Mar 212010

Suomalaista Metallia! About a week ago we stumbled headlong over a band from Finland oddly called The Jasser Arafats, and learned they were sharing the stage with the awesome Kalmah last week in Finland. Apart from the strange band name, the album art by V. Nyström from their forthcoming full-length debut was also arresting, and they had a widget that allowed us to listen to four tracks from the album. So we thought, what the hell, let’s listen to what they’re doing. And we liked what we heard and we wrote a short post about it.

That led to contact with the band, and although we couldn’t worm out of them the story behind the band name (more on that later), they did give us an advance listen to the whole album (Condemnation), which is due for an April 14 release on Violent Journey Records.

Listening to all 12 of the album’s tracks confirmed our reaction to the four teasers, and what we wrote a week ago still holds true:  “Press play and it’s like opening the door to a blast furnace of scorching headbangery. There’s a real talent for riffage here, with grooves galore, ridiculously hard rhythms, and top-notch, full-throated, howling vocals.”

The music on Condemnation isn’t what you might expect from a Finnish extreme metal band. It’s a modern, American-style blend of thrash, death metal, and power grooves. Almost all the songs leap out of the box in a thrash-paced assault, with fast, percussive, down-tuned riffing and aggressive drumming. But there are rhythmic variations within each song, and a few (like “Price”) feature pronounced breakdowns.The guitars have got a thick, fuzzed-out quality, and the band has a talent for producing some relentlessly infectious riffs.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »