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Mokoma - Kurimus
I have saved this review for my last day in Helsinki, Finland. Mokoma’s ‘Kurimus’ (Misery in English) has been inserted in my cd-player once more. And it sure won’t be the last time. Maybe this record reflects my period in Finland best. It was an extreme, heavy time that I didn’t always understand but I loved almost every part of it and will keep doing that.
 
What I’m about to do may be impossible in many ways. I will try to convince you to get an album that is not that famous outside Finland. First of all, I don’t understand the lyrics, because their Finnish. Secondly, this album was released in 2003 and thirdly, the music is so god damn artistic. And how the hell do you explain that a fine piece of art is worth checking out, since most of you will say it’s a matter of taste?
The story of Mokoma is also very special. Like the national epos of Finland, the ‘Kalevala’, this band also went through some kind of a journey. Their first two records under EMI didn’t sell very well. They got kicked off the label and because no other one had interest in the band, they decided to work this album out by their selves, with an astonishing result, being the first Finnish thrash metal band.
Grab yourself. I have never, ever heard such a great thrash metal record before. I’m not a big Slayer fan but I can appreciate ‘Reign in Blood’ and ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ very much. I love the 80s Metallica and I have always had a special weakness for Testament and Anthrax. But compared to al those names, Mokoma really takes the music to another dimension.
It’s pure thrash, without any bullshit in it. So raw, so pure and so convincing. The opener ‘Mene Ja Tiedä’ shows an almost Arabic verse and the variation with all that pure anger is so god damn tasty. And then, my god, those riffs nearly give me a heart attack when the insane psychedelic ‘Takatalvi’ (available for downloading on the website) starts. Taka taka taka taka taka takatalvi!!! All the separate instruments are so clear but together they form this incredible whole being. Remember the saying that when you’ve got the ‘x’ factor that 1+1=3. Well, in this case 1+1=4.
Then the vocals, no real grunts but singing with ‘clean shouting’ comes straight into your face. The voice of Marko Annala is not that ‘low’ which results in the possibility to present both positive and negative emotions. And this all is being presented with the sense of songwriting that looks so easy, yet the detailed structure of the songs sounds so overwhelming. Try the ‘slower’ song ‘Silmäterä’ for instance or the final thought ‘Liiton Loppu’. Whether it is a fast, slow, long or short song (it’s all present) I can’t say there are mistakes.
It may be clear; this ís a masterpiece. And although I do not speak Finnish and thus do not understand the lyrics, I think that every thrash metal fan has to have this album. It’s that simple.
Now I will go back to the Netherlands and I have learned a lot about heavy music in Finland, which was one of my goals for being in this fine country.. And happily enough, I got the holy grail of the NWOFHM on top of my bag.
Mokoma - Kurimus
95/1001Details Sakara Records
Released on Wednesday Jan 1st, 2003
Trash Metal

Writer @CarpeSiem on Wednesday Mar 8th, 2006

Tags: #Mokoma
Tracklisting 1. Mene Ja Tiedä
2. Takatalvi
3. Kasvot Kohti Itää
4. Tämä Puoli
5. Houkka
6. Vainottu
7. Silmäterä
8. Punainen Kukko
9. Lupaus
10. Väsynyt Atlas
11. Liiton Loppu

Line up Marko Annala: vocals
Tuomo Saikkonen: guitar, vocals
Janne Hyrkäs: drums
Kuisma Aalto: guitar vocals
Santtu Hämäläinen: bass