Tagged: Black Metal

Black Wisdom: taking dissonant black / death metal into dark ambient and prog-rock realms

Grey Heaven Fall, Black Wisdom, Russia, Aesthetics of Devastation, CD AOD-2 (2015)

True it is that French avant-garde black metallers Deathspell Omega have spread their influence widely across the world and across metal genres, and most bands who fallen under DSO’s spell have been content to follow in that band’s shadows and rarely venture beyond to take the Tao of Dissonant Metal into new territories. One band who might prove the exception is Russian trio Grey Heaven Fall on their second album “Black Wisdom” with a despairing message about the nature of God as a capricious, even psychotic and nihilistic being who demands humanity follow Him in His less-than-godly image, only to reject and damn His faithful when they obey His decrees. GHF play a straightforward and melodic song-based style of dissonant black / death metal, very similar to DSO in sound but easier on the ear in its structures and rhythms, with many surprises for those expecting yet more DSO hero worship and nothing else.

The first half of the album plays out in fast-paced minimal black / death style, dominated by grating raspy vocals filled with a mixture of anger, frustration and hopelessness. The long songs reach epic heights of sorrow and tragedy thanks not only to the dense and layered music and the intense emotion in the vocals but also passages of solo lead guitar that deliver even more pathos, as if there was not sadness enough already. The turning point where we start to sense that GHF are staking out their own territory comes with “Sanctuary of Cut Tongues”, a completely dark ambient piece springing from some hitherto hidden depths where black smoky mists block out the light and discourage entry, and only a forlorn guitar and distant chanting are evidence of spirit activity within. From then on, the remaining tracks stand out for their musical diversity: “Tranquility of the Possessed” includes slow doom elements along with the usual blackened death and “That Nail in a Heart” features a passage of downbeat urban blues guitar melody transitioning into a soaring prog-rock lead guitar solo of incredibly dark loneliness, and later a taut but delicate descent into a quiet atmospheric coda after more black / death rumble.

Parts of the album, especially in its second half, could have been edited for length and the production doesn’t quite do the music justice – it’s clear enough but doesn’t bring out the band’s full power. The drums especially don’t seem as thunderous as they should be for such intense and complex music. Apart from these admittedly technical details, the album is a very good and thoughtful effort. GHF certainly have the ambition, vision and technical chops to carve out a long and distinguished career. They do need to have a more distinctive sound away from the DSO worshippers: taking their music into realms of atmospheric, even psychedelic prog-rock might be one way of achieving that.

Flogo de Bort: small deadly release of powerful raw ambient BM

Gnipahålan, Flögo De Bort, Sweden, Ancient Records (2015) / Germany, Purity Through Fire, PTF059 (2016)

Gnipahålan looks like a new group but its two members have long CVs playing in other bands. “Flögo De Bort” is the first of two cassettes Gnipahålan has released so far and consists of two fairly similar-sounding songs. The style is raw and distorted melodic ambient BM dominated by wild raging banshee vocals. The music has a strong garage quality with lots of clanging and clashing cymbals, a strong bass sound and a roaring hellish guitar over the top. Both musicians play as if their very lives depended on playing as fast and chaotically as they can, though both songs are more structured than what initially appears.

Track 1 is a forceful, surging song of blaring drone strings, ever-changing rhythms and beats that sometimes achieve hyper blast-beat levels, and screeching voices that bleed into the music around them. The vocals are not very clear and can be very ragged to the point of disintegrating into loose threads and strips. The song has a desperate mood as it charges madly towards its doomed end. Track 2 is a weeny bit slower with a more limping rhythm and a more settled, less harried feel. The drumming is the most outstanding feature and the guitars boom out overhead. As the song develops, a melancholy mood appears about the halfway point and the screaming seems to be less angry and more agonised.

Both songs are very powerful and moving in their own way, coming out of the speakers like huge waves of full-on guitar bellow, thundering drums and intense emotion. The vocals are a bit thin and restricted in their range for this style of strongly epic raw BM, and the shrieking does get tedious. While two songs might not be enough for folks to make a full judgement call on what Gnipahålan is capable of, beneath the roaring distortion they are quite complex in their rhythms and riffing, and the music expresses emotion surprisingly well.

