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I must say that at the time, when I first heard this album (right after it’s been released) I thought that this band will go much further than they actually did and will get more recognition. Unfortunately, they haven’t really found much of it in the black metal underground, which is a shame, in my opinion, as the album is really great. So, I’ll use the opportunity that I was listening to it for past few days to remind and recommend one of the strongest Finnish black metal gems of this decade. The band is called Calvarium and the album is titled "The Skull of Golgotha". I must admit that originally (in 2005) I got this CD as a promo first, and also did interview with the band for my Panzerfaust fanzine. Soon later I also bought the normal CD version of "The Skull of Golgotha", cause I simply liked the album a lot. Calvarium actually features the members of other Finnish bands, like Molestor Kadotus whom you may know also from Anal Blasphemy, Black Priest of Satan, Musta Kappeli, and Lord Sargofagian, a member of Baptism and Behexen, so these were yet few more reasons to keep an eye on them.
Anyway, I think that this is one of the most underestimated Finnish black metal albums. I can't remember many publications about the band after that album, which is surprising, especially because the musical value of "The Skull of Golgotha" is much bigger than of many more praised Finnish bands, in my opinion, like Sargeist for instance. I think that in many ways "The Skull of Golgotha" is very traditional black metal for Finland. If you dig bands like Flauros, Nightside, Unhola, then I can say that Calvarium is pretty close to those acts. There's not much of primitiveness and raw ferocity of Horna, Sargeist or Behexen here, instead Calvarium opted for better production, many catchy riffs, quite few melodic parts and even the keyboards to enhance the atmosphere. The band actually knows how to handle the instruments. They also diversify the tempos, from slow or midpaced to the bulldozing wall of drum cannonades and that surely makes the music even more interesting and uncompromising. Songwriting is more than just solid, there are plenty of great riffs and songs here in my opinion, like "Jumalviha", which starts with sort of melancholic riffing, which quite smoothly speeds up and becomes more angry, but with remaining the melodic aspect of the music. Another track that catches the attention instantly is the relatively slow paced "Suicide Manifesto" (maybe my favourite track from the album?). But there are also more furious tracks like the excellent "Siunatun Surma" and mercilessly fast "Dedication In Misanthropy". So, yeah, Calvarium really has great songs. One may point out the slight monotony in vocals, but that's rather a detail and the diversified riffing definitely helps to cover that. The lyrics are written half in English and half in Finnish and those which I could read I must say are all deeply satanic and blasphemous and I like the way they've been written. So, there’s really nothing I could complain, "The Skull of Golgotha" is just damn solid and worthy album, check it out then!
"Dead like a priest hung from a tree. Ropes drawn about his armpits. Crows have picked his eyes away, flesh is scarred and ripped to shreds... " ("Morbid Hordes Revenge").