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Purtenance - Awaken From Slumber

Awaken From Slumber
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 25 November 2013, 7:01 PM

Thought to be dead and rotten, slumbering all these years, not sure if waiting or just slowly decaying into the vacuum of space, but as it would appear, they have been waiting for the right time, the perfect timing to arise from the graves and hatch again into a world now altered almost completely. However, while emerging something horrible happen as eventually it was found out that the past can never be returned to this timeline. In a way this is the story of plenty of bands, no matter the genre in Metal or Rock that disappeared in the early 90’s and now returning to gain themselves what they lost, and the same is with the Finnish Death Metal band, PURTENANCE. Being one of the many European early 90’s Death Metal acts, those that have been following the American Death vibe of MORBID ANGEL / INCANTATION, including a fringe of Doom Metal, while also harboring a few chips of the old Swedish Death Metal irreverence. Back in the day, the band released a rather fine debut, “Member Of Immortal Damnation”, picturing a raw form of Death Metal, crunchy and malevolent. With their signing to the Spanish Xtreem Music, with a joint release with the German MDD Records, PURTENANCE attempted to restore their past position with “Awaken From Slumber”. Nonetheless, it I wouldn’t say that it even slightly relishes the band’s favorable past endeavors.

Probably the only thing that encouraged me as I stumbled and fell throughout this album, mostly banging my head at the table in front of me due to how badly this one missed, is that the band’s music sounded in the proximity of the debut, meaning that modern times didn’t really tarnish the old beast. On the other hand, I would go bragging about it either, as other than the muddy meat grinding Death / Doom combination that resulted in slow to mid tempo sections with cuts of lead guitar melancholy that reminded the classic past, everything was black, dimmed and diminished without a character. It came to the breaking point where the album’s impressive factor was the outro, “Endless Abyss”, sharing cheap keyboards but with a nice aura, kind of like the midi tracks of the old Heretic / Hexen PC games. Tunes like “Field of Terror” and “Hour of the Cannibal” rallied up a few decent Deathly ideas with decadent riffery that retained a shred of the band’s older self, yet nothing that thrilling at all but monotonous fragments. Also there was the overall production, a horrid struggle that should have served as a reminder of the debut album and the band’s early sound. The reality is that the mixing is atrocious, most of the songs sound like instrumental as who really needs a vocalist when he is deep down, far away into the mix behind nearly everything. Furthermore, vocal wise, I preferred a rather dominant figure on the vocal post, like their early vocalist for that matter as this one portrayed as anemic with a sort of squeal that has no power or influence.

Talk about a gloomy present, PURTENANCE shared a few nice try outs to be glorious again, but failed miserably. I don’t really know what to expect, but I am sure that a glimmer of hope will arise with the next release that will be given a chance.                 

2 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Hatred 4
3. What Was Hidden
4. Toxic Death
5. Field of Terror
6. Vaikka Paahtuisin Tulessa
7. End for the Parasites (Called Humankind)
8. Hour of the Cannibal
9. Temptation of Suicide
10. Risen from Grave
11. Endless Abyss (outro)
Juha – Guitars
Harri – Drums
Ville K - Bass & Vocals
Ville N - Guitar & Keyboard
Record Label: MDD Records / Xtreem Music


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