Three years after ‘From The Midst Of The Battle’ and two years after the impressive EP ‘Retaliatory Strike EP’, the boys from Finland are back with a full length album ‘Deathbed Poetry – Hope Against Hope’.
Thematicly, the entire album is based on a book titled ‘Devotions Upon Emergent Occassins’. This book was written by the English poet and priest John Donne (1572-1631) while he was suffering a nearly fatal illness. The doctors gave him only a little, if any hope of surviving. During his convalescence he wrote a series of meditations and prayers on health, pain and sickness, that were later published as a book. After all, Donne did survive and lived several more years.
It needs no explanation that when Manu Lehtinen used this book in his songs, a solid combination of lyrics showed up. With man’s grieve, pain and suffering as a subject, they even show some comparison to known Bible-chapters from Job and Ecclesiastes… It mentiones the dark side of life, but never gets hopeless.
I don’t know what illness John Donne was suffering from, but it may be understood that listening to Deuteronomium would have given him serious headaches. Yet, this priest-poet can be proud of what the guys did with his heritage. The band digged in their archieves for a package of forgotten early ’90’s thrash-riffs and found some hardcore-aggression, that is mixed into a classic thrashcore-sound that overall reminds me of Betrayal, Detritus and (later) Sacrament.
But I’ve got to give ém this… every time I think something sounds ”old’, they surprise me with something new. The added black-screams and shrill cymballs in ‘Seven Critical Days’ for instance add this icecold Scandinavian atmosphere, while deep death-grunts in ‘Soul Sickness’ and low-pounding guitars in ‘Sun & Moon’ feel like a warm blanket and a satisfied grin.
‘Divine Councel’ has some nice twin-guitar-approaches, ‘Surqite, Mortui’ some great breaks and the slowness-approach in ‘Alive, Immortal’ makes you think: ‘what just happened with this song?”
Deuteronomium once again succesfully used several different extreme-metal-variations in their sound, but be prepared: it will take you a couple of days to grap the deeper joy of listening to their mix.
Written by Hans van Vuuren
2 Seven Critical Days
3 Being Human
4 Surgite, Mortui
5 How Deep Must We Dig?
6 Alive, Immortal
7 Soul Sickness
8 Arcanun Serpens
9 Sun & Moon
11 Divine Councel
12 The Bells Are Ringing
Miika Partala: Lead-vocals / Guitar
Manu Lehtinen: Bass / Vocals
Kalle Paju: Lead-Guitar
Janne-Jussi Kontoniemi: Drums
Label: Bullroser Records , 2011