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Review: Hautajaisyö – Self Titled

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Hautajaisyö is a 4-piece Finnish death metal band from Lisalmi. They describe themselves as “melancholy” death metal because of the sheer emotion that seeps from each song. Their latest release, Hautajaisyö, has 9 tracks running around 31 minutes long. Hautajaisyö delivers us piercing riffs, clear mixing/production, and well developed songs. Check Hautajaisyö out on Facebook, Youtube, Spotify, and their website (in Finnish)!

Hautajaisyö starts things off right with a fast, short, and hard hitting death metal song called “Jokainen Kuolee Vuorollaan.” This is one of the simpler songs off the album; the main riff is straightforward, the song structure is tight, and it’s only 2 minutes long. Growls from J.Partanen are deep and filled with an energy that is only appropriate for playing death metal. It’s a solid song that doesn’t bore you and doesn’t take long to play.

“Päänsärkijä” is the second track and varies a bit from “Jokainen Kuolee Vuorollaan” in a few fashions. “Jokainen Kuolee Vuorollaan” is a heavier song that plays in your face then backs off while “Päänsärkijä” has a lighter and a relatively somber undertone. After a certain point the growls are intertwined with softer vocals overlapping the reclined instrumentals. Even before that point, the lighter vocals chime in with the growls. The combination of the two make it sound like the vocalist is reaching out desperately for something to work in his favor. Don’t ask how I got that vibe, I just did.

“Minä Olen Vain Puu” is an awesome blend of thrash and death metal. The thrashiest element about it is the constant headbanging riffs going on. There isn’t a soft moment on “Minä Olen Vain Puu” and you will not stop moving to it until it’s end. The drum fills are tasty, the song is simple enough, and the riffs are always moving. If the riffs and drumming aren’t enough to make you move, then the steady low frequencies from the bass guitar and bass drums will.

This next song is a pretty cool one: “Aamulla Vainaa.” It’s rather melodic and equally as somber as “Päänsärkijä” is. Individual notes from chords layer and ring out while Partanen’s emotional growls fill the air with agony despite the soothing sound from said chords and appeasing drumming. “Aamulla Vainaa” switches between those laid-back sections and a chug-oriented riff that is separated by some melodic notes serving as bridges. This is quite a beautiful song that makes you feel obligated to appreciate it and I don’t mind giving it the attention it deserves. To describe the sublimity of a song that seamlessly crafts contrasting elements is a task too difficult to bother. Just listen to this.

“Uneenkuiskaajat” moves things along by starting and staying heavy. It uses chug-based riffs and speed to achieve headbang status. Nothing in particular stands out on “Uneenkuiskaajat,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad or generic song at all. Comparing it to the previous songs, it doesn’t carry a specific emotion, follow a certain formula, or anything of the sort. This is just a straight up death metal song. Take it for what it is.

What “Pirun Pesä” and “ Jokainen Kuolee Vuorollaan” have in common is that they are brief songs that play in your face and get out before you do anything to them. It pretty much uses the same 2 or 3 riffs until the song builds up to the ending. I like stuff like that so I’m not complaining.

“Mieleni Varjoissa” and “Köysi” are both heavy songs that don’t really mess around with tone and mood changes like some of the other songs did. “Köysi” does use those softer vocals from before and has a section with acoustic guitar lingering, but the song is more heavy than not. Those lighter moments are very brief and are more melodic than anything. “Köysi” seems to be the bridge for “Mieleni Varjoissa” and “Tämän Vainajan Tähden” because “Mieleni Varjoissa” has no soft side and the final track has more of the laid back/emotional vibes. “Tämän Vainajan Tähden” is a heavy melodic song that shares the same majestic beauty as “Aamulla Vainaa.” A difference to note is that “Tämän Vainajan Tähden” uses brighter notes and chords to project a lighter sound. This is yet another marvelously crafted song to which I lack the proper words to describe. These last 3 songs are really great and heavy in an emotional and metal sense. You can feel the effort put into these songs.

Hautajaisyö is a great album. There isn’t anything to complain about, except for the fact I wish there were more tracks on it. This is such a solid album instrumentally and production-wise. The basslines weren’t extravagant, but they weren’t basic or inaudible. I was left speechless twice and that’s kind of odd. The dudes in Hautajaisyö are doing something right, they best stick to it.

Rate: 9.65/10

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