 

The Irrepassable Gate: an uneven recording with good moments … and some very long ones too …

How does the cliche go? “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here …”

Ash Borer, The Irrepassable Gate, Canada, Profound Lore Records, CD PFL174 (2016)

If you’re thinking “there’s no such word as irrepassable”, well you’re wrong now because US West Coast black metallers Ash Borer have just brought it into being. Go on, is there another word in English that expresses the sense of wanting to pass over or through a threshold or portal, finding yourself stuck, yet being unable to go back, and being possibly condemned to remain in eternal limbo? This is the sense I have with the title of Ash Borer’s most recent album after a long hiatus of three-and-a-half years after the band’s last release. The cover art also conveys an impression of an occult temple entry into another dimension, one that will have a dramatic effect spanning the rest of your life if you dare try to go through; and if you don’t, you’ll remain in a child-like state forever, unable to progress to a higher spiritual level or state of conscious existence.

The title track is a mighty roaring guitar-dominant beast rampaging through its jungle domain, all thudding drums, whining guitar and subterranean growling vocals. The sound is very clear and the style of music is close to very melodic, clean-sounding BM with thrashy elements. Any pretensions to being ambient BM are being left behind and Ash Borer is becoming a full-fledged guitars-n-drums band. This in itself presents a challenge to Ash Borer to convey atmosphere, mood, intense emotion and their full, densely layered style without the help of keyboards. Stretched over 11 minutes, the title track appears a bit one-dimensional as the band concentrates on piling riff upon riff and plows its path speedily and relentlessly, forcing listeners to follow as best they can. The slower, bass-heavy (in its first half anyway)”Lacerated Spirit” is more successful at carving out a three-dimensional sound and distinct atmosphere with feedback drone and an experimental bent. Likewise “Lustration” is another step further into the twilight world promised by the album title with deep drone, repeating guitar strum shrouded with echo and moaning voices and effects suggesting the presence of ancient spirit beings.

The album does have its bombastic moments and at times these and the long passages of never-ending blast-beat drumming, guitar noodling and background demon wailing can start to sound like filler material. There may be some fine melodies and moments where the music is intense and unsurpassable but when songs are very long and get carried away by constant repetitive fidgeting, no matter how technically good that is, such jewels can be missed. Listeners who find the second half of the album something of a drag (I have to say I did) can spend some time with the songs to their halfway points and shoot through to the final track “Lustration II” which is a return to the slower, complex doomy BM style of earlier songs like “Lacerated Spirit”.

As you can guess by now, this album was a very mixed bag of good, avant-rock music and longer scrabbling pieces of endurance-test proportions. The experimental ambient avant-rock style of tracks like “Lacerated Spirit” and the two “Lustration” pieces unfortunately doesn’t extend all the way through and the distinct sounds these have compared to the more straight-ahead melodic BM of the rest of the album make “The Irrepassable Gate” a very uneven recording. Well, Ash Borer didn’t exactly promise us a smooth ride through what may very well be a transition phase in their career. It seems that “The Irrepassable Gate” symbolises a formidable challenge for the band at this crucial moment in their history, whether to advance in a different musical direction or stay as they are, as it is a listening experience for its audiences.

IV / Appendixes: a compilation forming a bridge between albums, and a bridge between worlds

Aosoth, IV / Appendixes, Czech Republic, Cloven Hoof Brewing & Releasing, cassette Call 001 (limited edition) (2016)

I hadn’t heard of this trio before but the tough deep style did seem very familiar. Turns out all three members are or have been members of Antaeus, a couple of whose albums I’ve been acquainted with in the past. Talk about living in a very small world! This cassette release gathers up three short recordings Aosoth made after their fourth album way back in 2013 and forms a connection between that album and the next album to be released some time in the near future.

As might be expected of a band whose members are drawn from Antaeus, the music is not only hard-hitting, it’s also concise and has a very dark, bleak feel and a clear, crisp sound. All instruments can be heard clearly but the rapid-fire thudding percussion makes the strongest impression, more by its complex rhythms and constant changes than through its power. First track “Appendix A” is a robust and confident beast with a triumphant sound overall, varying rhythms and beats, and streamlined powerful riffing. The vocals are not great for this style of music – they need to be much stronger and deeper in my book – but like the rest of the music they are stern and forbidding, and do their job efficiently and minimally. “Appendix B” has more urgency and energy, and the half-spoken vocals stand out more from the music which not so much plays as pours out like hot molten lava cascades. Crisp and precise spoken-word recordings are well integrated into the music in the song’s first half while the second half features ever more deranged lead guitar scribble and dramatic martial drumming. A definite groove develops quite late in the song but disappears almost as quickly – there’s nearly always something new happening in the music if you pay close attention to it.

