Thursday 6 May 2021

Revulsion (Finland) - Self-Titled

Labels: Transcending Obscurity Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 05 Feb 2021


1. Last Echoes Of Life

2. Pyre

3. Walls

4. Mustaa Hiilta

5. Lihaan Sidottu Kirja

6. Wastelands

7. Unravel

8. Silence

9. Pawns

10. Viimeinen Rituaali

Transcending Obscurity Records now has a long and enviable record of working with top quality extreme metal bands. The label champions those from further afield (there is also the Transcending Obscurity India imprint, if you're after a more local flavour). This evening I'm back in my happy place, which features Finnish death metal band Revulsion and their debut self-titled album. Revulsion started out in 2005 but didn't release their first demo Undressing External Humanity until 2010. A year later they release their first EP called Defiled before working on their debut album. After releasing 'Last Echoes Of Life' and 'Walls' as a dual single in 2016, the rest is history. TOR committed this album to wax (in three different variants) alongside the cd and digital formats, and to be honest they couldn't have done it any better.

The excitement is real with this one. Revulsion’s death metal is very much of the old-school variety with added doom and album opener ‘Last Echoes Of Life’ combines both elements with some extra brutality. Groove-laden guitar work, rumbling bass and up-front percussion fight for room with lower-register growls. All of those layers work really well together. ‘Pyre’ comes across as more of a sludgy/slam fest but with added technicality too. Don’t worry though old-school fans, Revulsion’s death metal isn’t of the ‘breee breee breee’  pig-squeal variety!

Revulsion are extremely proficient at what they do and there are no histrionics here whatsoever. Just good, solid death metal with a modern touch. ‘Walls’ proves this with song-writing that’s efficient but also engrossing. In fact, none of the songs present here outstay their welcome, which helps to keep you attentive as a listener. ‘Mustaa Hiilta’ is where Revulsion dips into their mother-tongue and while you may not be able to make out the lyrics (unless you speak Finnish), there’s an unmistakable atmosphere flowing through the song. A dark, otherworldly and metallic one at that. 

Following the more expansive nature of ‘Mustaa Hiilta’, ‘Lihaan Sidottu Kirja’ is a shock to the system, with it’s frenetic and authoritative kick-drumming and headstrong riffing. Rhythm is a big part of Revulsion’s musical arsenal and it’s more than obvious here. While I consider a lot of Finnish extreme music to be more on the punk/experimental end of the spectrum, hearing a band like this that maintains control and harnesses their instrumental skill so well is a breath of fresh air, in a strange sort of way.

The second half of the album well and truly begins with ‘Wastelands’ and it’s brow-beating tempo. It’s one of the album’s shorter songs but loses nothing in the process. Revulsion still manages to tun it into a ravaging death metal beast in the best possible way. Maybe at times it’s more American sounding than Scandinavian but it’s still great fun. ‘Unravel’ is a masterclass in making something sound slow when it’s not. The musical phrasing, the drawn out riffs and the doom/sludge atmospherics make the band’s old-school approach even more real, in an homage to Incantation maybe.

That being said, Revulsion leaves no room for breath as they launch into ‘Silence’, which underpins everything that’s great about both death metal and this band as a whole. Once again the groove shines through the gloom and their confidence is clear to see and hear. Penultimate song ‘Pawns’ proves (beyond any doubt) that this record is more than approachable, even to those who don’t dabble in extreme metal very often. I’m not saying it’s commercial or anything but it has an oddly accessible quality too it, just like NWOAHM did in the mid-late 2000’s/early 2010’s. I hope that little comparison didn’t offend you!

Album closer ‘Viimeinen Rituaali’ takes you on one final doom-laden journey through the well-ploughed furrows of death with a newfound vigour. The atmosphere granted by the slower, metallic riffs that break up the verses are absolutely perfect and give a nod to the band’s compatriots of old. The production/mixing/mastering of this record is spot on throughout, allowing all instruments/vocals room to breath while not skimping on the volume. There’s so much to enjoy about this material and considering it’s only the band’s debut full-length, I think you can only expect greater things to come. 

You can stream the entire album and purchase it on all three formats below:-

Revulsion -

Transcending Obscurity Records -

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