Tomb of Finland
Below the Green

Prejudices, they’re a bitch. Whether it is literature, music, food, or people, prejudices never amount to anything good. We all have them though, in some way, shape, or form we all prejudge something. Even as we understand and try our best to avoid them, we eventually fail…and fail is what I did when I first encountered Below the Green, the debut album from Tomb of Finland.

Looking at the cliché cover art, the juvenile logo, and the bad band name, I just knew I was in for an aural crapfest when I first sat down with Below the Green. Though to my surprise and delight, what I got was a damn fine doom-filled, blackened death metal album.

Wearing their influences clearly, and proudly, on their sleeves, Tomb of Finland do a fantastic job at mixing the blacker melodies of Dissection with the somber death of early Swallow the Sun, wrapping it all up in a late ‘90’s Hypocrisy vibe, with a little Amon Amarth, Dismember, and Bloodbath thrown in for good measure.  Sounds pretty awesome, right? Of course it does, and in all honesty, it is pretty awesome.

After a brief, yet confusing, oriental sounding intro, the band wastes no time in impressing with “Death of the Sun”. This blackened, melodic thrasher is simply well written and straight to the point, recalling a sound and feel of Naglfar meets Rotting Christ, meets Ragnarok. “In the Heart of Winter” follows with its mournful, yet passionate energy, ushering in more of the death/doom sound that is to be found on the rest of the album. Even though the band is Finnish, the love of all things Swedish really shines on Below the Green. From the “Runes to My Memory” inspired melody of “The Autumn Rain”, to the massive Peter T. styled groove and Dismember/Bloodbath mash-up of “Life and Slavery”, “Damnation”, and “Dead Forever”, or the black metal musings of “Sunfader”; Tomb of Finland could have easily called themselves Crypt of Sweden or something as equally hokey. The aforementioned “Damnation” really stands out, not just for its crushing Swallow the Sun melancholy and Bloodbath brutality, but I’ll literally, kiss your ass if it doesn’t remind you of Dismember’s “Life, Another Shape of Sorrow”. Closing out the album is “Kaira”, a nice, short, doom drenched heavy hitter that wisely avoids the pitfall of wearing out its welcome in length.

As I stated earlier, Tomb of Finland heavily wears their influences not only on their sleeves, but massively emblazoned on their backs. While everything on Below the Green is top notch, nothing is slightly close to being considered original, but that’s okay really, because the album is simply a great listen. From the dual, sometimes layered, vocals, to the skillful impressive drum-work, to the crushing rhythm and melodic leads, Below the Green is quite an enjoyable and impressive album. Hell, there’s even a good bass presence captured here too. None of this is really a surprise, being that Below the Green was recorded and mastered by the legendary Dan Swano at Unisound Studios. A great sounding, well played slab of somber brutality, Below the Green is an album that should please any fan of extreme metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
August 13th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Grist
  2. Commented by: Grymm

    Grist beat me to it.

    Such a great debut and a promising young band, but that name… LOL


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