The music gets better as it goes: “Unbroken Dialogue” breaks with Aosoth’s BM style and heads into unstructured experimental dark ambient waters with found sound recordings, various ambient effects and oppressive background drone to create a malevolent soundtrack to an imaginary film of sinister occult and anti-Christian themes. Final track “Appendix D” returns to familiar blast-beat blackened death but somehow this music isn’t quite the same as it was before we listeners were treated to a glimpse of that yawning black Satanic abyss lurking deep within the Aosoth universe.

Individually and as a whole, the songs are very good – even though by their titles they form a definite group of related tracks and serve to bridge Aosoth’s last album and the next, they could just as well constitute a separate EP or mini-album. Some tracks boast very distinct melodies and riffs and all are different in their structures and details. The band’s austere approach to the music, in which every melody, every effect and sound serves a purpose, and nothing exists by accident, might be the most outstanding aspect of this recording. This extends even to the one experimental all-ambient track that appears on the recording.

If you, like me, aren’t familiar with Aosoth, you could hardly do worse than give this recording the time of day … or darkness, as it were, and from there either travel back to their previous recordings or wait for their next album.

Luminiferous Aether: cosmic space black metal stretched too wormhole thin

Mare Cognitum, Luminiferous Aether, Italy, I, Voidhanger Records, CD IVR064 (2016)

Album title “Luminiferous Aether”, meaning the sky air that transmits light, flows smoothly off the tongue which, to be frank, is far more than can be said for this album of overstretched dark-space atmospheric black metal. By now, one-man Californian band Mare Cognitum has racked up a solid discography and “Luminiferous Aether” is his fourth album so listeners might be wondering where he is taking his music and whether it has advanced very much since he founded the project.

The album is a well-crafted effort from start to finish though for its genre and aims the music is very thin and needs more substance and power. It’s possible that with this album Mare Cognitum man Jacob Buczarski wanted a more raw and harsh black metal sound to help emphasise its cosmic space themes. I don’t fault him for wanting to do that but the songs are very long and a thin sound stretched over more than 10 minutes without some solidity in parts is going to sound very one-dimensional and under-powered. As well, melodies, riffs and rhythms will have to carry the music more than they would if this lacks power and sonic texture; and again with long songs, these structural elements need to provide backbone and unity to their respective tracks. As it happens, most tracks on “Luminiferous Aether” carry so many different melodies and riffs, few of them with their own flavour or individuality, often going at different speeds within the same piece, that the very idea of having separate tracks with their own titles becomes unnecessary. The entire album could have been one single work broken up into movements or chapters.

The music rarely varies in mood, key or instrumentation from one track to the next, and the atmosphere – always cold, remote and spacious in an airy way – is always the same. The sound quality is always very sharp and clear so that all instruments can be heard distinctly – but it also means the thin sound seems even more skeletal than it is. I wonder that Buczarski doesn’t see fit to add another instrument, even if in a minor way or in the background, to songs to differentiate them from one another and perhaps give a sense of direction, of purpose to the whole album. The percussion is very whippy-thin even on some later tracks like “Occultated Temporal Dimensions” where a scathing grinding guitar demands strong percussion to challenge it. While the level of musicianship on display is always good and consistent, there is the danger that without a clear sense of direction the music ends up being a long exercise in self-indulgence. It’s one thing to let yourself be carried away by the music for short periods but for a major part of an album going for 50+ minutes, the exhilaration resulting from being inspired by the music can, if taken too far, end up looking too self-indulgent and the freshness and edge are lost.

This recording could have worked so much better if each song had been pared down to a few essential riffs and melodies, the overall sound had been thicker and the production perhaps a bit muddier. Here is a case where a clear production doesn’t always make for a better recording than a more ragged or distorted approach. This is a pity as there is some very good music on offer here. Less emphasis on technical chops and more on an original style of music with more atmosphere and punch, and this album might be going a long, long way across the universe and beyond.

