Calvarium
The Skull of Golgotha

This is true black metal that will make all posers run screaming from the room, no industrial, no groove, no dark ambient. I first heard about Calvarium in 2002 and was intrigued but never tracked down anything to listen to. Now, thanks to Dynamic Arts I’ve got a promo copy of the debut of one of Finland’s best black metal bands. Being Finnish gives them a head start.

This band may be relatively new, but certainly not inexperienced, with members active in the Finnish scene for at least ten years. Guitarist Veilroth served time in Alghazanth, Funeris Nocturnum and Behexen. Drummer Lord Sargofagian with Satanic Warmaster, Baptism (where he also does vocals) and Valonsurma. Add ex Baptism bassist Molestor Kadotus as vocalist and lyricist and the band is complete. They play fast paced Norwegian early 90’s style black filtered through modern Finnish black art. Gorgoroth is an obvious comparison. The pace is fast, the intensity is incredible, the underlying rhythm is strong and the leads pierce that sonic distortion of the rhythm section with buzzing intensity. The drumming is blastbeats with some extra flair. I love the drum sound, deep and full but not so loud as to totally overwhelming everything else. Each instrument stands out but the mix is anything but crystal clear, I love it. The vocals are very harsh black style with occasional death roar backing vocals and even some echoing spoken words. “Horns Of Hate” proves they can play fast, “Jumalviha” proves they can play slow. “Horns Of Hate” was my favorite until I heard “Siunatun Surma” which was my favorite until I heard “Herramme On Saapuva”.

The album gets stronger as it progresses, but after repeated listening it is the third track, “Jumalviha” that gets my vote for album’s best song. No lyrics with a promo, so I don’t know the words, but a few of the titles are in English, clearly identifying this as anti Christian, also given away by the album title. Not only do I recommend you track down a copy, I’ll do the same. This band deserves my support, just listening to a free promo is not enough.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
January 25th, 2003

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