Released: 2005, Woodcut Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
Finland is generally associated with either mopey Gothic Metal acts (Amorphis, Sentenced, Babylon Whores, etc.) or keyboard-ladden Melodic Death (Children Of Bodom, Kalmah, Everlasting Tears Of Sorrow), and a few that linger somewhere inbetween (Charon). Nowhere in the tourist guide, however, does it mention Brutal Death. It scarcely seems to register on the map.
Enter Sotajumala, with a sneer, a roar, a penchant for blast beats, and a name that sounds much like a spicy dish or sex act. They have come to kick your ass.
Unfortunately, they largely only kick the bass…repeatedly.
This is fast and ugly, littered with solos, grunts and growls, and a never-ending bass rumble…but you’ll never hum it in the shower, I assure. “Syyttomien Veri” (which translates roughly to “Blood Of The Innocent”) is fairly catchy, but it seems almost by accident. It all roars by so fast, with only handfuls of restraint (the menacing-sounding “Kuolleet”), with most songs in the two to three minute range. In the end, it works out—anymore and you’d get bored. It’s certainly proficient, if not terribly interesting. The brutality levels are consistent with something like Houwitzer, Sinister, or Massmurder—especially in tone.
Some of the solos have a Morbid Angel feel, and the driving drum assaults are reminiscent of Marduk. Aside from this, there is nothing even remotely “blackened” or European-sounding about any of it. Fans of bands like Altar would find this disc a kick. With a new wave of Floridian inspired artists like Blood Red Throne and Origin, this band might find themselves en vogue by sheer default. Otherwise, it’s strictly for fans of Brutal Death, weary of being growled at in their own tongue.