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A rival for Bolt Thrower - 83%

MacMoney, September 14th, 2004

Quite a few people know Finnish death metal of the early nineties but not many outside of the country know the current bands. Sotajumala is one of those upcoming bands. They released their debut full-length in the beginning of this year, three years after this demo. There have been quite a few line-up changes, most importantly, the band had a different vocalist on this release and it can definitely be heard. Mr. Lastu's vocals are much deeper than 105's and he doesn't do any high screeches which I consider a plus since those don't go well with death metal. Sotajumala's style on this album was quite chaotic, full-on, blastheavy death metal, not that unsimilar with the faster moments on Immolation's Close to a World Below. At times the music is brought under control like on the chorus of Sotajumala which is the highlight of this demo. Lastu's deep and brutal vocals combined with the crushing war machine that is the three guitar onslaught of Sotajumala won't leave anyone alive.

What contributes most to the chaotic atmosphere of the album is the hectic drumming of A. Romo. During the blast-sections, he tends to throw in fill after fill which makes them even more frantic and disorganized. This is not necessarily a bad thing since it goes rather well with Sotajumala's portraying of war. The band's three guitar attack is also worthy of mention even if it isn't used that much on the album. There are a couple of short sections where two guitars are playing lead and the third one plays rhythm underneath. It was more impressive live. Too bad they only have two guitarists these days. The three guitars would be utilized much more on the later releases. This one doesn't even have that many solos. A shame since on later releases Sotajumala have proved that their sense of lead guitaring is quite excellent. The band would grow from this point on getting better even though the title track of this release remains their best song ever.