Label: Saturnal Records, released: April 2017
Black Metal has never been my cup of tea, but there are exceptions, and legendary Finnish Barathrum are among them. The band has been quite silent in recent years, musically, although its legendary founder Janne “Demonos” Sova has retained his presence in the local Metal scene… but now the band is back and proved their status as audience magnet at this year’s Tuska festival – I could not even squeeze into the venue…
And that was a pity, I would have preferred to be introduced to the new material during their ecstatic show, but even this digital form clarifies why I like this band. There’s definitely more Metal than Black in the mix. Just like the genre forefathers Venom: raw, elemental, earthy, focusing on grooving riffs as well as on Doom-ish foreboding evil, plus some edgy Punk-chaos. And you can even find ear candy like “Church Amok”. No blast-beast overkill, hence it doesn’t get boring (which is the problem I usually have with Black Metal).
Apropos evil, well this describes the vocals ranging from snotty Metal-style to Dani-style-screeching. Band-Mastermind Demonos Sova seems to enjoy every syllable of his sinister lyrics (plus a dose of dark humor that seems to be present at e.g. “Pope Corpse Tattoo”). Listening to Arx Satanas or Spirit of the Dead you can even see the excessive show in your mind’s eye (maybe even those who have never seen this band live). Summing up, a well-done comeback!
More about the band here: http://www.saturnalrecords.com/web/barathrum.html