TakaLaiton – Mindfection (Rockshots Records)Friday, 28th July 2023
The English translation to this Finnish band’s name literally means ‘swinging the ball over the borders’ – that’s an interesting way to approach thrash metal for TakaLaiton. Combining elements of groove metal against a thrash base, Mindfection contains material in both English as well as their native Finnish tongue. Aligning with producer Teemu Aalto (Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum among his credits), expect a hard-hitting effort that contains enough almost off the rails moments against this chugging riff parade as the vocals traverse crossover meets metal to the bones pastures.
What this means for the listener is an aggressive form of controlled chaos where a semi-blast beat collides against this staccato-oriented, thick rhythm foundation – only to twist into something mid-tempo, pit worthy with wild lead break action to cause spasmodic body swarming in the sweaty patrons who bounce around to this pit-ready offerings. Or a much more culturally-driven song full of catchy guitar parts, galloping tempos, and jumpy Finnish lyrics as “Hopeareunus” portrays – the addictive melodies mirror the musical output to keep listener interest on high. It’s rare to find a group seamlessly jump through languages and styles song by song to achieve the desired, headbanging / hair windmill reaction – yet that’s what you’ll hear in mandatory songs like “Rip ‘n Burn”, the Pantera-esque “Ambassador of Revenge” on through to the explosive, Overkill meets Sepultura-esque “Arkajalka”. While most of Mindfection whirls by in economical fashion, the final title cut allows the group to stretch their vision in broader strokes. Longer instrumental set ups, a more gang-fueled vocal approach in the verses/chorus, emotive lead break work that shifts into a traditional Metallica meets Iron Maiden-like feel before a lone piano concludes this magnificent seven-minute-long arrangement.
Mindfection is one of those records that could be a grower for the right community – sinking itself deep into an audience that wants solid musicianship, steady hooks/grooves, yet elements where the aggression or unity of commitment makes its presence felt. TakaLaiton may be an act that surprises a lot of people in a crossover thrash realm looking for a few difference makers.