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Friday, March 14, 2014
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Adramelech are (were) a far-underestimated band from Finland, with members also known from their co-operation with, for example, Demigod, Torture Killer and Impious Havoc, a. o. The album Psychostasia was some kind of ‘break-though’ within the (European / international) Death Metal scene, if only it were because of the eccentric, characterising approach courtesy of bands from the Land of a Thousand Lakes. It originally saw the light in 1996 via major Extreme Metal label Relapse Records. And it is a pleasure to have MDD Records re-issuing this material once more, with a couple of bonus tracks.

Psychostasia brings an Old School-styled form of Death Metal, yet the album for sure was / is not ‘just another Finnish Old School Death Metal record’. Like some other bands from the Suomi-country, Adramelech too add a touch of uniqueness to their rhythmic, powerful and ultra-heavy Death Blitzkrieg. Still the songs maintain a catchy melodicism, yet the whole gets spiced by an own vision on originality. The band surely did not intend to renew, yet the goal was to have a distinctive, characterising approach.

Nice too are the sound and the speed. When it comes to the first, the sound, I must refer to the grating and scraping production. The mixture ended up in a nice equilibrium in between the different contributing elements (aka instruments and grunts). And when it comes to the second remark, the speed, I need to mention the variation. Overall, the album varies from slowed-down to up-tempo, yet there are some extremes as well: a handful of lightning speed riffs at the one hand, or pounding-doomy passages at the other.

I also need to mention the atmosphere. This one is very eerie, haunting, obscure (which gets partly caused, once again, by the production / recording sound I referred to within the former paragraph). It excludes Finland’s hegemony, for it also brings a more general Scandinavian vision to mind (with a focus on Norway and, especially the Swedish scene).

The bonus songs are live editions from different performances. The recording quality of these three tracks isn’t optimum, of course, yet not completely inferior either. And it does give an impression about the members’ performance skills, for this sounds so fat yet tight.

For fans of everything in between Demilich and Demigod, early Therion and Tiamat, Dismember, Bolt Thrower, Incantation etc., or younger acts like Decaying, Vastum, The Wakedead Gathering or Bodyfarm.