Ajattara - Kalmanto review


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Band: Ajattara
Album: Kalmanto
Release date: September 2007

01. Ilkitie
02. Turhuuden Takila
03. Madot
04. ...Putoan
05. Harhojen Virta
06. Suruntuoja
07. Naimalaulu
08. Alttarilla Aamutähden
09. Kalmanto

Thank God, Satan, The Flying Spaghetti Monster of whatever deity you crazy folks out there worship on the Internet. When I first stumbled upon Kalmanto some 3 years ago or such, the fact that the entire album was in Finnish was driving me insane, as I really wanted to know what it all means. Now, with the power of Google Translate, I've deduced that I really wasn't missing out on much... But I digress.

Ladies and gents, I believe most of you are familiar with the Finnish act, Ajattara, one of those bands whose entire discography consists of (other than that one exception) pretty solid albums, but none of which really stands out or offers something brilliant. Well, such is also the fate of Kalmanto.

How best to describe the sound? Well, it's filthy, that you can be sure of. Public toilet in some godforsaken gas station in the middle of nowhere filthy. Somewhat less, actually. The style itself is actually a very interesting concoction of melodic black metal in the vocal and atmosphere departments, frequent rockish tempos, riffs and song structures and hovering above it all is a noticeable doom-y overtone, mostly due to the really blunt and bassy sound. The interesting thing is that there are a fair number of oriental/Arabic sounding melodies. Like "One Thousand and One Nights" gone bad. Really, really bad.

Sounds rather confusing, doesn't it? Indeed, the exact style of the album is pretty hard to pigeon-hole. But let's talk about what it does for the listener, shall we? Unlike albums with hundreds of different emotional or technical layers, this one is just... wait for it... fun. I know, right? Black(-ish) metal that doesn't try to convert you to satanism or doesn't aim at talking you into committing suicide does sounds a bit odd. Yet, Kalmanto is fairly good at what it does. Catchy riffs and handbangable melodies are all over the album, wrapped up in a sense of doom, gloom and urban filth. The simplistic and straightforward songwriting approach ensures that nothing is drawn out, unnecessarily long or complex. Just pure black(-ish) n' roll, most of the time. Check out "Naimalaulu", the sexiest track here (and I do mean that literally...) and tell me you didn't want to headbang to those groovy, yet dirty riffs (or that you didn't get a boner when the female moaning started). You could also give "...Putoan" a try, a song guaranteed to make you sing along to its nasty chorus even if you don't know a word of Finnish, or be warped in darkness "Ilkitie" creates. Some faster and more atmospheric tracks like "Suruntuoja" and "Alttarilla Aamutähden" might also give you a nice rush.

A satisfying album, I say. It doesn't push boundaries, it doesn't challenge you emotionally or intellectually and probably won't be hailed as a classic or a gem of its time. Just some nasty, perverted fun to give you a break from all the emotionally exhausting or technically wankerous (I'm putting a trademark on this word) stuff that us tr00 people listen to. All the time. 'Cuz we know our music is superior than whatever you listen to. "The Black Legion of Twilight Inner Circle Worship" has spoken.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written by Slayer666 | 30.08.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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