Spurgum – SPRGM

Finnish Spurgum make an explosive debut with this self-titled record. As the band proclaims on their bandcamp “If you are into High on Fire, Kvelertak and Entombed, this is your thing!”

Spurgum is a finnish sludge metal outfit from Helsinki that recently made their debut with a self-titled album. SPRGM delivers a wild sludge metal ride with catchy riffs and prominent influences that, as the band describes it, is right up the alley of High on Fire, Kvelertak and Entombed fans, which is certainly the direction their influences are coming from.

Something that I noticed with a lot of scandinavian, or fennoscandian bands in this case, are the often very lively and at times almost cheerful melodies and rhythms, the origin of which I’d probably place somewhere in the folk music of that geographic area. As one of the main points of influnce for Spurgum, I can see the same feeling show through in the punk inspired variety of that sound that can be found in Kvelertak’s music. Spurgum’s overall sound is where the High on Fire influence shows the most. Rough and dirty guitars carry wailing and soaring melodies that accompany the wild shouts of vocalist Eetu Kauppinen. A hint of Entombed can be found on songs like Lintu when the band adds some death metal guitarplay and old school death metal drumming to their songwriting. However, I don’t want to simply reduce this band to their influences because Spurgum definitely have a sound of their own.

The album starts off with a quiet acoustic guitar intro on Järvenpää. Melodic guitars join the composition and the song slowly progresses forward and sees the band breaking into a full sprint at the end of the first third. A series of furious drumrolls make the transition and the song takes off. Right off the bat the band presents the catchy qualities of their songwriting on the melodies and the chorus of this song. A few tracks later, the previously mentioned Lintu brings in the death metal. Dark walls of guitars and slow double bass play set the scene before the guitars pick up after the first third of the track and shift to alternating oldschool death metal guitarplay with heavy riffing along a thrashy, quick vocal delivery. Next up we have two of the album’s strongest tracks back to back. Valkoinen Lippu is a fast, punky track featuring nicely contrasted riffs, another really strong chorus and some well utilized blastbeats. Pyramidin Kivijalkaan starts of slow and foreboding, only to turn into one of the fastest songs on the album. Wild and catchy guitars and an impressively fast and consistent vocal delivery make this one of the most enjoyable tracks on SPRGM. Sarkofagi On Auki begins with a frenzy of blastbeats and hammerblasts accompanied by some more death metal riffing before it slows down, becoming sludgy, slow and low. Slow tremolo riffing and double pass play make a heavy composition that drags its weight around as it slowly stomps onwards. A tempo shift in the last third leads the song to an impactful and heavy climax. Valomuno is the title of the last and longest track on this album that leads Spurgum’s debut to a close. I like how the band became a bit more ambitious on this track and delivered a very diverse composition with a sound ranging from towering riffs to very intricate and detailed guitarplay with a lot of feeling and warmth to it.

Overall this album features impressive performances on several fronts but especially on the guitars and vocals, in my eyes. I really like how into it vocalist Eetu Kauppinen is and how he puts a fitting finishing touch on the feeling of this record with his wild shouts. Spurgum made a strong debut with this album and though they are wearing their hearts on their sleeves a bit, the band did a really good job at incorporating their influences into their own sound in order to enrich and compliment it rather than just mimicking them. This is a must listen for fans of High on Fire, Kvelertak and Entombed, but if you just like some catchy sludge metal with a death metal finish you also shouldn’t pass up this record.

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