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The Scourger
February 2006
Released: 2006, Stay Heavy Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

The Finnish thrashing sonical terror squad The Scourger has finally reached the point in their career in which a full-length album seemed to wait just behind the door. Well, here it is… 9 songs presenting pure aggression and heaviness, spiced up with some sharp melodies ála At The Gates –style.

Hearing the band´s 2-song CD-single (titled HATEHEAD that was) about 1 month prior to this release, gave me a good enough reason to expect a good album from them - and that was, in fact, something we all got from the Scourger -camp, of course assuming your ears have always liked to have sex with At The Gates -type of stuff. I´m not saying that The Scourger rips them off that much, however, it is like ´borrowing´ your best friend´s girlfriend for sex for a moment; and not owning her for the rest of your life for that purpose. Got it now?

This release has neither marked with ´an ultimate orgasmic listening experience guaranteed´ -stamp nor it´s guaranteed either you´ll get your pants totally wet when listening to BLIND DATE WITH VIOLENCE unless you are not looking for completely something beyond out-of-ordinary stuff, but kind of have liked your Thrash Metal safe, familiar - and what´s the most important thing in this particular highly Thrash -smoking pile, catchy and well-crafted. That´s what the Scourger are able to offer on their debut full-length disc - and if that´s not enough, then by all means keep on staring at your miserable dick between your skinny and pale legs.

After the intro ("Decline of Conformity"), the first tune called "Grading: Deranged" starts filling up the air with some really captivating riffs when eventually blowing somewhere into those fields where Thrash Metal can be enjoyable and overall being able to send some tickling shivers down your spine. The same energetic vibe continues in the next song "Hatehead" which was actually the band´s first single off from the album. And The Scourger doesn´t show any signs of cooling off in the third song titled "Maximum Intensity" either. Riff after riff the song keeps on developing towards those fields again where many Thrash Metal -fans should find lots of pleasure for their ears from. The band´s vocalist Janne also sounds like he couldn´t have received any X-mas presents for years from anyone i.e. extremely pissed-off and yet so wonderfully hateful with his vocal parts. "Enslaved to Faith" is where the band uses more of a tightly pushed break than takes an advantage of a fast circuit - and people naturally demand more of that breath-taking breakneck speed from them. And that´s what they are going to get in the next song once again called "The Oath & the Lie", which also happens to be one of the most intense and furious numbers on this relentless collection of At The Gates -type of reminiscences. The riff-fest in this track has a somewhat... (-eh!), unfading and frenzied aggression stamped all over it which they actually should sow around a bit more in their songs in order to gain just a few doses more of that badly needed ´kill-after-another-kill´ -value for the wholeness. Anyway, the song itself represents some of those things that they should be striving toward more in the future.

"Chapter XIII" turns out to be one heavy fucker, too. What may come as an interesting surprise, the band´s drummer Seppo Tarvainen has played ALL the guitar parts for this album (whereas Jani Luttinen´s handwriting is ALL the solos on BLIND DATE...) while in the same breath it needs to be admitted, he has truly proved to have sharp and somewhat cultivated ears for tasteful riffs and easily flowing, catchy rhythms - not to forget those few occasionally thrown in melody parts here and there either, and this song makes no exception. "Pain Zone" on the other hand, reminds me of both Kreator and At The Gates in a balanced blend whereas "Exodus Day" basically only managed to make me yawning for being probably a bit monotonous song for my picky taste.

The last song on BLIND DATE WITH VIOLENCE, titled "Feast of the Carnivore", puts the blood pumping and boiling in my veins a bit more effective way again; not because of reaching a top speed structurally where sort of a visual field turns to a blind spot, but more like being overall a well build-up song in which many musically pleasing territories have been covered somewhat successfully.

So, the question goes, what has been left to our hands as wholeness more than just a pile of songs that bring At The Gates to our minds? Well, if you still haven´t found it out yet, then start reading the review all over again...
Track Listing

01. Decline of Conformity / Grading : Deranged
02. Hatehead
03. Maximum Intensity
04. Enslaved to Faith
05. The Oath & the Lie
06. Chapter Thirteen
07. Pain Zone
08. Exodus Day
09. Feast of the Carnivore


Janne Hurskainen - Vocals
Jani Luttinen - Guitar
Timo Nyberg - Guitar
Kimmo Kammonen - Bass
Seppo Tarvainen - Drums

Next review: » The Scourger - Dark Invitation to Armageddon
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