10/3/2006 - Review by: Etiam
Uhrilehto - Ihmivisan Eliitti - 2006 - Schwarzdorn Production
‘Marraskuun Kahdeksas’, the first track, begins with a standard outburst of raw, blackened metal in the vein of Endstille. From this first minute, most listeners would develop the following expectation for the rest of the album: a violent, albeit slightly predictable, black metal attack. And, if that were all that ‘Ihmisvihan Eliitti’ was, there would be no problem with that. Towards the end of the song, though, two conspicuously out-of-character, very melodic passages plant small seeds of doubt.
And over the course of next eight tracks, these seeds grow from slight aberrations into a pervasive root system undermining the foundations of black metal and its principles. Uhrilehto do not re-invent black metal here—they dismantle it.
Uhrilehto’s efforts might have been dismissible as simply schizophrenic, were it not for their obvious self-awareness; the chaos of ‘Ihmisvihan Eliitti’ is no accident. Uhrilehto chew up and spit out everything from 70’s-era organ solos to death metal breakdowns to clean vocal choruses and more with utter disregard for sequence and continuity. Even the black metal their style is founded upon comes across as an inconsequential byproduct, superfluous, insignificant.
As incomparably peculiar as it is, ‘Ihmisvihan Eliitti’ is still not an album easy to come back to. Abusing one’s audience is something metal artists do nearly every day and have come to perfect, but ‘Ihmisvihan Eliitti’ is something different. We, as music lovers, instinctively look for something that we can relate to, something we can appreciate, or something that challenges us. ‘Ihmisvihan Eliitti’ is indeed challenging for its wanton aggression, but it somehow seems hollow. Even the proverbial middle finger at nearly all black metal’s heart is missing here.
This could be construed as overanalyzing. The band, after all, state that their goal is to ‘kick ass’, and for the nihilists and anarchists in the crowd, ‘Ihmisvihan Eliitti’ is a perfectly entertaining soundtrack, a careless spit into the face of the wind, consequences be damned.
Yet, the fact remains that from beginning to end it teaches, gives, and creates nothing more than disarray simply for its own sake. And ain’t life just too short for all that.
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