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Ego Depths - Elläkkairavertta review




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Reviewer:
8.1

8 users:
6.75
Band: Ego Depths
Album: Elläkkairavertta
Release date: September 2022


01. Anatta
02. Mahakala
03. Bya Gtor
04. Chod


Extreme doom isn’t my most beloved category of metal, but every once in a while, an album comes along that really makes me pay attention; this is one of them.

Elläkkairavertta”, if Google can be believed, translates to “pensioner’s blood”; any Finns on the site, feel free to provide a more accurate translation, as it’s not the most obvious name for a funeral doom album (well, I suppose pensioners and funerals are somewhat linked). Whatever the correct meaning of this album’s name is, Elläkkairavertta represents the fifth full-length outing of Canada-based one-man project Ego Depths, helmed by the Ukrainian-born Stigmatheist. That’s already two countries in the background of this album, but what makes Elläkkairavertta so intriguing to myself is just how much it draws from World music.

If you isolated the metallic portions of Elläkkairavertta, they would sound pretty conventional for the style; you’re looking at dense, plodding riffs moving at glacial pace, nudged along by sedate drums, and accentuated with thick, deep growls and sorrowful sustained guitar leads. There’s a few points at which the metal switches track, such as a blasty segment towards the end of “Anatta” and midway through “Bya Gtor”, but really, what makes this album remarkable is everything surrounding the metal. The thing is, there’s enough surrounding the metal that the typical instruments almost feel like secondary contributors here at times.

There’s a heavy ritualistic atmosphere to much of Elläkkairavertta, with this tone set early on with the clinking wood percussion and bleak, noisy drones that set the scene at the beginning of “Anatta”. Eventually, the ominous build of these first minutes is taken over by guitar distortion and growls, but even after making this switch, there are numerous other instruments and sounds filling the mix. The Bandcamp page for the record credits the dan moi and Aztec death whistle as featured instruments, while on this song alone I can hear the twang of a sitar, sustained chants and throat singing.

The first two songs feature extended periods of ritualistic/neofolk drone and ambient sounds, but the closing duo “Bya Gtor” and “Chod” ramp this up further; the way that the array of voices, percussion and droning instruments sit so naturally alongside the trudging funeral doom shows this combination to be an incredibly logical one, yet it’s not one I’ve encountered with any degree of regularity. “Chod” builds upon these non-metal sounds for almost 10 minutes before bleeding metal into the equation, and it feels like a rational progression from what preceded it.

Thus far, this review has effectively amounted to saying ‘Elläkkairavertta is funeral doom mixed with neofolk/World music’. To be honest, I’m not sure if there’s all that much more that I can say, except that: it works. The combination takes a steady funeral doom base that would be perfectly adequate, if unexceptional, by itself, and builds it into something that I find a lot more fascinating than most albums in the style, and it’s because all elements, and their fusion, are really well executed. The end result is densely atmospheric, and remains compelling for its lengthy hour-plus runtime. A quick look back to the previous album from Ego Depths, Dyrtangle, shows that this combination is not new to Stigmatheist; however, this new album does perhaps feature a more extensive integration of the sounds within one another. It’s a next step that takes an already inspired concept and further matures it, and the end result is a fresh, invigorating take on the concept of slow, despondent doom.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 8





Written on 19.09.2022 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 80 users
20.09.2022 - 09:45
Netzach
Planewalker
The spelling looks a bit off in that title if it's supposed to be Finnish. "Verta" is partitive case (used for accusative and/or certain plurals) for "veri" which is indeed blood, but "vertta" doesn't mean anything as far as I know. Pensioner is "eläkeläinen" so something's off about that part of the word too... "Pensioner's blood" would be "eläkeläisen veri" in Finnish. Could be a related minor Finnic language, like Karelian or Tornedalian, a misspelling on part of the band, or I might be wrong, hah. But doesn't look like any Finnish I'm familiar with.
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20.09.2022 - 11:24
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Maybe Eesti pojkar can look at it, maybe it's some local dialects from Russian karelia, other hand amazing review.
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20.09.2022 - 17:24
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Bad English on 20.09.2022 at 11:24

Maybe Eesti pojkar can look at it, maybe it's some local dialects from Russian karelia, other hand amazing review.

Doesn't look like Estonian either, Estonian generally drops the final vowels. "Blood" is "veri" there too, but "vert" in the partitive case.

Anyway yeah forgot to mention the review definitely makes it sound like something I'd enjoy and I'll be checking this out soon
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"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
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20.09.2022 - 18:12
Metal Rambo

I think it's more like "don't drill blood" which would literally be "älä kairaa verta" but with some weird eastern dialect that has "älä" as "elä" and/or some western dialect that shortens words like "kairaa" to "kaira" etc. I don't know if it has something to do with the lyrics or if it has some other special meaning in this context. Maybe they mixed the two just to stick out a little.
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21.09.2022 - 18:50
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
I don't have any comments to offer about the grammatical correctness of the title, though I will point out that the creator's name is Stigmatheist, not Sigmatheist (little bit of projection going on there, maybe?).

It sounds like there's some interesting genre fusion on this album, though, so whatever the guy worships I'll have to check this out.
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21.09.2022 - 19:11
Rating: 8
musclassia

Written by ScreamingSteelUS on 21.09.2022 at 18:50

I don't have any comments to offer about the grammatical correctness of the title, though I will point out that the creator's name is Stigmatheist, not Sigmatheist (little bit of projection going on there, maybe?).



Corrected, thanks for pointing out
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