Kratti
Matka Kohti Kosmista

Finland. When I think of Finland I tend to think of the recent film Sisu. It’s about this gold miner who finds the mother load in a vein of gold. Long story short, some Nazis are killed in fantastically thrilling ways.  While I was listening to this debut album from Kratti Matka Kohti Kosmista, I could envision something I often associate with Kvlt Black Metal like this; three dudes in a bomb shelter with a four-track and a bunch of candles burning.

Whether or not Matka Kohti Kosmista was recorded this way, the press blurb says it was recorded in the forests of Finland; so it is anyone’s guess and I could still be right.

Anyway, enough of my teenage fumbling in the backseat looking for an introduction. This is the part where I go into semi-deep dive territory, the part where I say “You need to hear this.” Now I’m going to tell you why.

Last year Kratti released the aptly named Demo 2023 and it must have bored it’s way into someone’s ear hole, because here we are in 2024 and they have this brand spanking new album called Matka Kohti Kosmista (in case I hadn’t already mentioned it). Right away the tone is set with “Pyhä alttari” at first an atmospheric whirlwind and building into a scalding Black Metal assault and it’s where I found myself thinking about the whole bomb shelter recording session, because it’s raw, and stripped down like a sacrificial virgin: Haarniska – guitars and vocals, E.M – drums and Anleifr – guitars, bass & synths have come together to sell your soul whether you want it or not.

Second track, “Haudanvartija” is where influences start to show up; Finland has no shortage of amazing bands including Impaled Nazarene, Horna, Behexen, Beherit and Sargeist to name a handful. It’s here that I can pick up that feeling I got with Behexen’s By the Blessing of Satan and My Soul for His Glory.

Title track “Matka Kohti Kosmista” sort of steps away to Belgium for the Enthroned-ish intro riff, but then they’re right back home for the remainder of the song, that riff just rings that Satanic bell I suppose. “Sota viimeinen” is a Punked up bar brawler, the harsh vocals are a bit more understandable (not by much, unless you have on headphones, which I did not). It’s pissed off and venomous and fits tightly with the other tracks, providing a bit of respite from the unholy fire of the surrounding tracks.

That’s good too, because final two tracks “Ääni Hiljaisuuteen Katoava” and “Synkissä muistoissa” strike with a one-two punch. The first starting out with a flurry of blasting before it becomes a slogging, mid-paced troll, crushing delivery leads to the finale “Synkissä muistoissa” which is a 90s Black Metal throwback, blistering and raw like an open wound getting salt poured in it. An absolutely bludgeoning album comes to a bleak and morose ending.

It’s closing time, constant reader, and the bottom line is one of evil elation. I can recommend this one for the Kvlt; Darkthrone, Horna, Behexen, and Sargeist. The lovers of cold dark forests, and possibly frostbitten appendages… you need this in your life.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
June 12th, 2024

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