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Still the same, hallelujah - 99%

sataa, February 5th, 2011

Waiting for this album I was pretty afraid of possible changes that may strike the band’s style. I wondered whether Pasi Koskinen cares about critique and if all those withering opinions about Kalmanto and Noitumaa moved him somehow. But now I’m relieved to see that they did not.

Yes, I’m saying that those severely criticized releases are of exactly the same quality as the previous ones. I’ve listened to each of their songs many times and I do not see (or rather I should say: hear) any difference of quality. To say Ajattara are doing the same stuff all the time is true. But it doesn’t mean stagnation (show me two songs which are hard to tell apart! Impossible; each is different, each is great or at least good), it means having their own style. Absolutely unique style. To change it would be to lose it (it frequently happens to bands who evolve). Moreover, when something is perfect already changing it would mean making it worse. And to me Ajattara is perfect.

What about Murhat then? It is way too short and that would be all about its faults. And music is as it has always been: very simple. Songs usually built around one main riff (Sokea Liha would be the best example) and drums… well, even I could become Malakis V, after some practice. And still – they are brilliant, damn heavy, hypnotic and strangely beautiful. I’d never say Ajattara’s music evokes aggression. Its tempo is too slow for this. It feels rather like being slapped in the face while stoned: you feel dazzled and weirdly pleased, not in pain.

The pleasure is even deeper thanks to Koskinen’s vocals. They’re amazing, a mixture of growling, hissing and whisper which sends shivers down your spine. I consider him the most skilled metal vocalist ever. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did those strange, sounding like coming from an abyss, vocals on Murheiden Kilta himself. His clean vocals are nice but its good he does not overuse them here (they appear in two songs only); at least it is not Amorphis. And of course one must mention the specific vomit-like sounds that appear in Ajattara’s songs from time to time; here in Ihmisen Luku. Very inspiring, really.

Although I like each song, there are three especially remarkable. These are Aura, Sokea Liha and Veljet. All are relatively vivid but each in a different way. Aura, my personal favourite here, has a very exotic, oriental feeling. Sokea Liha is a bit thrashy and hearing its beginning I’d never guess It’s Ajattara. And the chorus of Veljet with its repetitions of “ei” and “pois” just makes you feel like jumping.

Most of remarks above may be as well applied to any of their albums. I’m fine with that and don’t want anything new in this band. This is how I see Ajattara and how I want them to be.