Emotionale Odnis: a powerful if not very original debut of runaway dark atmospheric black metal

Tardigrada, Emotionale Ödnis, Germany, Eisenwald Tonschmiede, CD digipak EISEN112 (2016)

Tardigrada, indeed! – I first came across that word while reading internet and magazine articles about water bears (tiny microscopic segmented creatures with eight legs) often found in the most extreme environments such as living in deep water ocean trenches under immense pressures or in places where levels of radiation are hundreds of times higher than what would be needed to kill human beings. Perhaps that fact alone is enough reason for a band aiming at the extremes of musical expression in black metal to adopt the water bears’ Latin name as its own. And Tardigrada’s first album “Emotional Ödnis” can be a tremendous test of endurance and emotional resilience for listeners: aside from its length, the music can be very intense and overwhelming in its power and emotional expression.

The album consists of five pairs of tracks with the first track in each pair a short instrumental introduction to the second, far longer track. In each second track, the music is never less than epic and stupendous, filled with utter melancholy, sadness and despair, reaching to the farthest limits of the night skies in its scope and ambitions. The riffs and rhythms brim with muscular, thunderous power and the atmosphere on all tracks is always wintry, sharp and icy. There can be some great head-banging moments where the music is continuously pounding away or pouring out dark malevolence by the bucket-loads. Vocals are shrill and shrieky ice-cold howls from the spirit world. The ambience can be suffocating and too intense in its coldness and pain.

For all that though, too much of the music lacks originality and you feel as though you’ve heard it all before, only maybe not delivered as dramatically and drawn out as here. As each pair of tracks comes and goes, listeners can get the impression they’re going around in circles, as each set ends up being a variation on the same theme and all the riffing and thunderous percussion lines, no matter how groovetastic they become (as on Track 6 “Erschöpft”), pass by to be replaced by another lot of riffs and tremolo guitar melodies. The instruments stay much the same from one set of pieces to the next and the style of music does not change greatly either – it’s melodic atmospheric BM, often played at blast-beat speeds – so there’s the danger that listeners’ endurance will flag well before the last set of tracks makes its entrance.

If you don’t care much for original presentation and style, and just want to get your head into some great passages of runaway BM power and anguish, you’ll probably be happy with the album as it is. Whether you’ll always play it in its entirety or just play the pieces that appeal to you most will depend on what your expectations are of black metal generally but I can’t see myself playing this album from start to finish in the way Tardigrada intend. While some tracks are very good, others are just too long and monotonous with thin guitar music and screechy flagging vocals. Even in its quiet moments, when the atmosphere is clear and sparkling, and the mood is brooding and sometimes comforting, the music lacsk that vital edge that would make it always sound fresh.

These guys have a lot of work cut out for them on their follow-up album – there are so many dark atmospheric BM bands in the wild black yonder that listeners can take their pick and Tardigrada must lift their style into something more distinctive and which stands head and shoulders above the competition. The guys have the technical skills and the power but sometimes these are just not enough.

Autumne Nocturne: a highly emotional and anguished work with a life of its own

Norskian Anathium, Autumne Nocturne, Russia, Rigorism Production, CD-R RPD165 (2014)

From Ekaterinburg in Siberia come Norskian Anathium with their debut album and first release that isn’t self-titled. The duo delivers a very mournful and despairing quartet of songs on death and melancholy. The band composes in Russian but the vocals are very distorted and have a distant phantom-like sound so listeners outside Russia can treat these as an extra layer of ambient sonic texture.

After a plaintive piano-dominated introduction, these guys throw you into the business end of their depressive BM with powerful and surging BM grind-guitar, flippy percussion and some of the most ghostly vocals to be found east of the Ural mountains in “September – Into the Ice Fog”. (Well, not that I know very much of Siberia beyond the Urals.) For such pained and painful music, filled with angst and inner torment, there’s plenty of hate, fire and energy pushing the song along. A strong bass groove in parts, distinct riffs and heart-breaking screams from afar keep the interest level high through the song’s long duration. While the guitar tones are chainsaw-rough, the production is clean and sharp enough that the bass melodies can be heard beneath the layered music and the vocals have a very cold edge. Enough repetition of particular riffs throughout the song maintains its focus and keeps it distinct from other tracks on the album.

