Written by: EW on 07/05/2009 22:33:49

The all acoustic, all Finnish and all bleak "Noitumaa" from Ajattara is a head-scratcher of an album. It is cold, harsh and has a serious feel of under-production even for an album completely devoid of electricity, so coupled with the fact it is sung entirely in Finnish does anyone in the band or at Spikefarm reckon on it selling well/at all? The opening two songs of the band's sixth studio album first sound like a stripped down version of Korn, and then a South American concoction of Soulfly/Ill Nino/mid-era Sepultura, which whichever way one looks at it is not a good start.

And things never pick up from there. What must surely be the most widely-recognised acoustic metal album of recent times, Opeth's "Damnation" may exude fragility but it feels like it was born to be acoustic; "Noitumaa" is revealed by "Ikuisen Aamun Sara" and "Säkeitä Riippuneesta Lihasta" to be uncomfortable, acoustic black metal. Not only do most of the plodding, scratchy songs sound similar but each ones conclusion brings the realisation it has travelled nowhere in its 4 minutes, where even a change of tack through the inclusion of greater colour to the bleak grey palette Ajattara have served up would have been advantageous to all. As a listener and reviewer I appreciate new and interesting ideas but in my opinion this just doesn't work and by the end of the 31 minutes my feelings are of cursed disappointment and boredom. There is a small, 2% chance I could listen to this in 6 months and regret the mark "Noitumaa" is about to get, but without the benefit of time I can only see Ajattara's latest effort slipping away silently, blissfully, from where it came...

Download: Ikuisen Aamun Sara , Saveen Saarnattu
For The Fans Of: Acoustic black metal
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 22.04.09
Spikefarm Records

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