Various Artists - Tarbathian Fortress
April 28, 2021, a week ago
I can get behind the idea here, a compilation of extreme metal bands all from Tartu, a small town in Estonia (notably, all the recording/mixing/mastering/artwork was also done in Tartu).
The insanely named Sküllfükk Satänic Slüts are up first with their fun, booze-soaked take on dirty and scuzzy speed/metalpunk, and it hits the spot, a great way to get the party started. Ulgeränd bring the longboats to the black metal party, and they don't forget the fun, either; I like that it's not goofy, just a good time while still being heavy. Ziegenhorn get even heavier, their stubborn DM being cavernous and ugly but not without a bit of death 'n' roll swagger to some of the riffs, while Koffin go further into the depths of blinders-on old-school death metal, which shows how well thought out the song order is here, the album so far creating a smooth journey for the listener.
Igor Mortis continue the primitive death metal vibe, gettin' a bit gurgly, and Swarn bring the early-Swedish-DM-demo spirit and sounds to the party, with much success, even if things are starting to get almost a bit too bit raw here. Kaev bring the icy-cold black riffing and do a pretty good job of it, Langenu bring a mid-tempo black attack to middling effect—granted, not my fave genre so it needs to be top tier for me to really be fully engaged, although I do like the double-time stomp riff at song's climax—and Form end things off with their mechanistic and bleak take on weirdo BM. Man, all told, an interesting look at a surprisingly well-rounded extreme scene in a town that I had never even heard of before this came along. Well done.