Review: “Katharsis” by Mustasuo

In 2016 Matsumoto unleashed their plague upon an unsuspecting World with a debut album of seven vicious cuts simply entitled “7“. Their power trio consisting of Antti Saarilampi on guitars & vocals, Tomi Luimula on drums and Christopher Livingstone on bass & vocals formulating a mix of styles that cross Black Metal with Crust Punk, Grindcore, Hardcore and Sludge Metal that was simply too much for their native Oulu, Finland to handle. After a split EP with Napalm Ted, in 2018 they recorded their sophomore album with Keijo Niinimaa (Vomiturition, Goatburner, Morbid Evils) who also handled mixing duties before the record was passed over to Brad Boatright (Leeched, Integrity, Gatecreeper) at Audiosiege for mastering. Finally seeing release in June 2020, “Katharsis” is upon us…

…Soaked in feedback “Kärpäset” begins “Katharsis” with that raw sound quality that makes it sound as if the album was recorded live in your mother’s basement, Mustasuo come spitting and snarling out from the depths like a rabid dog awoken by a child fetching his ball from an old Man’s garden. Bursting into the 41 seconds of title track, a single verse of viceral vocals, blast beats and abrasive guitars that is just pure adrenaline fueled savagery, the vocals become as much an instrument as delivering something audiable. Playing more with the atmospheric and extending things to dial in some Full Of Hell like influences “Kun illuusio särkyy” breaks the speed limit after a well crafted slower introduction. There is far more control in this one with its relentlessness kept firmly in check by some dynamics which some other bands of this style wouldn’t be able to achieve and marry up with that raw quality.

Slowing things down for a Sludge Metal introduction to “Tuomitulle” that is as bleak as they come but has a menacing atmosphere that swirls and threatens to erupt into chaotic violence at any point is a masterful piece of musicanship. When that inevitably happens it’s the blast beats that bring the tempo shift into place but it’s only for a short burst. That shoe gaze style isn’t something you’d usually find in Blackened Crust Punk and adda distinctive mournful meloncholy to Mustasuo’s offering. “Houreuni” contains an excerpt from Yleisradio’s interview with Yrjö Kallinen in 1971 that replaces the vocals so we get an instrument backing that makes for a neat framework for the sample, but obviously constructed the opposit way around. A return to the throat ripping, blood spilling ferocity of the opening cuts is brought home by “Tapahtumahorisontti” but instead of being completely balls out sliding down a nutmeg grater, it finds a balance between the slower sludgy aspect, giving it an ebb and flow to it.

“Tuhoaja” then brings a spoken word to the table with Saarilampi being accompanied by some guest speakers. Again having a wonderful rise and fall to it, the chaotic tendencies of some of the earlier tracks are reigned in until a bloodcurdling roar brings things home for a final third at breakneck speed. “Turhuuksia” wastes no time in its 76 second burst of energy, a headbanger that they’ll need to place twice back to back live in order to give the fans a chance to get into the pit. “Kuilu” returns to that shoe gazing sound with a day after the night before feeling to it that Leeched manage to capture in their latest offering. It’s swirling, brooding atmosphere is allows the vocals to build from shrill screams to incorporate some layering with Black Metal growls offering perfect contrast as it comes to an end. Having had a couple of short, sharp shocks within the folds of “Katharsis” a track that surpasses the seven minute mark in “Noitaympyrä” doesn’t seem possible. But instead of being some slow drawn out affair, it goes full throttle fairly quickly with the kind of play as fast as you can and hold onto your hats speed that waits for the train to derail. But it doesn’t. Instead the band show that they have what it takes to control those demons that Saarilampi’s shrill screams summon from the black depths before slowing gradually to the echoes of a scream [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Kärpäset
  2. Katharsis
  3. Kun illuusio särkyy
  4. Tuomitulle
  5. Houreuni
  6. Tapahtumahorisontti
  7. Tuhoaja
  8. Turhuuksia
  9. Kuilu
  10. Noitaympyrä

Katharsis” by Mustasuo is out now and available over at bandcamp

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