These Finns don’t like labels and at first listen I can see why. There is no way any adhesive would survive the swampy rumblings and doomy riffs they exude. “Below Flesh “rumbles and tumbles like a fridge stuffed with primordial swamp water and super strength beer pushed off Beachy Head. (Metaphor metal baby).
There is no complacency allowed in this offering. Just when you are expecting the sludge to pile on and you can relax and nod your head and luxuriate in its delicious ooze they change tack and wig out with some lo fi psychedelia as in “Lorn”.
Yes there are elements of Crowbar evident as well as Sludge ubermeisters Noothgrush and EyeHateGod but I also hear elements of Sigh and Enslaved as well.
“Ritual” manages to mix atmospheric starkness with a chunky riff which can rival any purveyors of Wiking horde metal.
When these Finns slow things down in a different manner things get even more interesting. From the opening strings of “6 feet 6 Years” I can tell my lugholes are in for something special. It would be lazy to throw epithets around like funeral, Paradise Lost, gothic doom etc but they are all relevant and appear in my minds eye like pasta letters in a pea green soup. Just as I am getting over the trauma of this song I am straight into the groove of “Sag Serene”. Groove???? What is this? Yep another curve ball before the riffs take me away again. “Rest Unitaries” follows with more deliciousness. (Can you guess that I like this album?) The instruments layer beautifully with each note distinguishable yet still forming part of the groove laden cacophony.
The title track brings up the rear and at over nine minutes you can see why it took so long to get its bulky frame into the picture. There is no blubber on this monster though and no lean muscle either. This is like a contestant on World’s Strongest Man. A slab of power that could pull a lorry and toss a Monster Truck tyre. As vocalist K. Koskinen bellows about fire and brimstone it reminds me of a bunch of lads from Brum who told tales about similar happenings some 45 years ago.
The title track showcases Lurk at their finest and they use every second of its 9 minutes 10 seconds to snap necks (slooooowly) and crush skulls.
Fans of sludge and doom owe it to themselves to check this out. In fact if you love heavy metal and like the idea of immersing yourself in a gloriously treacherous swamp of organic metal just dive the fuck in!
(8/10 Matt Mason)