Ajattara - Noitumaa

©Spinefarm Records


  1. Keuhkot (3:12)
  2. Massat (3:51)
  3. Mitä kuolema parantaa? (3:54)
  4. Saatana palvoo meitä (2:36)
  5. Saveen saarnattu (4:15)
  6. Ikuisen aamun Sara (3:16)
  7. Kielletyn sanat (3:57)
  8. Säkeitä riippuneesta lihasta (3:06)
  9. Lammas (3:24)

It seems that you either love black metal or hate it. There’s really no in between. Of course this subject can be reasonably argued but for the most part the statement is true. So when I first listened to Ajattara’s new release "Noitumaa", it was if titans were fighting to the death outside my door.

"Noitumaa" is an acoustic Black/Dark Metal album. Yeah! I know what your thinking and I assure you I’ve made no mistake in defining this. The album has not one single distorted electrical instrument.  Instead they create the darkest of sounds from familiar acoustic instruments. The result is a tribal-like, dark Folk music and is exactly what I would expect to hear demons jamming around a campfire.

The heavily down-tuned acoustic bass and guitars set the tone for each track and as great as they sound they can at times sound quite similar from track to track. This is totally fine because the band utilizes many different sounds and effects to make this album a unique ‘true acoustic’ experience. On top of the obvious bass and guitars, the album features Jew’s Harp (Mouth Harp), Pump Organ, Accordion, strings, symbol rubbing and clicking and bare boned percussion (and whatever it is on top of a drum they are beating is anyone’s guess).

The vocals have suffered no modification. They are in their true black metal form and for the most part are spoken or semi-hoarsely shouted. Minus a part in the first track where I can not help but imagine how foolish it must have looked recording some of the ‘tortured gurgling and moans of pain’ sound effects, they are surprisingly excellent. In a situation such as this, the only enemy of this vocal type would be its clarity. So instead of allowing this to offset the entire performance, there have been some great melodies, a couple catchy choruses (as in "Ikuisen Aamun Sara") and just shy of wretchedly beautiful harmonies.

"Noitumaa" is likely one of the most interesting acoustic albums I have ever heard and with good reason. It is very odd and unreasonably charming. The production is spectacular and the performance is top notch. In fact, if you can find an acoustic album out there with greater clarity, I would be surprised. In the sea of acoustic releases over the past decade, it is really nice to encounter such a standout album. It may not be for everyone and some of the fans of this bands heavy albums may actually despise it. Who knows? If you love Black Metal and acoustic performances then you will certainly appreciate and enjoy this release.




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