Out of all the Scandinavian death metal scenes Finland has always seemed to have the most violent, the vilest and most repugnant bands to ever come out, and whilst I am new to this Finnish act (they’ve been around since 2008) they have been added to my ever growing festering putrescent pile of magnificent gnarly death metal bands. Four of the guys play in a crust band called Pelkotila, who I also checked out and is also worthy of investigating, as this album is their second. With one word titles that sum up each song perfectly Refusal take you through 30 minutes of cranium cracking chaos that starts with “Suffocate”. There’s no intro, no fade in, nothing to wean you into their sonic infestation as very brief feedback gives way to an onslaught of blasting ferocity. This is death metal insanity, old school rancidity that hacks at you with bone fracturing riffs. The cymbal crashing start to “Hectic” hints at grindcore credentials as the song hurtles along before diving into a brilliant catchy riff and beat as the vocals have a touch of Barney Greenway (Napalm Death) due to the shouted style and the truly vitriolic delivery.
“Disregard” is awesome with its much slower tempo, the guitar riff grates like a saw but is loaded with double bass fluxes and what you will love about this album is the sound, the really organic mix, how the drums feel like they wrap around your entire room, and the vocals sound like the guy is standing right next to you. The bass riff insertion is magnificent and you’ll expect a blast beat but it fails to materialise instead adopting a traditional double kick run to the end.
Slightly longer is “Slaves”, again using a pulverising slow beat, the penetrating riff bores into the track along with the shrieking vocals that are rabid, maniacal even as the speed insurgence is executed superbly. The eerie guitar hook that is interlaced is disturbing as a wall of drumming cascades in and the vocals become ever more terrifying. “Exploit” returns the album to unmitigated dementedness with a hyper blasting ferocity that hints at the grind tendencies as the song flows into “Bound” with switching the pace to that slower more catchy approach. It really is catchy, believe me, despite my descriptions of ruthlessness, and as the song gathers its forces it charges headlong into possibly the fastest blast beat on the album. The abrupt adjustment into sweeping double kick is damn catchy though and you’ll be nodding your head in agreement I assure you.
There isn’t a single track on here I didn’t like but the closing song “Void” does stand out, stating with a guitar riff that has a semblance of similarity to Dismember. The song is much slower but intensely dense as it produces an overriding aura of power before the riff break that signals a colossal increase in speed. The song has an eerie texture to it, created by the guitar work but also the constantly fluxing tempos. There is a feral savagery about this album, a primitive barbaric intent you don’t often hear in death metal that seizes you by the throat as you look into its murderous eyes.