Review: Barathrum – Legions of Perkele

Location: Kuopio, Finland
Genre: Black/Doom Metal
Released: September 7, 1998
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: Global Conquest – Library Randomizer

By: Kris Kotlarik

During my semester in Tampere, Finland two years ago, I went on a CD binge. And how could I not? There are a grand total of zero record stores anywhere near Eau Claire, Wisconsin that sell this kind of music. Legions of Perkele looked interesting to me at the time, mostly because of the novelty factor of “Perkele” being a mild swear word in Finnish (its American counterpart: “Dammit”). Only one song really grabbed my attention on the first listen; in fact, I have listened to that song many times since then. I can’t say the same for the rest of the record.

Legions of Perkele is Barathrum’s fourth album, and I’m having a hard time finding a word to describe it other than “repetitive.” Good moments come in bits and pieces; there’s a nice, heavy buildup at the end of “Revenge By Magick” that transitions flawlessly into “Angelburner,” which is driven by a cool bass line. The title track has an interesting bass line as well, but it is eventually overtaken by the same repetitive melodies that occupy about 90 percent of the record.

There were also several parts that outright annoyed me, most notably the ending to “Last Day In Heaven” that is garbled beyond any sense of coherency, and some out-of-place spoken vocals on the title track. The rest of the album proper is one repetitive song after another with little going for it.

I specify “album proper” because the two bonus tracks following it are actually really good. Both are re-recordings from earlier albums; “Deep From The Depths” has a more aggressive and varied sound, while “Warmetal” is an all-around gem of a song that shows no mercy. Be that as it may, I would recommend looking into Barathrum’s earlier albums if this style of blackened doom metal appeals to you. Otherwise, skip it.

The lyrics are pretty much implied by the song titles; you won’t find anything innovative in that department, either.

Overall: “Perkele” indeed. 

Rating: 1.0*

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