We keep on dwelling in the old school for a while, this time with some crushing death metal by Finnish aggressors Sotajumala. The bandname translates to 'Warlord', so now you should be able to imagine what this music sound like. These are eight brutal battles from an endless war. With highly effective weapons like death growls, pounding drums and intense guitar riffs, these warlords shatter everything in sight, except when you're a member of an audience, then they will overwhelm you with a stunning performance.
I have no idea what the vocalist is growling about by the way. All the lyrics are in Finnish, although you can't always tell that. The deep, guttural vocals by Mynni Luukkainen give the music an extra aggressive touch, even though there's already plenty of aggression to be found. For some reason I'm always glad when I hear the old school death metal vocals in stead of the modern day metalcore version. They simply have a lot more power.
From the very first tones of opener 'Saattajat' I'm reminded of a lot of old school death metal bands like Benediction or Gorefest. Regular shifts in tempo where high energy blasts alternate with slow, crushing passages bring me right back into the g(l)ory days of the genre. In 'Veljen viha' they show a bit of their melodic side, proving that they're not only brutal maniacs but also experienced musicians.
All the right elements are present. 'Kuolemanmarssi' could actually be a tremendous thrash metal anthem, completely with amain guitar solos and an annihilating tempo. This song is immediately followed by 'Elävänä omassa haudassaan', almost turning both songs into one. Here too the thrash elements are clearly present but in a sick, almost blackened approach.
Every single moment of this album is an insolent slap in the listener's face, keeping him firmly into it's grasp and crushing every last bit of energy out. Yet, still this band is full of surprises and you actually never really know what's coming next. 'Riimit lihan säälistä' for instance is quite a surprising song. It differs from the others in some ways, including vocals and high level almost industrial dissonance.
One thing is very certain however, any death metal fan should check this out and will probably embrace this band immediately. After all, there's years of experience in this band. 'Raunioissa' is their fourth full-length, showing an evolved band that knows a thing or two about writing decent metal songs. So yes, I can only recommend this album if you're into that genre. If you're not, Sotajumala will probably annihilate you. You've been warned...