Album Review – Gian / All Life Erased (2015)

A cohesive and aggressive mix of Thrash and Death Metal by a band with only one objective in mind: erasing all life from this toxic world we live in.

Rating4

gian_cover2255pixThe story of Finnish Death/Thrash Metal band Gian is not uncommon in the world of heavy music: lots of dreams and a gigantic amount of effort put together by the band in their beginnings in Finland in 2005, many live performances which I’m pretty sure didn’t result in any decent money for them, the inevitable conflicts of interest that ended up splitting up the band a couple of times, and so on, including a “hibernation” period between the end of 2013 and mid-2014. However, after all those years of blood, sweat and tears, struggling to survive and to make their Heavy Metal dream come true, Gian are now releasing their debut full-length album, All Life Erased, and based on the music those guys brought into being in this album their golden years seem to have finally arrived.

The band members themselves like to call All Life Erased a “mutated and demented nuclear freak”, and let’s say they’re not exaggerating when describing the album with such lovely words. What you’ll witness during the entire album is a cohesive and aggressive mix of Thrash and Death Metal that will pierce your ears and strike your mind without a single drop of mercy. The album art also tells you so, with the gas mask being one of the best contemporary symbols of our violent and noxious society, providing the whole album an extra touch of brutality.

The gas mask also appears in the opening track, Trauma, represented by a heavy breathing sound right before lead singer Jampe Honkonen begins growling directly in your face amidst a melodic sonority that reminds me of the music by many famous Swedish Melodic Death Metal bands, followed by a true metal storm entitled Bloodstorm. There are many elements from different metal genres in this song, from its Black Metal blast beats by drummer Konsta Vehkala to its Metalcore clean vocals, turning it into a first-class choice for both headbanging and slammin’ into the circle pit. The title-track All Life Erased is another fast and furious assault by Gian, where its Slayer-ish guitar lines by Lassi Pollari and Tuomo Laulainen guide the listener through all the band’s sonic madness.

And there are more fuckin’ razing riffs to make you want to crush everything around you in ZombieChrist, where it’s interesting to notice how guitars and bass guitar follow almost the same notes, while Self-Immolation Party shows us Gian are also good at selecting the names for their songs. This time, instead of nonstop riffs and drums, the band focuses on more consistent beats and especially on the anarchic vocal lines by Jampe, with a great chorus tailored for pepping the fans up during their live performances. Burn presents a band on fire once again, and despite being a violent track there’s a lot of harmony in it, just as expected from any European band.

ryhn1____1pienempiSounding like a hybrid of Cavalera Conspiracy and Slayer, the band offers more of their rousing modern metal in the following track, A Perfect Shot, with highlights to Konsta for his performance on drums and to the guitar duos by Lassi and Tuomo, and in the amazing Pain and Pleasure: it’s indeed a pleasure to listen to this track, but be warned it leaves a huge pain in your neck so hardcore it is, similar to the old school Punk Rock played by Black Flag.

Aggression Unleashed is another good song with interesting tempo changes, huge doses of cruelty in the vocals, and dense riffs inspired by 80’s Thrash Metal, whereas when the music starts to grow slowly but steadily in No Absolution you know hell is about to break loose, sounding even more modern than its predecessors with elements from Industrial Metal and some melancholic passages halfway through it. And as the band’s final blast of animosity we have Capital Punishment, a very metallic and thrilling song where Jampe lays much more emphasis on his harsher screams than his usual guttural vocals.

If you want to know more about this diehard Finnish band and purchase a copy of All Life Erased, visit their Facebook page, YouTube channel, SoundCloudBandCamp or the Inverse Records Store. Those guys want to erase all forms of life from this toxic and wicked world we live in with their metal music, and with our support they will surely succeed in their crazy and audacious mission.

Best moments of the album: Bloodstorm, All Life Erased and Pain and Pleasure.

Worst moments of the album: Aggression Unleashed and No Absolution.

Released in 2015 Inverse Records

Track listing
1. Trauma 4:58
2. Bloodstorm 4:41
3. All Life Erased 2:14
4. ZombieChrist 3:07
5. Self-Immolation Party 3:10
6. Burn 3:03
7. A Perfect Shot 2:53
8. Pain and Pleasure 2:12
9. Aggression Unleashed 4:12
10. No Absolution 4:41
11. Capital Punishment 3:47

Band members
Jampe Honkonen – vocals
Lassi Pollari – guitar, vocals
Tuomo Laulainen – guitar
Henri Rahm – bass, vocals
Konsta Vehkala – drums

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