Tramalizer – Fumes of Funeral Pyres (Soulseller Records)Friday, 17th February 2023
This Finnish quartet Tramalizer started in 2021 as a vision to reach back into death metal’s early years, where musicians strived to be more aggressive, reaching lower tones on the guitars/vocals while keeping their ideals underground, raw, energetic. The membership has plenty of experience over the years, performing in other acts across the thrash and black metal landscapes. Spreading a three song promo to labels snagged the attention of Soulseller Records – in the interim, the group released “Left to Rot” as a single tribute to the late L-G Petrov in 2022 to whet the appetite of listeners for the debut album Fumes of Funeral Pyres.
The gritty nature to these riffs, the natural speedy fills against the steady supply of heads down pounding drum mechanics, beyond the discernible roars and left field narrative sequences on vocals – everything about these eleven tracks screams early 90’s European-style death. The palpable sequences of despair, anguish, and torment throughout winning cuts like “Point of No Turning Back” and “The Rostov Ripper” combine those pristine Entombed/Dismember efforts that put both bands on the international map through the Left Hand Path/ Like an Everflowing Stream records. Occasional lead breaks spin wildly into the Slayer playbook for “Hating God” or the title track – when intensity (and insanity) on a flurry of notes plus tapping/whammy bar accents mattered over fluid, cohesive precision. Shorter minute and a half arrangements like “Gift” and “Plain Evil” serve as aural breathers though no less potent than the main tracks – dripping in heaviness with tomb bells, distant voices, or guitar lines approaching death/doom measures. And the four-piece never forget about setting up specific measures into a catchy groove-inducing headbang assault – opener “Tramalized” plus heads down ripper “As They Are Put to Sleep” leading the charge on those accounts.
Let’s face it – for every death act going today that wishes to impress with technical prowess, we have an equal cavalcade of musicians content to let it rip as if thirty years hasn’t passed. Put Tramalizer in that latter category, as Fumes of Funeral Pyres aligns with that early, old school death metal template – the stench still penetrating in all the classic ways.