Turmion Kätilöt – Global Warning Review

WOW that’s a uniquely tasteless sort of cover, isn’t it?1 It’s as if industrial Finns Turmion Kätilöt felt the need to be seen after getting signed by Nuclear Blast, and figured that bad publicity is good publicity. Well, the cover stands out alright, just in the worst way. Let’s hope the music is better. Turmion have been making their mark for almost 2 decades now and considering the major label signing it is finally playing off. They’re even slated to tour with Nightwish, a pairing that makes no sense at all musically but would certainly expose the band to a large new audience. But with such a trajectory to metal stardom comes the fear of selling out. Have they betrayed their fanbase for fortune and fame?

Well, let’s be honest here. Turmion, with their style that is best described as “Finnish Rammstein hopped up on MDMA,” aren’t exactly going for frostbitten trveness. Their style aligns more with the likes of Andrew W.K.: stupid, fun, and so catchy it forces the whole planet into lockdown. And at that, they roundly succeed. Walking the line between metal and straight-up EDM, Global Warning kicks off with “Naitu” and immediately showcases what they do best. Pulsing beats in a steady rhythm, synth-driven melodies laden with easy hooks directly inspired by eurodance music, and multi-layered, often surprisingly harsh vocals that give the package a bit more edge. It’s a formula that doesn’t differ significantly from the first track I heard from the band, which was 2004’s “Teurastaja,” the intervening time mostly spent on refining what was already there.

And it’s quite a treat to see how many different ways they manage to expand upon that foundation. “Viha Ja Rakkaus” uses a mid-tempo and stomping minor key to evoke a strangely danceable melancholy. The keys on the “Jumalauta” verses are much more 80’s aligned and would not go amiss at a Carpenter Brut show or an F-Zero soundtrack, while the stomping choruses approach Samael territory. The novelty, however, does wear off, and though the band keep the tracks short and tidy (nearly all of them are under 4 minutes), the album still feels long in the tooth at 47 minutes and 13 tracks. When I throw on the first track, I’m partying, but by 11 or so, my switching finger starts itching. The last track is a bit of a throwaway too; “Mosquito A La Carte (To Be Continued Part 5)” is part of an ongoing experiment by the band to inject some unexpected styles into their closing tracks, with this year’s edition featuring some… salsa? It can’t help but come off as a joke that outlasts its welcome.

Still, despite a weak tail, Global Warning is a hoot and a half. It is at its core easily digestible party metal, but that belies how well the band juggles different textures and elements from both metal and EDM to create an amalgamation that’s still very much their own. The many synths and keys are leading and make for a very accessible sound, but the vocals would largely not go amiss in a black metal outfit and the metal instrumentation is convincingly represented in the drums and the pounding bass and rhythm guitars. Coupled with a solid if slightly dense production and you have a recipe for a record that’s sure to liven up any party. You know, when parties are no longer a thing of the past.

Turmion Kätilöt have been doing this for a while now and their latest work doesn’t substantially differ from their first. But it must be said, they have their formula down to a T, and if you are at all sensitive to hyper-catchy metal you’ll find little to complain about on Global Warning, aside from the cover. If that’s not you, if your profile is more along the lines of the surly elitist or sadboy atmoblack purist, you can safely skip this band entirely. That’s what Metal Archives did, after all. But if you don’t mind banging your head to infectious electronics, give this one a whirl. Global Warning’s a good way to liven up a global quarantine.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 256 VBR kbps mp3
Label: Nuclear Blast
Websites: turmionkatilot.com | facebook.com/turmionkatilot
Releases Worldwide: April 17th, 2020

Show 1 footnote

  1. it immediately made me think of The Mentors, who pretty much defined the term “uniquely tasteless.” – Steel
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