Svart Records – Out Now.

Even though we live in the information age, there’s not much out there in English on the Sludge Metal outfit Loinen – a totally different case altogether if one possesses a decent command of Finnish.

Well, the pretty short bio provided by Svart Records informed me that this band makes its music available through untitled releases on vinyl and tape exclusively and that this collection of songs entitled “Loinen” is only available on 12 inch vinyl, limited to 425 copies.

Well, that is fine by me, since “Loinen” is by far the worst album that I have come across in a long, long time. Where do I start…the sound is, as expected, heavily distorted, something I would have been absolutely fine with, providing that the guitars were not buried so far back in the final mix.

The vocals? …the album’s true ‘Achilles heel’, if there was ever one! The band’s frontman tries desperately to recreate the mood and atmosphere achieved by the mighty Hellhammer in songs like “The Triumph Of Death” but fails miserably in his impossible quest, while the few interesting Doom laden riffs of the album are doomed to nothingness as they repeat themselves endlessly, serving only to really inflict pain on the ears of the poor listener.

The opening track “Portto” is a perfect example of an absolutely pointless composition. No matter how many times you listen to it, the only thing that sticks out are the singer’s annoying screams – an exercise that’s sadly repeated in both “Kuolemanselli” and “Tassa Talossa”.

The main theme of “Ruumishuone” was the first instance where I was led to believe that something good could come out of this release but, sadly, our good friend the ‘singer’ managed to screw things up one more time during the song’s closing section.

If you think that you heard the worst of what this album has to offer, wait until you hear the monotonous ramblings of “Sekaisin” – the albums ‘opus terribilis’! The only compositions capable of attracting any positive comment are “Jerusalem” – a four and a half minute piece which mixes a haunting doom riff and layers of cymbal themes with the sounds of a muezzin calling people for prayer, while the duet “Kumijeesus” / “Hyodyton Elain” are as ever as forgettable as their tongue- twisting names.

I always believed that Svart Records was one of the few labels around whose focus and mission is to promote unique-sounding good quality music to people who know how to appreciate it so I am massively surprised with the label’s decision to feature its logo on a release like this one.

“Loinen” is the product of a terribly rehearsed band which may have a few interesting ideas but does not operate with a clear vision in mind and, sadly sounds more like a recording of an average-quality rehearsal rather than a self—respecting studio album.

I would stay far away from this one if I were you!


John Stefanis

Rating: **1/2 (2.5/5.0)



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