Fumes Of Funeral Pyres
Review by Vladimir on February 21, 2023.
Finland alongside Sweden has always had a roster of fine death metal bands such as Sentenced, Purtenance and Adramelech to name a few, and along the line joins a new act by the name of Tramalizer. This band has been active since 2021, with one promotional demo in 2021 and two singles in their discography, before finally releasing their debut full-length album Fumes Of Funeral Pyres on February 17th 2023 via Soulseller Records, on CD and 12” vinyl. When I came across this album and saw the cover art, I thought that it looks quite promising and it definitely wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. Was it worth it?
Although Tramalizer is from Finland, their sound mostly resembles that of Swedish death metal bands such as Dismember, Entombed and Grave, both in terms of songwriting and production. Had someone played this album in front of me without saying that it’s a Finnish death metal album from 2023, I would have totally thought at first that this was a Swedish death metal album from the early 90’s. The songs have extremely raw tremolo/death-thrashing riffing with dive bombs, thrash metal drumming, blast beats and shouting guttural vocals, while songs occasionally change their tempo from fast and aggressive death-ripping to slow, doomy and atmospheric moments of tension. Besides the usual songs, there are two instrumental tracks, 'Gift' and 'Plain Evil', with slow riffing and narrations, serving as interludes between songs, and a cover song of Finland’s thrash metal band Ferox. The fifth track 'Curse Of The Lake Drag' does an Entombed “Left-Hand Path” reference by adding a slow mid-section keyboard part which resembles Phantasm’s main theme, with slower riffs and guitar solo the other half of the song. The songwriting on this album may seem too formulaic or repetitive but I think that it shouldn’t be criticized if it’s a proper formula that works all the way through without ever failing to deliver what it promised. If you hadn’t already guessed what are the highlights of this album, one of them would obviously be the fact that the oldschool raw death metal songwriting is so powerful and aggressive that it throws the listener back to 1992/1993. Second highlight would be the album's cover art which if I am not mistaken is oil on canvas, perfectly fitting to the album’s style. The last highlight would be the fact that the sound production was done with a crunchy guitar tone that obviously has a Boss HM-2 pedal distortion, but with such attention to detail that pays a nice homage to the golden days of Swedish death metal.
Whether Tramalizer’s album is just a tribute to the days of old or a creative direction which the band embraced, it’s a clear work of passion and a love letter to the fans of oldschool death metal. A great start for a great band that didn’t let me down at any given moment on this album, and I am positive that there will be more attention given to this album in the near future by enthusiasts such as myself. For fans of Swedish death metal bands with Boss HM-2 guitar tone, this is the perfect band for you, I am sure you will love it just as I did.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10354