TLDR: Ajattara’s comeback album delivers mid-tempo black metal with various levels of success.
Review: When I got Ajattara’s sophomore album Tyhjyys for a review over 14 years ago, I described it as Barathrum’s and Trio Niskalaukaus’ twisted and mutated hybrid version. Even though lots of time has passed since those words, really not that much has changed. Those are still the bands that come to my mind when I am listening to the band’s eighth album called Lupaus (“A Promise” in Finnish).
Lupaus starts with a fast-tempo aggression called Saatanan sinetti (“The Seal of Satan”). This reminds me of Barathrum, thanks to it strong bass guitar sound, and is the best song on the album. Too bad, though, as there are no songs of this quality later on the album.
And this is actually one of the key problems here. The level of songs isn’t solid. At is best, Lupaus delivers the best of Ajattara so far, but at its worst, it’s really lower average what you’d expect from the band. It seems that today’s Ajattara is better when it’s aggressive. When the mood goes too “easy” and the songs too melodic, it becomes kinda lame rock rather than black metal.
The vocals on the album are good and versatile. In addition to the rather good shriekes, there are strong growling parts, too, as well as some clean vocals. The latter ones are actually quite useless here. In my opinion this album could have lived without them. Soundwise everything is good and especially the bass guitar rocks.
It’s hard to say for sure if this album will appeal to anyone but the band’s already existing fans. For them this is pretty much guaranteed piece of art and so-called must have album.
1. Saatanan sinetti
6. Ave Satana