Label: Hammer of Hate Records
Release date: 8 September 2023
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording
Ok, I’m here, at house, 2:00 am and listening to this Finnish Black Metal album. I’ve listened to it several times before writing this, but now I’m sleepless, high in caffeine due to the coffee I had after dinner (I know, I know, wasn’t a good idea), and I feel in the right mood… because listening to Metal late at night is a thing I love to do, everything is calm, no annoying sounds like by daylight, not a single call in my phone (yeah, I could mute it, I know!)… Well, let’s do this!
The first thing I’ll mention, Sielunvihollinen is the solo project by Ruttokieli, a Finnish musician who is also in White Rune, whose debut album I had the pleasure to review for Blessed Altar Zine one year ago. And “Helvetinkone” is the 5th album by Sielunvihollinen; you can expect to feel the icy cold from the North while listening to it, but also a fantastic work done by the rhythmic section, the presence of varied elements mixed with Black Metal, some relentless furious outbursts, an excellent guitar work… Well, and even more things.
Regarding the cold sensation… for me, it’s due to the tremolo riffs, and the guitar tone. The opener song “Sinetti ja symboli” has a main riff that may be simple but also as cold as Finnish helvetti! At the same time, drums play fast and bring some fire to the table… I love this contrast. Vocals do their thing: they sound harsh, hellish, strong.
The following track, “Raivoni astalo” has a great guitar opener, well let me tell you that all songs has something special in the way they start. In this case, I find it more in a Death/Black Metal vein, sounds so good… And, maybe I’m focused a bit too much on rhythm guitar, but I find its work really good here. All along the album you can listen to it clearly, same as the bass, always providing a fantastic sonic background.
There are some melodies you just can’t forget easily. I’m specially “obsessed” with one song, and it turns out to be the longest one: “Kun kaikki vihdoin kuihtuu pois”, it means “ When it all finally withers away” in English and it’s true that I have some feeling of withering away while listening to it… It’s a melancholic song, and I’m sure that the lyrics fit this music so well (sorry, I don’t understand a word in Finnish).
One thing you can notice when you are listening to this album is the way each song starts: most of the beginnings are powerful, intense, and melodic too; Ruttokieli is an excellent composer. Special mention to the opener riff in the last song of this album, “Läpi harmaan kiven” (“Through the gray stone”), it makes my head think of a band I love a lot (starting with ‘Necro’ and ending with ‘phobic’)… It’s just a wink, ’cause after a while the song turns into a more obscure thing, with that brutal scream tearing the air and leading you to an abyss filled with merciless drums and guitars fueled by hellfire.
This album has all the elements I love about Finnish Black Metal, and even some more. For me it’s 9/10 Sílvia
9/10 Epic Storm
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