Released: 2003, Sakara Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
What do we have on menu next? Mokoma from Finland who play Thrash Metal sung in... Finnish?! Whatta fuck...!!? Well, that was my first, kind of ´natural reaction´ when I started becoming familiar with this Finnish metal act little by little who obviously thought that Finnish as a language would work out just fine in a ferocious Thrash Metal –tinged album that was said to have similar riffs that are typical to the Frisco thrashers Slayer, f.ex. Straight comparisons to Slayer made me even more skeptical and curious about them, so I simply had to find out how Mokoma´s new sounds like. Relatively soon, however, I got to hear a very thrashy taster in advance for Mokoma´s 3rd full-length album titled KURIMUS through their website where they had a mp3-single called “Takatalvi” available for a free download. “Takatalvi” took me by quite a surprise by its intense Thrash –riffing, a very fast tempo and absolutely spoke for some great volumes about the band´s strong addiction to thrash out a little bit via their new songs. My hopes for their new album KURIMUS started running pretty damn high, I can tell...
As a next rational reaction, I of course wanted to hear more songs from them in order to make myself convinced whether Mokoma could be a real thing or not...
So I contacted their label and asked for a free copy for a review in Metal-Rules.com. A couple of days later, their CD arrived in my mail and my fingers started to rip the package open nervously while I was thinking at the very same time, could it be ´Thrash Metal´ the way I was secretly hoping for. Well, one of the first things that I noticed about Mokoma´s new album, was the average length of their songs. They had recorded 11 songs for KURIMUS off which 9 songs were under 5-minute long, so that was definitely the first good sign about the whole album. In fact, 6 songs out of KURIMUS were approx. 3-minutes in length, so I started to think what if... Could it be...? Somehow, secretly again, of course, I started to expect nearly as similar intensity and aggressiveness that was captured inside to now Slayer´s legendary Thrash –opus REIGN IN BLOOD. Well, in all honesty, Mokoma couldn´t ever record such an album; I think no one will record such an album ever again – HELL...!!, not even the genius, original creators of that classic Thrash Metal milestone!!
But anyway, lets´ see... Mokoma has a somewhat good selection of songs on this particular release that easily go under a Thrash Metal category. Songs as “Takatalvi”, “Houkka”, “Vainottu”, “Punainen Kukko” and “Väsynyt Atlas” are nothing more than ragingly attacking pieces of sheer ´80s Thrash Metal revival from start to finish, whipping and punching you determinedly merciless below your navel the way just like ´in the good´n´old days´ when Thrash was Thrash (the Bay Area –flavored mostly, tho...), trash was separated from Thrash and just vice versa if you so wished. However, this is exactly how I wanted this album to be. Bands like the aforementioned Slayer – and then Forbidden and Anthrax comes to my mind occasionally on the top of the pile when listening to those particular songs. It comes more than obvious very soon that these fellows know their Thrash –roots; I believe when they were just kids they were all inspired strongly by their US Speed – and Thrash Metal acts mostly and spinning their albums constantly on their record players with a burning yet overwhelmingly curious passion. I assume that´s exactly what they did ´coz otherwise it´s a bit too difficult task to include this many sheer Thrash –parts for just one album.
As for rest of the songs on KURIMUS, well, songs like “Mene ja Tiedä”, “Kasvot Kohti Itää” and “Tämä Puoli”, f.ex., can also be considered as Thrash –songs, churned out in a more melodic and mid-tempo forms, tho. However, I still prefer songs like “Punainen Kukko” or “Väsynyt Atlas” over the band´s slower cuts. As a matter of speaking, I had just wished the whole album could have been into vein of these two latter mentioned songs, being a huge Slayer –fan that I am, he!
In summa summarum, KURIMUS is probably the most convincing and most surprising Thrash Metal album recorded by a Finnish metal band. If I had to power to decide how Mokoma´s next album could be like song-wise, there will hopefully be more songs into vein of “Punainen Kukko” and “Väsynyt Atlas” – and a more serious Slayeresque approach could be taken towards the king of all Thrash Metal albums, REIGN IN BLOOD. Just show us guys what you can really do with your next album. And consider this as a challenge for you guys as well... (*wink*)