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Impressive dark music! - 81%

WitheringToSerenity, March 21st, 2004

Ajattara is Pasi Koskinen's(aka Rouja) new side project and ultimately the reason I decided to even give this band a try. I must say I was pleasantly surprised although Rouja has failed to disappoint before. Not instantly categorizable, I would best describe it as dark/haunting metal with extreme vocal elements. The best way I can describe the vocals are a cryptic mixture of black scream/death growl with very few clean vocal passages(mostly on last track). What is most shocking is that the guitars on this album are surprisingly slow-mid tempo which eliminates any death/black comparison but ultimately its the haunting keyboards and Rouja's unique vocals that define the bands sound on this album.

A few complaints I have include song lengths, simplicity and repetition within each song. I suppose simplicity is somewhat essential for this sound but they could have made the tracks a bit longer than 3 minutes a piece. The keyboards add a darker, more ethereal atmosphere but if you remove them guitar riffs could range from doom, to mid tempo metal to what could possibly be considered the occasional standard nu metal riffage. Through all this, I find the music to be surprisingly catchy and certainly an enjoyable listen. Ajattara have went their own way and not tried to create a traditional imitator extreme band and that I commend them for. Rouja's new side project has certainly created a niche because there are no immediate comparable bands so if you are looking for almost a dark and spooky type metal that makes Coal Chamber look like boy(girl) scouts, give this a try. Recommendations : Antaka Elaa, Ikiyossa and Rauhassa. Encourage doom fans in particular to check out Helvetissa on Syntisen Taivas.