Review: “Genesis Vol. 666” by Northern Genocide

Northern Genocide was formed in 2010 in Helsinki, Finland and released their first demo “Atlantis” was finished in October 2014 before being swiftly followed by the debut EP “Planet Asylum” in November 2015. Produced by Rainer Pekkinen, the band who consist of vocalist Tommi Salonen, guitarist Pyry Pohjanpalo, drummer Markku Tuuri and bassist Jussi Pulliainen have chosen 2019 to release their debut full length album “Genesis Vol 666”.

26 seconds of eerie atmospheric sounds and an almost inaudible female voice make up an intriguing introduction before the Industrial Metal onslaught of the album title track bursts into life. Rather than the cold industrialisms one might expect, the synths are used to add a warmth to the bands sound which features of Children Of Bodom esq guitar phrases and interesting tempo shifts. Salonen’s vocal range is impressive and he showcases some deeper, Death Metal growls at various points. “Black Widow” has a female voice acting as the siren’s call in beautiful contrast to the Viking roar of Salonen. The synths twist and turn like a serpent writhing in the sand like In Flames of old, with plenty of guitar chug to get those heads banging during the dark tale. Brining the bounce and energy “Annihilation of the World of Spirits” has a face melting solo (with whammy bar!) that you might not expect from an album labelled as Industrial Metal but in truth it’s a Metal album with Industrial elements rather than the other way around. It’s synth introduction and programmed beats sound like they belong on a dance track but they’re soon crushed by the stuccato riffs and some demonic vocals.

That cold industrialism is saved for the introduction to “Neon Antichrist” and soon makes way for the bands previous sounds. Politically aware, it speaks of the divide and conquer approach that is being taken by some World leaders in order to stay in power rather than doing the best for the people. It’s refreshing to get this level of indirect attack in the vocals while making it blatantly obvious what it’s about. A thunderously brutal performance, it features one of Markku Tuuri’s finest kit performances on the album. “Eclipse” has a set of Deathcore bowl clenchingly vicious vocals interspliced with Salonen’s usual dry unclean. A couple of breakdown sections have no synth backing and it’s nice to hear the guitars play out on their own. Featuring Police siren effects in the opening intrumental part “The Siren” buries the synths to allow for the riffs and some lead flourishes to come out in the mix. Keeping the vocals on two levels of pitching gives the impression of two separate vocalists while a machine gun click followed by a drum pattern that mimics automatic weapons fire is simply masterful.

“Soul Dystopia” pushes the tempo up a notch with some faster guitar work and cinematic synths that sound like they belong in the Matthew Broderick version of Godzilla. Salonen questions sanity while Pyry Pohjanpalo brings the kind of solo to the table that would make Machine Head‘s Robb Flynn give him the envy stare as he did with Annihilator‘s Jeff Waters. Maintaining the consistency “The Avalanche” takes the darker unclean vocals to a new level and makes them the focal point on the vocal assault while some Trivium esq Melodic Death Metal becomes the backdrop. The track is as solid as an express train and it has an instantly recognisable hook to it. Salonen delivers a gutteral roar to opening up “Sintropolis” before talking of the rivers of blood created by tyrants to smother humanity and asking where God was in the picture. Bringing back the female backing vocalist gives everything a haunting underpinning while it never quite reaches the Cradle Of Filth level of power it reaches for, it gets pretty damned closes. First single “Ikiruoste” is written in Finnish so while the usual exposure of the darker side of nonsense and faults of humanity maybe included, this reviewer can’t get them. Instead as a non Finnish speaker, we get a fine extended solo that includes some excellent scale work, some decent headbanging moments of thunderous grooves and a fine piece of synth work. Cutting the album dead rather than allowing it to fade away is also an intriguing turn of events… [7.5/10]

Track List
1. Intro
2. Genesis Vol. 666
3. Black Widow
4. Annihilation of the World of Spirits
5. Neon Antichrist
6. Eclipse
7. The Siren
8. Soul Dystopia
9. The Avalanche
10. Sintropolis
11. Ikiruoste

“Genesis Vol. 666” by Northern Genocide will be released via Inverse Records on 30th August with pre-orders available here.


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