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Ugra-Karma

Finland Country of Origin: Finland

Ugra-Karma
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: December 1st, 1993
Genre: Black
1. Goatzied
2. The Horny And The Horned
3. Sadhu Satana
4. Chaosgoat Law
5. Hate
6. Gott Ist Tot (Antichrist War Mix)
7. Coraxo
8. Soul Rape
9. Kali-Yaga
10. Cyberchrist
11. False Jehova
12. Sadistic 666 / Under A Golden Shower


Review by Felix on November 25, 2023.

A vocalist who produces every type of sound men normally cannot create. A dehumanizing, humiliating atmosphere of mechanized brutality. A complete triumph of sonic narrow-mindedness. These are the pillars of "Ugra-Karma", one of the most bestial metal albums of all times.

Of course, I hear you say: Felix, old fool, a lot of bands were successful in generating an abhorrent aura. I agree. Yet Mika Luttinen overtops them all. He seems to unite all forms of misanthropic insanity and his inhumane screams lacerate the eardrum of every incautious listener. Despite the title of the album, Luttinen is absolutely not interested in offering any kind of Hindu spirituality and meditative or contemplative elements are only for esoteric wimps. His razor-sharp voice challenges the audience in the most horrible manner - but it is only one element which contributes to the atmosphere of mechanical destruction.

For example, almost the entire full-length works without riffs. The first one appears at the beginning of "Soul Rape", the eighth track of the album. By the way, it sounds brilliant. But, of course, the question is: who needs riffs at all? Impaled Nazarene have created merciless leads that send shivers down your spine without interruption. Often fueled by blast beats, the guitars are rather responsible for a terrorizing background noise. This way of proceeding lends the album a very individual appearance. It cannot be easily compared with other black metal outputs, because it has some punk vibes, offers a few number of mysterious keyboard lines and - even more important - it paints an almost futuristic picture due to the more or less robotic work of the instrumentalists. The mix of these components results in a very insistent listening experience. Its most intensive section consists of the triumvirate "Soul Rape", "Kali Yuga" and "Cyberchrist".

As mentioned earlier, "Soul Rape" is kicked off by a simple yet effective riff. The straight hammering of the drummer motivates his partners to achieve top performance. Rapid, animalistic and without any frills, that's how the song rushes by. The bass guitar is sidelined, but it plays a prominent role at the beginning of "Kali Yuga". Maltreated by Javeli Tarna who is also known as "The Fuck You-Men", it gives the start signal for a song which is faster and more intensive than its predecessor. Honestly, I do not want to know the specific drugs that the band took in order to create such a furious number. Its atmospheric ending contrasts with the previously dominant velocity and adds its special flavour; it seems to be taken from a soundtrack of an Italian Western movie. Play me the song of death, Fuck You-Men! But he and the other henchmen prefer to perform "Cyberchrist". Its flattening guitars at the beginning mark just the overture for an almost epic yet simultaneously relentless storm of devastation. The throaty "Burn, you burn" during the annihilating chorus sounds like Mika suffers from cancer in the terminal stage. However, I have absolutely no clue what a "Cyberchrist" does throughout the day, but this track indicates that he eats children for breakfast.

The remaining songs do not stand behind, it is, as always, just a matter of taste. "Sadhu Sathana", "Chaosgoat Law" and some parts of "The Horny and the Horned", served with an twinkle in the eye, share the sheer fury of the aforementioned unholy trinity. The hilarious name of the latter is not an isolated case. The fairly ironic approach of Impaled Nazarene becomes apparent as soon as one reads the song titles. "Gott ist tot" or "Sadistic 666 / Under a Golden Shower" tell us that the band is not afraid of any kind of provocation. Okay, this is no surprise in view of the band name. Some interviews in which they were blabbering about the usefulness of an atomic war completed the picture. Well, whenever Finnish humour begins a love affair with crude promotion gimmicks, we are confronted with very strange results. Anyway, Javeli lives up to his second name, the other guys are also out of control without creating pure chaos and the twelve songs leave an enormous impact. Even the slightly experimental yet simplistic "Gott ist tot" does not fail to have an impact.

In order to please the war hawks from Oulu, I may use a martial metaphor to describe the production. Equipped with the pressure wave of an atom bomb, it blows everything away. Apart from this outstanding feature, the full-length sounds cold, not very differentiated but vigorous. Hence follows that "Ugra-Karma" is an almost perfect album, if we ignore the fact that the band and the label used the stylish artwork without permission of the artist. Consequently, the rerelease is ornamented with another cover. But that's not my problem. I still enjoy this apocalyptic masterpiece, inter alia because Impaled Nazarene have never reached this mind-blowing form again.

Rating: 9.4 out of 10

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