Fumes Of Funeral Pyres

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Tramalized
02. Point Of No Turning Back
03. Hating God
04. As They Are Put To Sleep
05. Curse Of The Lake Drag
06. Gift
07. Fumes Of Funeral Pyres
08. Looking For Reality
09. Plain Evil
10. The Rostov Ripper
11. At The Night Of Feast

Another week means another fantastic addition to death metal's new wave of young and hungry bands. Coming straight out of Finland with energy levels set to psychotic, TRAMALIZER sound like they have spent decades worshipping the ancient gods. "Fumes Of Funeral Pyres" doesn't have any of the compositional hesitancy that we might reasonably expect on a debut. Instead, the quartet's adherence to the old-school code, and mastery of its rudimentary principles have already been signed off.

The first thing that hits you is the sheer, audacious nastiness of guitarist Mikko Jokelainen's tone. TRAMALIZER are not messing around with any needless modernity. Songs like opener "Tramalized" and "Point Of No Turning Back" are steeped in arcane hostility, with debts held to everything from ENTOMBED and DISMEMBER to (early) GORGUTS and fellow Finns' DEMILICH discernible in the defiantly atypical riffs and structures. Most importantly, TRAMALIZER strike an exquisite balance between sounding like the bowels of Hell being ripped apart and like an imperious, destructive heavy metal band.

There is plenty of ugliness to be found in songs like "Hating God" and "Curse Of The Lake Drag", and the Finns' slow riffs practically ooze from the speakers. But the lasting impact of this genuinely startling debut is that these songs sound built to last. Everything is liberally dowsed in the trappings and trimmings of old-school death metal — there is, in the best possible way, a lot of divebombing. The sound of rabid youthful intensity is unmistakable throughout, and there are numerous ruthlessly catchy moments, from the scabby-knuckled stomp that erupts halfway through the title track, to the pure metal thuggery of "The Rostov Ripper". The best is saved until last: "At The Night Of Feast" is a deeply classy piece of death metal songwriting with rather more atmosphere than its sledgehammer execution should permit.

Like many of the greatest albums of its kind, "Fumes Of Funeral Pyres" ends at a slow pace; one final, crushing riff acting as final confirmation that TRAMALIZER have nailed this death metal business at the first attempt. You can safely file this next to all the other bands that are breathing new life into death. This absolutely slays.

Author: Dom Lawson
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