Finnish death metal unit Blåådpalt deliver on all the usual DM promises of hack n’slash thuggery; They certainly aren’t looking to reinvent any wheels on Sliced To Perfection. But within the strict confines of their chosen genre they do manage to create a little room for manoeuvre, meaning that the listener is always kept engaged throughout the duration of their new album .

Every now and then a little bit of Slayer or Carcass sticks out of the churning maelstrom, but for the most part Blåådpalt manage to stay away from cliché and forge ahead on their own terms. The slurred groove of The Final Nail is perhaps the most interesting track on offer, fusing NWoBHM rifferama to the death metal hull with surprisingly non-jarring results. The song’s slower mid-section riffs, backed by a ghostly keyboard wash, points to a band not afraid to throw the odd spanner into the works in the name of experimentation, and the little break from the norm certainly pays dividends.

Elsewhere Firewalker has a punkier, crustier edge that again adds a nice little point of difference, but the is still enough heads down no-nonsense mindless riffage to keep more prosaic death metal fans sated and gagging for more. Red Shores adds a bit of latter day Kreator to the mix, with Sami Kärkkäinen‘s sandpaper-throated gargle leading from the front in a style that can only fairly be termed Petrozzaesque.

The best thing about Sliced to Perfection is definitely Blåådpalt’s dedication to variety. They clearly have the tools to get the job done – Tuomas Laurila and Kimmo Viinamäki are both accomplished guitarist who know exactly what each song needs and play accordingly, resisting the temptation to overindulge at all times – and their dedication to going just a little further than they need to in terms of straying from the DM blueprint every now and then means that they avoid the all too frequent saminess traps that many of their ilk fall foul of. This is powerful, intelligent music, despite what the somewhat obvious gory overtones might suggest, and it’s executed to perfection by a band from whom hopefully the best is still to come. Well worth a listen.


Sliced To Perfection is out on February 28th.