By Dr. Abner Mality

Ajatarra is a Finnish black metal band that’s flown under the radar for many years now. I doubt if “Lupaus” gives them the breakout they need and that’s a shame, because these guys are extremely competent in what they do and not a cookie-cutter BM band by any means.

The album is entirely in Finnish and that probably won’t help their cause, not that they care that much. When the tunes are good, the language is not the most important aspect. They play a groovy, bass-driven kind of black metal that has a lot of piss and vinegar but which sounds much fuller and richer than many of their compatriots. You can hear a big fat bass on many songs here, but especially “Suru” and “Uhrilahju”, which are heavy in a way many BM songs are not. Ajatarra are not super orthodox, but when vocalist Ruoja spits out the hellish croak at the end of “Ave Satana”, you know these guys are not Hot Topic Satanists, but full of real scorn.

I find “Lupaus” quick and punchy to listen to. Not the most epic or ground-breaking black metal, but full of darkness and spite. Give them a try if you’re into the same.