Purtenance was always one of the better bands in the '90s Finnish death metal scene and their sole full-length "Member of Immortal Damnation" is still a standout for the country and a stellar album to have in any metalhead's collection, so when I learned that they returned with a new EP, I had to get it. I don't want to say that I was disappointed, because I wasn't, as "Sacrifice the King" is a great collection of songs and definitely a worthy comeback, but the band's trademark sound has been diminished just a little. The brooding and evil, doom-tinged sound that the band had on their debut is all but a distant memory to be contained on that record, because the four tracks here possess only a fraction of that sinister sound. But, once we move past that and get to the music that Purtenance made for this EP, there's still some quality death metal.
The opening track "So Many Years of Fear" wastes no time and starts with a heavy riff and the same deep vocals (though, it is a different singer) that crushed the band's fans before. The rest of the song is made up of some decent tremolo sections and cool bass lines, but it's the ending that really grabs the listener's attention as the track enters a break that is masked by a morbid melody which dominated the band's previous work, and is sure to please the longtime fans. "Demon Gods" is a fucking intense song that pummels while also taking the time to incorporate some top-notch soloing, and the track "Maniac" is a fantastic mix of catchy riffs, blistering tremolos and terrific drumming. "Sacrifice the King" is definitely a solid release that hopefully satisfies Purtenance's diehard fans, as well as introduces some new metalheads to the band's music. In the meantime, I'll be anxiously awaiting another full-length from these old-timers who clearly still have what it takes to hang in today's metal landscape.
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"So Many Years of Fear"
4.2/5 or 84%.