Miehala – Sons of Alaheim (Inverse Records)

Friday, 15th March 2024
Rating: 8 / 10

Thrash metal continues to survive due to the influx of veteran bands continually recording/touring as well as a series of newer artists willing to put their own stake in the game. Finnish act Miehala began in 2021, developing their sound over the next year or so to release their debut album Gods of Death in the December 2022 independently as a trio. They would recruit second guitarist Mika Kähärä for live shows in 2023, gaining a permanent place as more songs would develop and live shows took place. Now aligning with Inverse Records, Sons of Alaheim is a quick five-song EP that showcases a versatile thrash platform that contains classic roots, yet also injects death, doom, and groove twists to the mix.

You can expect a sound that’s very organic – the purity of emotion rings through every one of these tracks, all the way down to the raspy, maniacal vocal presence of the drummer Elias Lepistö (although guitarist Tuomas Lepistö shares duties for a couple of songs). Opener “Torch the Children” is a ripper, the stop/start rhythm to drumming mechanics straight out of the early Slayer / Kreator textbook, the energy palpable even when settled into a mid-tempo comfort zone. A Savonian twist (a la “Toxic Waltz” / Exodus) comes into focus for “War”, gang-vocals plus double kick aspects along with some sinister point/counterpoint riffing provides numerous aural hooks to cause incessant headbanging sequences. An acoustic flamenco-oriented instrumental section takes the otherwise heavy groove-laden “Into the Void” into a left field direction, probably the most diverse offering (and longest) at just over five-minutes. Picking up the pace for the heads down closer “Vision of Violent Death”, rest assured this quartet push the pedal to the accelerator more often than not, leaving nothing in the gas tank when it comes to their normal speedy thrash attack – the rapid-fire chorus plus grunts/growls an ideal match for the relentless proceedings.

Sons of Alaheim allows Miehala to establish themselves as another newcomer worthy of investigation if you enjoy an old school form of thrash given a bit of life in some death, doom and groove textures. Hopefully the second full-length hits the streets in 2025, as it could be a barnburner.

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