Released: 2009, Drakkar Productions
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
To get the facts straight as for starters, Slugathor are one of the very few death metal forces out from Finland nowadays that can still do their death metal right - I mean, the old school way when death metal still used to sound death metal, and wasn´t ruined by an overly modern and over-polished production, with possibly some annoying clean vocals parts thrown in for the sake of making it more accessible for the masses or whatever.
The band´s 3rd full-length studio album, ECHOES FROM BENEATH, simply strengthens these four Finnish deathheads´ position as one of the true warriors for flagging for a heavy and crisp old school death metal. As it was the case with the band´s previous album, CIRCLE OF DEATH, released in 2006 on Polish Time Before Time Records, it´s still a strong and shameless Bolt Thrower vibe that continues dominating Slugathor´s sound on their latest death manifestation, but in my opinion there´s nothing bad at it really. Add some of that unholy ghost of semi-legendary Demigod´s eerie sound (those weeping, big guitar melodies and stuff – how could one resist them?) into Slugathor too – and you basically get a picture what they are all about on ECHOES. I have to say it really creates an awesome sounding backbone for their stuff when they combine all these utterly heavy, mid-paced riffs and rhythms with more haunting, horizon-painting guitar melodies that really tend to crawl on your skin unexpectedly like a half dozen of creepy-looking tarantulas when you are in a deep sleep.
The musical formula that Slugathor have taken for themselves since they started out back in 1999 already, has stayed somewhat unchanged and unbroken to them on ECHOES, too even if like many other bands, Slugathor have also refined and developed their sound over the years, but still sticking tightly and very loyally to their original concept that they have carried with them through the band´s whole lifespan.
And this is what I find so great about Slugathor´s ECHOES album, too. The band´s attempt to stick with the old destructive guns – full of unyielding battering firepower, has definitely got its perfect continuation on the band´s last album – and it´s really hard to resist all that cherishing of never-dying oldschool feel and spirit like what Slugathor do on the ECHOES album. Songs like “Summoning (the True Face of Evil)” and the over 7-minute “The Smoke” represent a downright heavy, dark and punishing old school death metal to-the-bone – and that is what makes me darn satisfied about this album really.
Slugathor are one of the true survivors of the past old school death metal genre, and it´s all proven clearly enough on their stellar ECHOES FROM BENEATH album. Bleed for the devil and get it.