Released: 2006, Time Before Time Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
In need of some classic, utterly HEAVY, catchy old school sounding Death Metal?! Then look no further - Finland´s own deathmeisters Slugathor are back with their 2nd, 8-track offering titled CIRCLE OF DEATH - and I´m already convinced CIRCLE OF DEATH will be one of those Death Metal albums in my CD-player that will probably get a few extra spins in my Death Metal jukebox!
Even if Slugathor´s debut album UNLEASHING THE SLUGATHRON (via Polish Agonia Records in 2004) was overall a solid release and all that as far as pure Death Metal goes, however, while listening to CIRCLE OF DEATH I think it´s fair to say that the band has taken some giant steps forward on this new album songwriting-wise. Bolt Thrower is obviously that band that has had the hugest influence on the guys, and how it has influenced the whole sound on CIRCLE OF DEATH. In fact, this strong Bolt Thrower´ish vibe dominates their songs almost constantly, but I don´t complain a bit as Bolt Thrower has my respect what they have accomplished during their whole career, album after another. But it´s not only Bolt Thrower that comes to my mind while headbanging in the catchy and addictively rhythmic songs off CIRCLE OF DEATH, but also sort of Demigod´ish vibe and let´s say, Immolation´s presence can somewhat easily be spotted out of the songs on C.O.D. as well. "Crypt of the Dead" specifically, is that song on CIRCLE OF DEATH in which all those influences from the aforementioned three bands sort of are culminated kinda well. The eerie, weeping guitar solos of Immolation, thundering, heavily rollin´ riff walls of Bolt Thrower, catchy, easily clicking rhythm changes of Demigod are those musical bits what make this album so awesome sounding, yet so ear-friendly experience to listen to. Each of these three guys in Slugathor have really outdone themselves on CIRCLE OF DEATH - actually so much that when they look into mirror as the first thing in the morning, they can say silently to their own reflections from the mirror: "Man, I have really accomplished something in this band. I honestly am so damn fuckin´ proud of my input on our latest album CIRCLE OF DEATH!!".
And they should. Slugathor, from the ´Florida of Finland´, Espoo, truly did surprise all of my advance expectations about their new album in a very positive way. Hopefully this very album in question will bring them all that respect and attention they deserve if the stars of justice are in the favorable position for them. Nevertheless, after spinning CIRCLE OF DEATH over and over again ´til my ears started to bleed, it´s kind of easy to spit out Slugathor does fuckin´ shred... big time, and just even more!