Was there ever any question that evil wouldn’t come out on top? If there was, then Bonehunter has put that to bed with their debut full-length, Evil Triumphs Again. The Finnish blasphemers play a hybrid of thrash, heavy metal and punk but are at their best when the punk side’s on full display. This LP is most properly categorized by their own song title, “Devil Metal Punks.” It’s a super fun listen that’ll surely keep you cracking open full calorie beer after full calorie beer.
Bonehunter’s put out a very limited amount of material to this point: three demos, two EPs, two splits, a live album and a single. What band puts out a live album before a full-length? Well, Bonehunter does. That’s who. After four years of existence, they’ve finally put together enough blazing, devil-praising music to release a nine-track, thirty-one minute album. And it’s a burner.
The album is recorded with a very “garage” style. The sound is tinny, the drums are flat and the guitars are excessively fuzzed out from an over-driven mix. But none of that is a bad thing. In fact, that recording style not only acts a throwback, it’s a perfect foundation upon which Bonehunter rocks.
The band’s at their best on tracks like “Burning Skulls” — blazing punk rock with a demonic twist. But they’re equally adept at slower-paced, grooving tracks like “Symbol of the Curse.” Later, “Deviler” opens with a similarly groovy intro before descending into the kind of fast-paced, throwback metal on which they’ve made their name. Regardless of the underlying foundation of each track, Bonehunter maintain their aggressive guitars, indecipherable vocals and fast-paced, ’80s-style drum work.
The point is, Bonehunter have created a very diverse little album. They’ve crammed in a ton of influences and ideas into a relatively short album. It’s not going to end up on any end-of-year lists, but Evil Triumphs Again is a very fun ride that’d make a killer soundtrack for any skateboarding or similar activities in life. Especially if you’re slightly inebriated. (And of age!)