“October – Thunderstorm”, played in a different key, has a more familiar sound for those of us who remember Burzum’s classic “Filosofem” album. The mood is dark with rock-solid bass chord drones and busy tremolo guitars sounding warning siren riffs. The voices wail more, verging on the deranged, though there is hate behind them. The highlight of this song is the hyperactive percussion meltdown in the song’s second half along with the sonorous bass slash riffs. Outro track “November – Sinister Moon” doesn’t differ greatly from the preceding tracks but ramps up the emotional intensity in the vocals and in the repetitive riffing and relentless drive of the music.

While Norskian Anathium could probably strive for a more distinctive sound, they deliver a highly emotional recording of sheer unrelenting pain and anguish, energy and the feeling of rushing towards the abyss. The music really seems to have a life of its own; the two musicians become mere conduits bringing forth a message from the spirit world about the meaninglessness and despair of life, and how death may not necessarily be a comfort from suffering. The vocals are certainly very dramatic and there’s a fine balance between drama and theatrical histrionics being trod here.

Where the album falters is in the last few moments of the final track where it appears there’s no climax followed by an easing of tension but the recording simply going on and on in its fade-out. That probably makes sense in the context of the album and the duo’s aims but for listeners it’s a very uneasy finish. There’s something about that conclusion that suggests “cliffhanger” and that there’s more to come from these guys … I certainly hope so if they can maintain the standard they’ve set here.

Acta non Verba: no frills / no nonsense 1990s-influenced black metal in search of a distinct sound

Deitus, Acta non Verba, United Kingdom, Ulthar Records, limited edition cassette CATS009 (2016)

“Deeds, not words” is the title of British BM band Deitus’ debut album, though without very much information about these guys at my finger-tips I can’t say how much they live up to that motto. Here be straightforward no-frills / no-nonsense 1990s-styled raw BM that stresses hard-edged martial riffing, outbreaks of blast-beat drumming and plenty of melodies in songs boasting occult and Satanic themes. All songs show thought and care in their construction and each track stands as a flowing self-contained unit in its own right with drama, aggression and energy. The weakest element here is the spidery BM vocals which are all but swamped by the energetic music, which is a bit unfortunate as most songs feature singing and the music accommodates it, never fighting it. While the guitars have a distorted sound, the band’s overall style is actually clean and polished enough for all instruments to be heard clearly and the general sound is more steely and spacious than grinding.

All songs are played well and consistently though if they had fewer and more distinctive riffs and melodies they might all emerge as potential singles. Trying to pack in as many riffs as possible into each and every song has the unfortunate effect of robbing them all of their own identities. As they are, the longer tracks “Ladder of Divine Ascent” and “Todestrieb” coming at the end of the album stick out more, probably because they also feature some lead guitar playing, pay more attention to creating mood and ambience than the other earlier pieces or experiment a bit with the band’s style and sound.

While the album is technically good and these Deitus guys have considerable ability and song-writing skills, they need to develop a more distinctive style and sound. At present they sound very much like 1,001 other generic raw black metal bands drawing on 1990s black metal influences and inspirations. The vocals very definitely need to improve beyond raspy spider chant and incorporating a second vocalist (with perhaps some death metal influence) probably wouldn’t go astray. There are indications on the later tracks, especially “Todestrieb”, that suggest that what I’m hearing here is just a small part of what Deitus are capable of and they could certainly include more ambience and non-BM elements than they do here.

C’mon guys, we’re looking forward to your second album where deeds not words are what we want you to live up to!

The Synarchy of Molten Bones: another intense chapter in legendary French black metal band’s journey

Deathspell Omega, The Synarchy of Molten Bones, France, Norma Evangelium Diaboli, CD digipak NED041 (2016)

After a 6-year break during which DSO fans had to be content with compilations, boxed sets and short EPs, the mighty French legends finally release a new album which turns out to be not that much longer than the short EP releases. Those of us hoping for something innovative from the band that was evident on the last original work “Drought” will be a bit disappointed too – the atmosphere and dark moods and spaces on that EP have gone and in their place is what we know to be DSO’s usual style of highly technical and sharp twisting-and-turning dense black / death metal. As is the custom of DSO, there are usually just two modes of musical delivery: the fast and furious careening along at breakneck speed that continually throws listeners off balance; and the short micro-breaks between one such episode and the next such episode.

