The masters of grind in Finland have delivered some of the strongest material of their long and illustrious career. While I have to admit that a six song EP in the grind/death genre that only spans eight minutes would be generally difficult to write about, Species at War shatters this idea. The veterans of two decades viciously blast their way through the album without any regard to pacing, structure, or groove. The album simply applies just enough variance to not only keep it interesting, but also keep listeners coming back to it multiple times for the sake of how memorable it is.
The songs range from insanely fast (“Cause”) to employing a fun, groovy sound (“Peace”). The fact that Species at War doesn’t repeat itself even with limitations of the genre shows that subtle differences in the shift of sound can be a difference maker, even for such an aggressive assault as this. Vocalist Keijo Niinima is a key element in keeping the sound fresh as well, as he varies his screams from a high-pitched shriek to an absolutely evil deeper growl. It creates the perfect link between the tempo changes, and the production doesn’t hurt either; the raw sound bristles like it was created in the depths of hell while still being able to hear every instrument in the mix.
Species at War plays on its strengths throughout its incredibly short run time, and the monstrous groove that presents itself in penultimate track “Salvation” is undeniably earth-shattering. The devil is certainly in the details on this release, and the build-up to the last track leads one to believe that this could have been just a bit better as a full-length album that had a little more than eight measly minutes to create a crushing atmosphere. As it stands, this is one of most memorable, heavy slabs of grind to come out in recent memory, and is truly worthy of a listen and purchase.
02. The Game
04. The Solution