Assatur - Where Chaos Reigned

It is a common sense that although death metal remained fresh from its birthtime until now, incorporating new elements/styles to be refreshed, over the last years there has been a serious attempt for an old school death metal revival. There has been an increased amount of bands that pay tribute to the old school death metal and its sickening ways; mid tempo riffing accompanied with death metal low-end grunts and doom passages, swampy production and an overall hellish/diabolical sonic result. That's the way the style was taught by cornerstone bands like Incantation, Immolation, Autopsy, Asphyx, Demigod or Carnage to name but a few.

Assatur hail from Tampere, Finland. The old Finnish death metal scene has always been one of my top death metal scenes worldwide. If unfamiliar with it, please check out bands like Abhorrence, (old) Amorphis, Convulse, Demigod, Demilich, (old) Sentenced or Xysma to get an idea. "Where Chaos Reigned" is actually a 12 song compilation, divided in 3 parts. The first 4 tracks are brand new recordings. The next 4 are taken from Assatur's 2015 demo "Nameless Rites", and the last 4 come from their debut demo 2012 entitled "From The Depths Of Madness".

But let's take the compilation part by part (or should I say like Tom Araya 'Piece By Piece'?).

The 4 new recordings present a tight old school death metal band with great respect for Deicide and the old school Finnish and Swedish Death Metal scenes. All songs remain faithful to their style and although this isn't something original or something that a death metal fan hasn't listened to before, Assatur create a nice evocative atmosphere with ease, they are very good players and I really appreciate the attempt to infuse own elements in their songwriting. One of them are definitely the use of the drums. The snare may sound rather typical for the genre but the use of cymbals is exceptional. They use them as a part of the riff, which is something I have seen in bands like Morbid Angel, Behemoth and Cryptopsy.

The "Nameless Rites" demo has an even more Grave-ish aura. I love its crunchy, muffled in the production mid tempo riffage. It reminds the 90's productions and brings forth evilness to a grandiose form. 'Ethereal Form' is definitely the stand out track for me from this compilation. Such riffs may sound simple doomy riffs, but their effectiveness in agonizing the listener is really huge. The shining Slayer-ish leads of the track (especially in the outro) simply highlighten death and desperation. "Nameless Rites" is an overall excellent demo and probably my favorite material of the album.

"From The Depths Of Madness" demo is Assatur's first attempt that dates to 2012. The production is more flat here, but not weak at all. On the contrary it shows a band with high potential. The whole compilation shows the same.

Historically, I have to say that Assatur released both of their demos in 2017 in a hand numbered cassette tape compilation with the addition of 'Corpsegrinder' (Death cover), a cover which is excluded from this CD compilation. However, "Where Chaos Reigned" is the first time for Assatur to get their complete discography on CD, and as such it's immediately interesting and attractive for fans of the genre. Their 4 new songs show the band has a strong character, they remain true to their musical roots and do have the potential for something bigger.

So, I think it's high time for Assatur to have themselves tested on releasing a full length album. I would love to get a full length of theirs with a production somewhere between their second demo and new songs; keeping it bass driven, muddy and rotten, but with the clearness they achieved in their new songs' production. I believe that would crush!

For the time being, if you are a death metal fan, enjoy an excellent discography compilation from an uprising Finnish death metal band from whom I hope to listen a full length album soon! Good stuff indeed!

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1. Outburst Of Pandemonium
2. Elaborate Speech Machine
3. To The Foul Lake
4. Call Of The Undesirable
5. The Gate
6. Through The Maze
7. All Consuming Plague
8. Ethereal Form
9. City Of Madness
10. Contagious Pestilence
11. Pit Of Despair
12. Black Ruined Tower