“Lapin Helvetti”

By Dr. Abner Mality

The sad thing about this album is that few in the English speaking world will give it a listen because the band name and all the lyrics are in jaw-breaking Finnish. Don’t let that stop you from picking this up if you are any kind of fan of thrash metal and hardcore, because it really smokes!

Lapin Helvetti apparently arose from the ashes of Terveet Kadet, a Finnish hardcore institution for 30 years. I would say that this is closer to pure thrash than punky crossover, but the great thing is that every song here has a slightly different sound and every variation still kicks ass. In general, they sound like Cro-Mags in BOTH the “Age of Quarrel” and “Best Wishes” era, with awesome precise thrash riffs. The vocals are where the punk comparisons are most apt…lots of shouting and bellowing. You get the anger, but as far as lyrics go, forget it. Just writing some of the song titles here would break my keyboard.

There are traces of a more raw Motorhead/Venom style as well and the tunes are all very precise and to the point. Three minutes is an epic here, but nothing runs together because of each song’s identity. In a year with a lot of good thrash releases, here’s another one. Don’t let it pass you by!