Purtenance continues its journey with a fifth album.
Despite a twenty-year hiatus, the Finnish band led by Harri Salo (drums), Juha Rannikko (guitar), Tero Aalto (guitar) and Aabeg Gautam (bass/vocals, Benothing, Dying Out Flame) is more than motivated, releasing in 2023 The Rot Within Us in collaboration with label XTREEM Music.
The band kicks off its assault with Mournful Echoes, a first composition which initially invokes melancholy under its airy melodies before releasing the reins to its raw abrasive Death Metal roots. The soaring harmonies resurface to gently lead us into Transitory Soul of the Righteous, which uses dissonant sounds to create an interesting contrast with the more aggressive riffs. As for the vocals, the constant cavernous howling reinforces the heavy atmosphere, just like Unseen Sphere of Realities, with its occult sounds which remain accessible while keeping a disturbing touch. The band goes on rampage again with Mystic Sacrifice and its intense waves combining strength and speed between two soothing but equally raw harmonics. A Doom-influenced solo introduces the liveliest part of the track, punctuated by a solemn bell, before the short Solemn Presence of Death features more energetic patterns to fuel a hurricane of rage. An Invisible Master follows, combining an ominous introduction with waves of blast and grimy Old School riffs which purists of the late ’80s masterpieces, then it’s Structures‘ turn to bewitch us with its hypnotic leads before relentlessly stomping us with a massive rhythm. Nekromantik Spiritualism, the band’s longest track, closes the album in the same state of mind as it began, skilfully blending soft melodies with a very raw basis, having no trouble convincing, while regularly offering calmer parts and devastating screams, as well as a soaring break.
Purtenance has remained rooted in the Old School Death Metal sound from the 80s and 90s, offering on The Rot Within Us some raw riffs complemented by ethereal melodies and cavernous vocal parts.