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Adequate, competent black metal - 79%

Ilwhyan, April 3rd, 2012

Musta Surma is a fairly typical Finnish black metal band of raw, callous sounds, merciless riffing style and vicious, sinister atmosphere. Musta Surma's album "Kaiken Pyhän Raunioilla" is situated somewhere in the middle of trademark Finnish abundant melodicism and the complete absence of melodic elements, borrowing some elements from the melodic side, but mainly leaning towards the merciless, cold style. The most apt comparisons to countrymate bands would be Behexen and Horna. The incredible ugliness of some Behexen material is absent, as is the ingeniuous melodicism, but the occult atmosphere is well prevalent. Said atmosphere is also common in Horna's music, which tends to represent a more abrasive breed of black metal even at its most melodic, which is an approach Musta Surma certainly adheres to. As opposed to Horna, however, this Musta Surma EP hardly becomes radiant and bright at its most melodic, as even the melodies here are thoroughly dark.

The music is fairly simplistic and one-dimensional, but quite enjoyable. The riffing is imposing, dark and conveys feelings if impending doom and utter darkness. The screams are quite reminiscent of Hoath Torog's on the first Behexen full-length – high-pitched and impish; not immensely convincing but adequately outlandish to qualify as evil, yet controlled and disciplined enough to remain listenable and serious – and the riffs are quite noticeably inspired by the same, if they are considerably less intricate and more pronounced in thorough darkness and less in emotive melodicism. The title track, which opens the EP, consists of a handful of mid-paced simple riffs, none particularly inspiring or evocative, but all of adequate quality, and wholly entertaining, if in part so due to the excellent production, which is raw, yet not bereft of clarity, and delightfully abrasive in its distorted and very pronounced trebles. "Kun Pahuus Polttaa Hyvyyden" is otherwise quite similar to the opener, but halfway it bursts into an intense section of blastbeats with distressed, tenebrous and evil tremolo-picked riffing. Kalman kutsu is the most plodding of the three; it variates between speedier rhythms and slower beats in some passages, but never displays the frenzied side heard in the second track.

"Kaiken Pyhän Raunioilla" is completely passable and enjoyable, but due to the lack of truly captivating material, it works mostly as a black metal snack rather than a satiating meal. The production is quite laudable, and with all material and musicianship on the album being of at least adequate quality, the EP is warmly recommended to connoisseurs of black metal.