[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
The well from which it all sprang, In Slaughter Natives are the original; there’s no one out there who could dispute the legacy which the one man who constitutes ISN has. Look at all those who have followed in his footsteps, seriously, the influence goes beyond just sound. The visuals, the design, the attitude… they have come from one place. It’s a weighty crown to wear, without doubt and perhaps this explains why the break between releases is growing longer. It has been a decade since we got anything new from J. Havukainen, during which time there have been more than a few who tried to exceed what he does. While some have gotten close, In Slaughter Natives have such a distinct style that none can match it.
Those thunderous drums, the wraith-like vocals, the burning enmity towards this world. He’s chronicling a place which has been decimated, what few survivors remain huddle in the rocks with their eyes shut tight. Hoping they’re not noticed, praying they remain undetected. ‘Cannula Coma Legio’ is the meat grinder which is hunting them. You can taste the marrow in the back of your throat while listening; cruel imperial marches and displays of mercilessly precise killing machines are the order of the day. Terrified screams, overwhelming odds, there will be no tomorrow for anything or anyone. In Slaughter Natives have just put out the light and in that lingering darkness horrific deeds are being done.
I suppose I’m spoiled, being a fan since the early 90s when one could take new material from this one for granted. He put out something fairly routinely every few years but as he’s grown older he appears to have decided to expound maximum vengeance in his work by letting it stew on the back burner. Slow cooking the malice, refining his methods until the time is right to strike. As with all things of this nature, it will lead you to play whatever else you own by him to see where it fits. Of the three new pieces we’re given, ‘Enter Now The World’ is probably the closest relative but ‘Purgate My Stain’ isn’t far off either. And then there are the re-worked tracks…
They’ve been hybridized to accommodate the passage of time. The bombast has been stripped out and pure vitriolic misanthropy finds it’s way into the mix. Augmented by remarkably updated dynamics, chances are you won’t recognize what you’re hearing the first couple of times; his studio surely has gotten more than a few upgrades because what he does to these classics he couldn’t have pulled off when they first came out. Time marches on, yet for all the years he’s been gone there is a bond between himself and those who listen which no amount of it could undo. To hear some of my favorites given this new lease on life is a real treat, I’d wager I’m not alone in this.
‘Cannula Coma Legio’ is only a preview, everyone. A new full-length album is due out later this year, so perhaps now might be a good time to go back and listen to 2004’s ‘Resurrection’ in order to get yourself up to speed. These youngsters may be more prolific but there is a refined and graceful power which has developed over these last ten years at the core of In Slaughter Natives which could not be more profound. To think that this is the same artist who did ‘Sacrosancts Bleed’ amazes me; one hell of a journey.