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Review: Judas Avenger - JA
Judas Avenger

Label: Judas Records
Year released: 2017
Duration: 28:53
Tracks: 7
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: January 27, 2018
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (8 Votes)

Judas Avenger (a great band name by the way) are a relatively new Heavy Metal band hailing from a city called Pori, located on the west coast of Finland.

JA, the mysterious title of this album, is the band's second full-length outing (even if it clocks in at less than 29 minutes) and man, this is some of the darkest-flavored and meanest sounding Heavy Metal I have heard in quite a while. Their music is like a mix of Jugulator-era Judas Priest, with some progressive Metal elements from the likes of Nevermore and Shatter Messiah, with a twist from the infamous Finnish group Turmion Kätilöt (check out songs like "Tuhoaja - Osa 1" and "Tuhoaja - Osa 2").

The first three songs, "A Son/Dying World," "In the Shade of Sorrow," and "You Are Nothing" represent the most enjoyable parts as they get straight to the point and start slicing our ears with all-out sharp and punishing Heavy Metal that also has a nice progressive edge to it. Vocalist Pekka Montin is simply amazing with his vocal range, capable of varying his vocals from dramatic to raspy and high-pitched vocals effortlessly, reminding me of both Warrel Dane (Nevermore) and Michael Duncan (Shatter Messiah) in places. The band's guitar duo, Janne Seppälä and Marko Schauman, have truly sharpened their axes for a very powerful performance, providing a true backbone to the band's crushingly heavy and dark metal manifests. On "You Are Nothing," the band is on fire, showing off their best assets.

Then we get "Tuhoaja - parts 1 and 2," where the band goes into a more experimental mode and singing entirely in Finnish. These two songs differ from what the first three songs offer musically. I don't find them presenting the band in a good light.

The album's closing song, "The End (Beginning of Suffering)" is 'interesting' to say the least. It's an eerie track with a very spooky and pain-filled atmosphere, played with very minimalist elements (keyboards, acoustic guitar, and angst-ridden vocals playing the main roles).

I recommend that you listen to the first three songs first because that's where the band seriously rips. After that, I am not so sure...

Other related information on the site
Interview with Judas Avenger on February 23, 2018 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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