Finland has long been a hotbed for intensely melodic metal. Take the addictive, neoclassical thrash of (earlier) Children of Bodom, the overripe pomp of Nightwish or the thrilling Viking blare of Moonsorrow – all lush, atmospheric and stylish as hell. And that’s not even touching wackadoo black metal like …And Oceans or the classic, always-evolving Amorphis. In fact, one of the things I don’t think I’ve yet heard from Finland is straight-up Floridian death metal – until now.

Enter Sotajumala (translation: Wargod), a band that may eschew their countrymen’s taste for wild melody, but more than make up for it with sharp, accomplished songwriting and superb musicianship. While not a redefinition of the genre by any means, it is a crystallization of everything we love about it: pummeling riffs, molten solos, growls both gruff and harsh, and syncopated, hail-of-gunfire drumming. There’s definitely melody here too, but it’s the relentless, rolling menace of classic Morbid Angel rather than anything remotely Gothenburg. And the outstanding production brings everything together beautifully – crank this one as loud as you want, and you won’t lose a thing.

Teloitus is a monster from start to finish, but standouts for me included the opener, “Tappaja Ja Tapettu (The Killer and the Killed),” its central line like a massive vortex, “Kidutus (Torture)”, with its mounting, call-and-response framework of riffs, and the martial drumming on the title track. There’s never any blasting for blasting’s sake – it seems as if every change-up and every fill is there to service the song, and not merely to ornament or overrun.

In short, if you thought you knew what Finnish metal sounded like, it’s time to widen your expectations. And if you’re a death metal band from the Sunshine State, don’t rest on your laurels – seems like great material in the classic Florida style can come from anywhere these days.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
October 1st, 2008


  1. Commented by: kevinbolgia

    yeah sotajumala is an amazing band and good friends of ours… if you liked this album, you should check out their previous album ‘Death Metal Finland’. a little different then ‘Teloitus’, but it’s very, very, good. word

  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Yeah-i thought Death metal FInland was waaaay better than this one

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