“The Synarchy of Molten Bones” might be DSO in default cruise mode, and I’m a bit disappointed that the music here is no advance on their last release, but most DSO fans who’ve been starved for new music will be happy just to know their heroes can still deliver powerful and intense venomous black metal. The music is still dense and spiky in that dark sparkling jewelled dissonant-tone way, and there’s still that deranged edge to the playing and the ravaged multi-demon voices that dominate all four songs. The lyrics proclaim a new humanity arising from the remains of the old, but this time in the image of Satan, with all that is implied in that idea. Satan is still at heart a trickster and dissembler and a humanity in his image might partake of his deceptive nature and be no better than the humans that have gone before. Like other DSO releases, this one is so intense, overwhelming in its densely layered music and esoteric lyrics, that most fans will need several hearings to absorb it all. Though the distorted sound is still familiar, the production is still clean enough that a cold airy background ambience, through which choirs can be heard sighing, makes its presence felt through the flippy blast-beat percussion, the noodling guitars and the demon voices as they fade in and out and blend with one another.

There isn’t much to distinguish the four tracks from one another except perhaps that each succeeding track is more insane and frantic than the one before. DSO really play like men possessed and if all DSO albums were to be judged purely on their levels of madness and demented intensity, “The Synarchy …” would rate very high. The drumming especially has a deranged life of its own and I think it’s a pity the actual beats have such a thin brittle quality and don’t have the power they could have. Indeed the thin production here doesn’t do DSO much justice – the music needs to be deeper to bring out the band’s fanatical side.

Even so, there’s plenty of substance in the lyrics that will intrigue listeners and which might ensure that the album, for all its immediate musical faults, will grow on listeners and be considered essential listening, warts and all.

Tyhjyys: a technically consistent work lacking a distinctive identity

Kalmankantaja, Tyhjyys, Wolfspell Records, CD Spell 028 (2016)

Since forming in 2011, Kalmankantaja have notched up an impressive discography (nine albums, two compilations, several EPs and splits) in the short time they’ve been together. I sometimes wonder whether they’d be better off recording fewer albums and splits each year and spending more time experimenting with and deviating from their style on the recordings they do make. “Tyhjyys”, the trio’s second full-length album for 2016, is a solid depressive BM work from start to finish but promises no new surprises for their fans. The musicians are progressing steadily from their original depressive BM approach to a more melodic and atmospheric style that straddles the underground and the alternative mainstream. The music is reminiscent of Burzum around his “Hvis Lyset Tar Oss” / “Filosofem” period but with a more powerful and spacey sound and less pop-oriented tunes.

All five songs are long with the shortest at least 8 minutes in length. “Iankaikkinen” sets the template for the rest of the album to follow: layered riffs with just enough distortion to project a hard, grinding texture (but not so much so that you can’t make them out), a pained synth tone-poem wash-over that sets the mood and gruff Finnish-language vocals that usually dominate the song. The drumming provides enough bang to anchor the music and occasionally stands out in parts but usually sticks to its time-keeping role. The riffs can be dramatic and sweeping, and lend an epic aspect to some tracks (as on the follow-up song “Mustat vedet”) though they’re not exactly whistle-worthy pop tunes. There’s a fair amount of repetition on most tracks which accounts for their length and probably if they’d been cut back by a minute or two each, not much would be lost in the way of the song’s integrity as instrumental passages within songs tend to go over and over the same riff.

While all the BM-oriented songs are consistent and powerful on their own, together they’re not that distinct from one another and they could interchange riffs and melodies without affecting the general downbeat mood and style much. The emotional level tends to be the same from one song to the next and the singing especially is more low-key than the songs perhaps deserve. The odd scream or demonic multi-voiced gabble-fest wouldn’t have hurt. Where songs build up to a climax, the cold mists of synthesiser tone wash tend to dampen down the intensity when maybe the guitars should just let rip once in a while with a volcanic boil-over. An opportunity to go into hypnotic psychedelic territory on “Yönpalvoja” offers itself but the band doesn’t take it up. Instead there’s too much repetition on this track and while it does have a lot of power, the song’s potential to be a stirring climax to everything that’s come before is wasted. Final track “Kaamos” is an all-ambient instrumental that does very little for its length.

Long-time Kalmankantaja fans will probably be happy that once again the band has been consistent and is continuing to produce technically good work but first-time listeners are probably better off hearing the trio’s shorter EP works or some of the split recordings the Finns have done with other bands.