AIHOS - Ikuisuuden Suojaan
Released September 30/18 (Blood Harvest)
Five-track, 30-minute debut E.P. from Finnish black metallers Aihos up for consideration here. Opener 'Raisakatun Maan Tomuun' utilizes a strong, repetitive guitar refrain that immediately stakes out territory in the melodic BM space. Follow-up track 'Teloitus' ups the ante though, initiating with a strident march before speeding up and diving downwards in an attack that is both vicious and memorable. One of the better extreme metal tracks of the year.
Incredibly, the third track 'Hetki Ennen Kuolemaa' proves to be almost as strong, constantly switching gears between bracing speed and syncopated headbang. By the time you get to the seven-minute 'Tulen Ja Jaan Litto' and the concluding 'Hyperborean Ilmestys' you'll already be totally invested if you have a predilection for this type of warfare. Furious, yet melodic, while vocalist P. Dethrone delivers some top-notch cackle vox, Aihos hits the mark squarely on this their maiden voyage. Could they become the new Thy Primordial? Only time will tell. Can't wait to find out though.