Festerdayiihtallan (Season Of Mist)

It’s taken a while for Festerday to release a de facto debut album. Well, more than a while. Thirty years, in fact.

Having re-grouped in 2013 with only three early-90s cult demos to show from their first chapter, the Finns, who split in 1993, have been making up for lost time. And while 2017’s Cadaveric Virginity EP showed promise, the material on iihtallan will surely be lapped up by fans thirsty for filthy, old school death metal.

Indeed, Festerday still manage to stand out in a world where DM caked in dirty distortion and awash with harsh Scandi-grooves is de rigueur, and where every other band wants to glorify the ‘old school’. It helps that the outfit are still connected to their roots via original members Teemu Saari, Timo Kontio and Kena Strömsholm. And it helps that their putrid take on death metal marries sickly, slo-mo vibes with raging brutality.

Peel back iihtallan’s lid and you’ll discover raging Scandinavian hardcore (the fantastically catchy Control Not Your Soul), the crawling menace of Dreaming For The Dead and even the blackened curveball of Let Me Entertain Your Entrails (no, it’s not a Robbie Williams cover).

You’ll also find some dangerously sharp riffery courtesy of Saari and Kontio, who bring more imagination to the party than many who plough this DM furrow: their melodies on The Human Race Disgrace, one of the album’s main highlights, are a case in point. And their guitar tone will have plenty of metalheads salivating too.

At 16 songs, you’d expect iihtallan might overstay its welcome a little, but thanks to some truly incisive writing by the Finns – and many a deft turn of pace – Festerday’s debut maintains its unholy momentum throughout.

Now let’s just hope they don’t disappear on us again…