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Assatur - Where Chaos Reigned

Where Chaos Reigned
by Liam Easley at 06 May 2019, 8:57 PM

Out of the infernal regions of Finland come ASSATUR, a Death Metal band that really needs to put out a full-length. Seriously, guys, this “Where Chaos Reigned” is your second compilation. Whatever the case, it’s the music that counts in the end, and what these guys have to offer is pretty good.

This Finnish Death Metal band is another in a long line of OSDM revival acts. Along the lines of old school Death Metal (OSDM), ASSATUR take a DEICIDE riffing style mixed with the groove of New York’s BAPHOMET all topped off with a slightly Swedish undertone. The final product, while not particularly original, is heavy and rampaging.

This is a compilation that, unlike their previous compilation that only featured their first two demos, features not only their first two demos but also four fresh tracks recorded in 2018. I wouldn’t call any part of this compilation better than another part (as most compilations structured like this tend to show the better part of a band’s discography). In fact, everything on here sounds relatively similar, and their sound is great.

I have trouble finding anything wrong with their sound other than a lack of originality, but even that can be overruled by the fact that they do everything with what they have. The execution is perfect, and it doesn’t matter how unoriginal a riff or an idea is; they’ll put their own spin on it making it entirely new. I guess the one part of this album I find lame are the laughing witch noises at the very beginning of the first track, but they aren’t bothersome enough to harm the rating.

Examples of their ability to sound original occur on almost every track. However, “Call of the Undesirable” and “The Gate” highlight this the most. The later of the two has very generic riffs for the most part, but the way some of them progress, like the intro riff, make them a little more unique. Also, the chorus has a very memorable structure and melody. The melody created by the guitars changes the entire sound.

Call of the Undesirable” has an intro that comes back as the verse riff and continues on through the song. Each riff is based around the same area of the scale, making it diverse yet congruent. The riffs are also fairly unoriginal, but they are redeemed by the fact that ASSATUR knows how to write music. The song is jumpy, and the drums add a nice groove whenever the intro riff pops up again.

Yet another prime example of this is “To the Foul Lake,” a song that features unoriginal riff-age that is changed by them playing with not only the basic riff, but also the drums and the vocals. When the riff becomes an octave lower, the drums create a very smooth groove and the vocalist does a sort of whisper-grunt thing on the top of every measure (or what it seems). The final product is some of the finest riff-age and songwriting the OSDM revival scene has to offer.

Speaking of the drums, this music would not be the same without them. That may seem like an obvious statement, but the drummer for ASSATUR adds a very nice layer of groove to most of the songs on here, making the riffs pop more and giving more feeling to the music itself. The drums aren’t phenomenal, but they are one of my favorite aspects of this band. Hardly do the drums stick to one, simple beat. They are always on the move, and they always deliver the groove.

A perfect example of this groove is found on “Ethereal Form”, another one of my favorites on this album. This is primarily where the BAPHOMET-like riffs come in. It’s that very primitive “proto-Slam” sound that bands like BAPHOMET and PYREXIA played with. The heavy, palm-muted power chord riffs do nothing short of crush the listener. The song is the longest on the compilation, but it’s definitely full of groove and brutality.

Outside of the groovy, heavy grit that this band seems to have mastered, ASSATUR also experiments with other sounds. On “All Consuming Plague,” there is a D-beat as well as other Hardcore influence on “Black Ruined Tower”. The songs both have a fast, abrasive energy that is thrash-y and fun.

ASSATUR have some great material at hand, and I need them to release a full-length. I would love to hear these guys on a real album. But for now, what they have presented is great. While it isn’t phenomenal or groundbreaking, it’s great for what it’s worth. The OSDM revival scene is full of blandness, or at least it seems that way at times, but ASSATUR have a lot of potential, bringing a new light to the scene.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Outburst of Pandemonium
2. Elaborate Speech Machine
3. To the Foul Lake
4. Call 0f the Undesirable
5. The Gate
6. Through the Maze
7. All Consuming Plague
8. Ethereal Form
9. City of Madness
10. Contagious Pestilence
11. Pit of Despair
12. Black Ruined Tower

Marduk – Guitars
Tuberculosis – Vocals
Cove – Bass
Zyklonizer – Guitars
Ismortal – Drums

Record Label: Great Dane Records


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