Album Title: 
Alttarimme On Luista Tehty
Release Date: 
Friday, February 24, 2023
Review Type: 

I will keep it short and concise, for this Finnish act does not need any introduction anymore. It would be a waste of (my precious) time right now. The same goes for the fine Flemish label that is responsible, once again, for this release. My devotion and dedication go for both band and label, but I’m too lazy right now (haha) to go deeper into their history, biography or discography.

So, here we go. Alttarimme On Luista Tehty is the eleventh or twelfth album by Finnish combo Azaghal after quite a disturbing period of relative silence. Their contract with Immortal Frost Productions has been prolonged once more, resulting in both a digital and a physical release of this newest opus. Those physicals are stunning again, going for different options on compact-disc as well as on vinyl. Click on the link below and make your choice.

First this: there is one important change going on this time: the performance of new vocalist Jukka ‘Thirteen’ (he’s part of Scarecrow, which includes other Azaghal alumni) after long-time collaborator Niflungr parted ways with Azaghal in 2021. A pity, for I did adore Niflungr’s sweet chants a lot, but a positive evolution too, because Thirteen is a worthy successor for sure. I’ll come back to this immediately.

Alttarimme On Luista Tehty, which means something like ‘our altar is made of bones’, is a logical next step within this ancient Suomi-based act, for it is the same, and somewhat different too at the very same time. Of course the new vocalist has to do with that evolved band’s identification. Thirteen’s timbre is of a bestial level, a venom-spitting throat of the most morbid kind. His preaching of death and malice fits surprisingly well to the fairylike lullabies that make Alttarimme On Luista Tehty so sweet. Most of the time, like 98,666 percent, this guy seem to drench his vocal chords in some acid. And once in a while, this sort of evolves into a rather deadly growl.

The album comes with the very same fury and intolerance of old. About every single inch of it blasts and rages, never intending to surrender. Alttarimme On Luista Tehty is a harsh experience that overwhelms by its intensity and immensity. Like an avalanche, these tracks crush and collapse. The better part indeed is furiously fast, with an ingenious rhythm section that smoothly fortifies that passionate vehemence. Yet still, Azaghal are able to maintain a well-balanced level of melodicism. Those melodic structures get performed by a multi-leveled layer of fine-tuned string-work, coming with a deeply-rumbling sound when talking about the bass lines, and a somewhat grooving sound when focusing on the leads. Evidently, the few solos are like a sweet cherry on top of the sweet cake. With compositions like the quasi-anthemic hymn Seitseman Ihmisen Irvikuvaa (which includes such smart bass-lines and even a fat hint of epic and paganized pride) or Syvyydesta Liekkien Takaa, the whole even reaches out towards mesmerizing proportions.

Besides that more groovy approach, the Swedish-oriented execution too is remarkable. For some not-that-stupid reason, the earlier efforts by Marduk do come to mind, when dissecting that old-schooled (read: timeless) production. I can’t get rid of the idea that the old-styled Death Metal scene from Sweden sort of penetrated the studio duties somehow. Attention: this goes for the sound of the guitars especially, as mentioned before; Azaghal did not suddenly turn into an Entombed or Dismember clone. Some drum-patterns too follow that eccentric trend of Unisound-like grandeur. Verivirta is an example of that well-thought exercise-of-balance in between groove-laden energy and that war-like emphasis, that blistering heat caused by the merciless walls of thundering noise.

Once in a while, the band adds something subtle yet, why not, also interesting, besides that more deadly and groove-injected attitude. This goes for a couple of slower passages, or the use of keyboards. Yet then again, this newest album by Azaghal has not been created to explore fictive territories. The main accent remains in the use of primordial techniques and archaic constructions. No fake gimmicks, no exaggerated experimentation, just blasphemous and furious sonic supremacy…