Released: 2008, Sakara Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The Finnish weirdos of metal are back. Stam1na, who seem to gather big audiences for their concerts all around in Finland these days, have reached another milestone in their, so far rocket-rid´ish career by getting their 3rd full-lenght album released through a hard-working Finnish label Sakara Records. The band´s two previous albums, self-titled debut album (2005) and UUDET KYMMENEN KÄSKYÄ (2006), have both very well received in Finland, and obviously their latest 10-track disc, RAJA, won´t make an exception.
Whereas Stam1na´s first two albums contained more of craziness and intensity of speed- and thrash metal (which is that primary reason why I personally liked those two albums pretty much as a matter of speaking), their 3rd album is of a more varied effort. The intensity and craziness of their song writing can still be dug up from their songs - yes, and at best they still sound like that untamed and relentless bunch that wants to cause a nervous breakdown for you by their mind-piercing, ´hurlum-hei metal (and please don´t ask a translation for this as you will get none!)´. Probably the best comparison about Stam1na´s style of metal could be thrown out toward System Of A Down´s direction, just adding bits and pieces from the frenzied speed/thrash metal genre into their songs, and making quite an unique and exceptional mixture of soup out of all of those small ingredients they have got around their kitchen table.
However, it needs to be spitted out, but Stam1na have - unfortunately, calmed down a bit on their latest album and thrown away some of that sheer intensity and aggression out of their songs that overall make speed/thrash metal such an appealing form of metal for many. The blind aggression and intensity have been replaced by more melodic and even more experimental sections in their songs - and may I even somewhat rudely say, more of those easily adopted elements that give them more value as a mainstream act - more than on their two earlier albums anyway. However, with a band like Stam1na is, it´s always hard to predict what these guys are up to regarding their new material. They seem to go from one extreme to another whenever they want to - and totally surprise its listeners, either in good or bad. This time they fall into that latter option on RAJA for me, however.