Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Impaled Nazarene - Suomi Finland Perkele (1994)

Suomi Finland Perkele is the third L.P. from Impaled Nazarene. It was recorded in the misty depths of Finland, during the summer of 1994, and released that October. As one who prefers a certain level of seriousness with music, I found it difficult to get into this band, for years. I had heard the opening to "Total War" and was put off, more or less. However, I came to realize that what Impaled Nazarene embodied was a more traditional Metal attitude, similar to Venom, Motorhead and so on. At least, that was the impression that I had gotten. Once I finally gave this album a chance, I discovered that this was only one aspect of the greater whole. This album seemed to hold more than a few surprises.

The intro is rather brief, yet does well to build up a bit of tension. This is the sound of a horde of barbarians preparing for war. "Vitutuksen Multihuipennus" begins with fast tremolo riffs and blasting drums, not sounding too distant from their Norwegian counterparts, despite the supposed hatred that they had for them. The song maintains a fast pace throughout, though managing to incorporate a couple memorable riffs. The lyrics are in Finnish, and the vocals are slightly reminiscent of Master's Hammer. The only complaint about this song is that it is over too soon.

"Blood Is Thicker Than Water" is more mid-paced than the opener. The bass is very audible on this album, which suits it just fine. The main riff of this song is very similar to a riff found on Samael's Ceremony of Opposites album. Regardless of which one came first, Impaled Nazarene probably manage to make better use of it. The melodies in this song create kind of a depressive feeling. The lyrics follow suit, though one has to wonder if this is serious or not.

The pace picks up, once more, with "Steelvagina". Odd song titles, such as this, probably influenced my opinion of this band, long before I bothered to really give them a chance. The cold and epic tremolo riffs and venomous vocals are proof enough that I made an error in judging this band. For a group that professed some sort of negative opinion toward the Norwegian Black Metal scene, they certainly have a bit more in common with them as opposed to fellow Finnish bands, such as Beherit or Archgoat.

"Total War - Winter War" begins with a cheesy part that features a lot of shouting and cursing. This is where the less-than-serious Venom influence seems to come through. As the song really gets going, it maintains the fast pace that was heard on the previous song. The tremolo riffs are mixed with a lot of open chords, carried forward by the steady, blasting drums. This song, in particular, possesses a lot of the 80s metal spirit, especially toward the end.

The next song is "Quasb / The Burning", which begins with slight keyboard use that accompanies the slow, doom riffs. At 4:07, this is actually the longest song on the album. It maintains the feeling of a slow and painful death by suffocation, throughout. Some double bass comes into play, near the end of the song, though the pace never really goes beyond a funeral march.

This feeling is completely destroyed with the blasting fury of "Kuolema Kaikille (Paitsi Meille)" which is one of the fastest (and shortest) songs on the album. At :50, it is more of a chaotic interlude than an actual song. It serves its purpose well enough, breaking up the bleak atmosphere created by the previous song and setting the stage for what is to come.

"Let's Fucking Die!" returns to the oldschool 80s approach of Venom. This is the kind of song that one headbangs to, while driving at high speeds down dark stretches of highway. It even features a pretty wicked guitar solo, near the end. Strangely enough, this is really the only song that lives up to the preconceived notions that I had about this band.

The build-up to "Genocide" is fairly reminiscent of several old thrash albums from the 80s, feeling eerily similar to Slayer's "Hell Awaits". The song then blasts forward at full speed, complete with memorable tremolo riffs and sinister vocals. As with all of the songs on this record, it is over pretty quickly, never having the opportunity to overstay its welcome.

The next song is the one that got me interested in really checking out this album. "Ghettoblaster" features brilliant harmonies that remain embedded in your brain for years. The cold, tremolo melodies, the snarling and hateful vocals and the blasting drums all come together to create probably the best song on this album, as well as some great lyrics:

"Kill! Fucking kill!
No mercy for scum!"

It doesn't get much more straight-forward than that. The song is kind of short, though that may add to its appeal as it leaves the listener wanting more.

Suomi Finland Perkele concludes with "The Oath of the Goat". This mid-paced effort is the second-longest song on the album. All in all, it has kind of a bizarre feeling to it. It seems as if it is building toward something that never really comes. For brief moments, it appears that it will, yet it is almost as if they are holding back. The album ends with a very strange, choppy version of the war cry that begins the album, which only adds to the strange feeling this song possesses.

This album is very enjoyable, as Impaled Nazarene does well to blend their old school roots with the sounds of the Second Wave Black Metal bands. This is actually the only L.P. of theirs that I am familiar with, but I recommend it for anyone that doesn't already own it. The songs display a wide variety of tempos and each maintains its own identity. Even the 50 second song serves a purpose in the overall structure of the album. This is quality Finnish Black Metal. Buy this or kill yourself. Better yet, just go ahead and kill yourself.