abhorrence contained in the aforementioned Abhorrence.

Svart Records is putting out a collection of our stuff on vinyl, later on CD as well. The sound is something thats been given specific thought and we're trying to make it sound the best we can (especially without masters, it's a bit of an 'challenge').
Anyway, thanks for the kinds words.

Also, Funebre's LP is kinda crappy compared to their demos. "Cranial Torment" was the shit! THE SHIT I tell you!

Regards, Shrike a.k.a. Jukka K.