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Atmopheric, aggressive and catchy, but too long - 68%

Lane, February 18th, 2012

Do you fancy atmospheric black metal? Then I should introduce you Vuohivasara (translates to "Goathammer"), a relatively young band from the western coast of Finland, Ostrobothnia, Vaasa. Ostrobothnian people are known for their aggressiveness, and Vuohivasara guys are no different to that, either.

Ghastly, in a good way that is, piano-intro of the opener 'Confinement of the Forlorn' lowers the temperature of a listener's room into chilling levels. Soon the metal is presented and the gates of hell are opened and the riders of doom are unleashed. Vuohivasara sound infallibly like a 90's black metal band. They are offensive, but also possess skill of executing atmospheric elements. Surely, Vuohivasara are influenced by Norwegian second wave black metal bands, but the other part of them is indisputably Finnish. The cold atmosphere is created by cavernous sound, which is both good and bad. Sometimes the guitars wane under loud and massive sound of the drums, and so do the vocals. And the bass? Take a guess. Speaking about vocals, they sound like a mixture of Satyr (Satyricon), Abbath Doom Occulta (Immortal) and Cezar (Christ Agony), so everything is fine there.

'Whiff of Brimstone' shows thrashier element of the band, but also sound 100% Norwegian. It's total Immortal worship, with a hint of 'Nemesis Divina' (1996)! 'Strong Grip of the Lions Paw' show the aggressive side of the band to the maximum. Vuohivasara are able to conjure memorable, but not sugary, melodies throughout the album. 'Baptism of Wisdom' obtains pagan feeling to it, both lyrically and its hollering choir. The longer songs feature enough variety and parts in them, so it won't get repetitive.

While the melodies are catchy and the band sound brutal, it is the drummer who steals the show with his million and one rhythms. Sometimes, the rest of the band sound like they sometimes drop off from the faster tempos, but this is not a major flaw. The sound is a bigger frailty, but it fits the atmosphere, so... Vivid cover art by Juha Vuorma and great nature pictures on the glossy paper booklet give the album solemn impress.

At their best, Vuohivasara are impressive, but the album cannot full interest towards it for its 50 minutes of duration. However, the repeated and shuffling playing show, that the band know what they do. There's nothing new in Vuohivasara's offering, but they do not ape any band directly. Atmopheric, aggressive and catchy, what more could you ask from a 2010 black metal release?

(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2010)