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Totems Within
January 2007
Released: 2006, Self-financed
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

One of the finest and most talented Finnish Death Metal bands back from the day, Phlegethon, have been resurrected by two former members of the band, Lasse Pyykkö (on vocals and guitar) and Juha Tykkyläinen (´Lava Poetry´ - please don´t ask what is that as I have no idea?!), recruiting Saku Hurskainen for the 2nd guitar and G.B. for drums to complete the reformed Phlegethon line-up. The band recorded two largely appreciated demos (VISIO DEI BEATIFICA in 1989 and NEUTRAL FOREST in 1990), FRESCO LUNGS mini-LP for a small Swiss underground metal label Witchhunt Records in1991 and even one ´promotional demo´ in 1995 after splitting up for over a decade.

Phlegethon 2006 Anno Bastardi, hails such bands as their main influences as Slayer, Death, Pestilence, Morbid Angel, Possessed, Dark Angel, Sacrifice - and the list goes on, all those ´cool´ names that have been influencing the whole Thrash/Death Metal scene for years already. When Phlegethon´s guitarist and vocalist Lasse started composing songs for the band´s new coming, it was pretty obvious he would draw most of his influences from the old school scene for both Thrash - and Death Metal; him being a long-time digger of that era of metal music. Especially Pestilence´s influence (the TESTIMONY -era) is relatively strong on the band´s new demo. One just needs to pay attention to the very similar guitar tone there was on Pestilence´s TESTIMONY OF THE ANCIENTS album, and he/she simply cannot stop shaking his/her head in a full agreement with me. Man, those riffs are truly awesome throughout all the four songs they have recoded for this demo. Tricky, heavy, twisted and nearly sinfully catchy riffs all over the place are what really pump up some extra, fine adrenalin into the songs while at the same time, Lasse spits out venom in, adding a nice´n´evil decoration to the well-crafted wholeness. In “For Lunar Reasons” it is proven that Slayer has paid a visit on the guys´ turntable in the past whereas “In Harmony with Penance” has been done in a true Pestilence´s TESTIMONY -era fashion. This is all great stuff - and I believe the band can be in a good faith they´ll be signed by some label in the near future. There should still be some market left for a technical ´90s-tinged Death Metal, I suppose. If not, then I´m just wondering where this world has gone to?
Track Listing

01. To Decorate the Skies
02. For Lunar Reasons
03. In Harmony with Penance
04. Encrypt the Earth


Lasse Pyykkö - Guitar, vocals and keyboards
Saku Hurskainen - Lead guitar
Juha Tykkyläinen - Lava Poetry
G.B. - Drums

Other reviews

» Totems Within
by Luxi Lahtinen

» Lava Poetry 2-song demo
by Luxi Lahtinen

» Drifting in the Crypt
by Luxi Lahtinen

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