Agasia – Arkunkantajat
Blackened crust from Finland.
Recorded in Turku, Finland in 2019 and released on the last day of 2020, this is some crushing blackened crust here for you! I only wish that I had a damn clue as to what the band is singing about, as I don’t speak Finnish.
The record starts off with the title track “Arkunkantajat” (roughly translated as ‘pallbearers,’ thanks Google Translate!) as they mean to go on—with steamrolling d-beats, scathing riffs, and funeral bells incorporated into the song to serve as a reminder that death is never far away. The second and third track, “Perintö” and “Herääminen”, continue very much in the same tradition as the pallbearers are making their way through the graveyard to the sound of filthy blackened melodies. Staying true to their hardcore punk roots, they steer away from the typical tremolo picks, blast beats or harsh black metal vocals and let the d-beats do the walking instead.
On the fourth track “Tomu”, however, Agasia push the limits with the sheer length of their compositions. They are unafraid to write a nine minute track to create a more sludgy, doom-laden atmosphere in addition to their fiery wall-of-sound attacks. The same goes for the seven-minute closing track “Saatana” which begins with slow, sludgy build up halfway through the song, then exploding into bludgeoning d-beat assault all the way to the end.
Blending the crushing Scandinavian hardcore of bands like Wolfbrigade, Martyrdöd, and vocal style that reminds me of Severed Head of State at times, with some ice cold blackened death and sludgy riffs for extra doom and gloom, that album begets a blistering good time. Various facets of modern extremity all rolled into one.