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Thrash From Finland? - 89%

tidalforce79, December 16th, 2018

The first time I heard about Statue, I was surprised at the band’s place of origin. I consider myself to have a fairly extensive knowledge of thrash, but I can’t think of another band in the genre that are Finnish in origin: I might just be drawing a blank. Regardless of where these thrashers originated, it’s a shame they had such a short career. While I wouldn’t put this album in the same league as “Forward to Termination” or “Demon Preacher,” it’s certainly better than a huge majority of albums in a genre flooded with cookie cutter material.

Statue’s main strength is that they are fairly unique. Amidst Slayer clones and Metallica worshipers, it’s nice to hear a band that sounds different. Perhaps there are other artists that share the band’s style, but a million names won’t pop into the listener’s mind when they hit the play button. Maybe the lack of familiarity in Statue’s sound is due to the fact they are late comers to the scene-in other words; they were trying something different.

Point of fact: Face the Life, the first song on the album, has almost a groove oriented intro riff. The listener is left wondering if he or she should bob their head from side to side or raise the devil’s horns and head bang. As the intro fades into the main riff, it becomes clear the latter is more appropriate, yet the groove leaves a lasting impression. No, it’s not like the highly overrated Pantera; but rather, a tasteful addition to the crushing, mid-paced, six-string assault: think celery in your Bloody Mary, or red pepper in your pizza-the groove doesn’t overpower the tasteful “chug.”

When track two begins (with another fairly unique into), it becomes apparent that Statue likes to maintain a moderate tempo. The fantastic Finns favor a pace more consistent with “Bonded By Blood”, than “Reign in Blood.” Such is perfectly acceptable, for bands shouldn’t play at three hundred beats per minute just for the sake of speed. Acts such as Dark Angel or Sepultura sound good at blazing tempos, but Statue would not: and they have the tact to realize it. The tinges of “catchy” infused into their sound would be negated at hyper-speed tempos.

Song craft is where many bands fail, but Statue has the art form pegged. Sandwiched between excellent tunes, are good ones. Not a single bad song can be found on the album, but “Up and Down” and “For Your Country” are a weaker for sure: leaving somewhat of a gap in quality for a brief time. Likewise, the closing instrumental is nice, but not overly impressive.

Production wise, Comes to Life is pretty damn solid for an unknown thrash band. For one, the bass is audible: quite uncommon in thrash. Accolade number two-thick, punishing guitars. The drums are well produced, but the snare lacks a “snap” that would accent the meaty guitar tone. Finally, the vocals fit nicely into the mix-not too high, not too low.

In terms of musicianship, Statue passes the test, but never treads on thin ice with over-technicality. The riffs are delivered with precision and are not overly simplistic. Audible bass tracks really add a nice touch to the overall sound, for the listener can actually hear another layer of solid rhythm patterns to accompany a skilled, though not monumentally talented drummer. Good old Ari’s vocals are pretty good for the genre: not the best, but never annoying. Statue has all their ducks in a row.

What more can be said? Statue is relatively unknown, but released a collection of songs that pisses on hundreds of thrash albums I’ve heard.