Sadistik Forest
Obscure Old Remains EP

Finland’s Sadistik Forest flew under my radar until their third full-length album, Morbid Majesties, came out in 2018.  Their intense combination of death metal mixed with some blackened thrash metal had me thinking of early Skeletonwitch.  I went and discovered their prior 2 excellent albums, however Morbid Majesties is still my favorite release from them.  Their newest release is a stop-gap ep, I imagine before their fourth full-length album.  Other than a new drummer, the band has remained intact which has helped the band continue with their sound, however, the band definitely has plenty of cool ideas and Obscure Old Remains – this 4-song ep clocks in at 19 minutes.  I must preface first the fact that green is my favorite color and this cover, as well as the color of the logo, gets a 100% in my book of brutality.  Does that make any difference to you, the reader??  Well absolutely not, but I felt like I needed to share.

“Mandragore” starts with a nice drum solo before the guitar riffing comes in to blast your face off.  Traditional death/thrashing speed then a nice mid-paced part which has me thinking like late 80’s death metal.  Excellent snarling vocals and then back into that classic mid-paced moment with killer guitar melodies.  The song picks up pace and the mid-paced moment returns with isolated bass guitar and drums, before a nice little yelp of a growl and the guitars come back.  I super enjoy the fact Sadistik Forest will go back to the catchy riff several times.  I need these songs embedding in my brain folks!!! C’mon let’s go, anyway very cool opener of a song.  “Barbarian” is up next with more mid-paced riffing and the song starts really heavy and then an excellent growl, then back to that super heavy mid-paced part with a nice guitar solo attached to it that trails off with a squeal as the vocals come right back, then back into a faster passage.

“Nihil” starts off low, as the volume gradually gets higher and the song again is mid-paced, then gets into a slower plodding pace.  Vocalist, Markus Makkonen, sounding similar to Jeff, from Carcass, with that raspy/snarling berating vocal style.  The song is more mid-paced and then gets into a faster speed, but still rooted in the 80’s speed before a nice blast beat at the 2.20 comes swooping in with some cool guitar noises over the blast, then the traditional speed returns, as well as that cool blasting moment and guitar solos that continue for quite some time.

“Waters Black”, at over 6 minutes, is the longest song on this ep.  Sadistik Forest has flirted with longer songs, in the past, as well as songs that will veer off into some doomier parts and this track is no exception.  Plodding, heavy, dirgy and doomy.  Excellent drums and polyrhythmic stop and start parts and then back into that doomy and slow part.  Excellent double bass drums, growls, solos and the deeper register vocals really punch you in the face on the song, towards the end.  Pay close attention to the end of the song when it goes silent.  Then a few seconds later, an ‘ode to Napalm Death, with a 2 second grind song.  It’s abrupt and brutal.

Sadistik Forest’s Obscure Old Remains is a real fine addition to their discography.  If I had to mention anything it’s that the production is a bit thinner than Morbid Majesties and some of their past brutality on that seems to have been greatly scaled back.  In place is a little more primitive-sounding death/thrash, like early Death and Possessed, to give you an idea of how this sounds.  With that in place, it also means the brutal blast beats have been scaled back and they have.  Yes, I would enjoy the sounds of their prior album to be on their next album, but maybe this is a sign of things to come.  With that being said I still enjoy this EP, since it’s well-played and has the classic moments of the 80’s, which of course I appreciate.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
July 2nd, 2021

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