A modern Black Metal album with an old school vibe, that is the simplest way to describe this newest offering from Finnish black metallers Aihos. “Hävityksen Maa” opens with the sound of a shotgun blast, and that sets the tone for the first track, a high tempo visceral Black Metal track with searing riffs and layers of hatred. This is no one trick pony of a Black Metal release, as the blistering pace bleeds into track 2 and delivers a slower tempo laced with chilling riffs and haunting vocals. The killer blend of fast tempo, melodic, and chilling styles give us a good variety throughout the journey that is “Hävityksen Maa”.
The guitars offer a somewhat familiar vibe, paying homage to the greats of old in the early Norwegian scene, however, they manage to blend more than enough personal flare to make the sound trvly their own. From high gain tremolo runs to acoustic and near serine intros, there is plenty to admire here when it comes to the guitars and their sound. The drums to me are a stand out performance, they add so much to the atmosphere of this record. From dialing up the aggression, to blending in smooth transitions and marching style fills, these drums are performed with perfection. The vocals are done well as well, giving a nasty bite to the mix. I would go as far to say the vocals are in the vein of early Dissection, so in other words, very good. This album gives us a good balance of styles, while maintaining the chilling and bleak atmosphere that elevates this release. For me, the highlight track would be “Verikruunu”, the 2nd track on this release. “Verikruunu” is a mid tempo and yet epic addition to “Hävityksen Maa”, packed full of thick atmosphere and killer melodic touches. Don’t let this one pass you by. (Azag Galla)