A Review of the Album Kurimus by Finnish Thrash Metal Band Mokoma: Their First Thrash Metal Album
A Picture of a Rooster That Symbolizes the Album's Cover
Track Listing for Kurimus
- Go and Know
- Takatalvi (Rear Winter)
- The Face Towards the East
- This Half
- Red Rooster
- Tired Atlas
A Brief Introduction to the band Mokoma and when it was formed
Finnish thrash metal band Mokoma has been around a long time and they have been putting out solid album after album. Their 3rd full-length album called Kurimus (whirlpool in English) is their first thrash metal album released in 2003. Here is the track listing for the album with all the song titles in English whenever possible to make it easier for the average person. Mokoma is a band that has Finnish lyrics but the music is outstanding! The band first started in 1996 as a side project of front man, vocalist and guitarist Marko Annala. The name of the band originated from one of Annala’s ex-girlfriends’ grandmother.
On a side note, whirlpool isn’t just the name of a refrigerator brand, it is another name for a Jacuzzi hot tub. However, this album isn’t an album where you can sit and listen to it and relax. It is one of those albums that is probably better to play at during a party with your good friends that love heavy metal.
Who Plays On the Album Kurimus?
Marko Annala: all vocals and shouts
Tuomo Saikkonen: guitars and backing vocals
Kuisma Aaalto: guitars and backing vocals
Heikki Karkkainen: bass guitars
Janne Hyrkas: drums
Marko Annala the Vocalist for the Band Mokoma
A Brief Review of the album Kurimus as Written in 2016
The album opens with the awesome Go and Do Not Know. This one is my favorite song in the album especially for the catchy guitar part in the two minute mark. The catchy third song called The Face Towards the East has a distinct hard core influence as you can hear the shouting in the song. Then the song adds more melodic style vocals to go along with the harsh shouts. This album was released under Sakara Records, the record company that the band founded. There are a few other bands in the genre that have Finnish lyrics. These are Stam1na and Finntroll. However, Finntroll is a mix of Finnish folk music and black metal. The song Pupil gives the listener a break from the fast music and harsh shouting that was present in many of the other songs. The slow, picking that creates a sludge metal kind of sound is still present. Red Rooster starts with a fast guitar picking part that would make Jeff Waters proud. Waters uses fast picking in the song called Reaction on the album Remains. Promise is a song that I like to sing along with similar to the song Marras (November). Kurimus is an album that Mokoma was successful in making it an enjoyable listen even for those of us that don’t understand Finnish. It is not only Germany and the United States that have good thrash metal. We should add Finland to this list as well. For those of you that enjoy thrash metal with a hardcore influence, check out the band called St. Hood.
The song that made me basically fall in love with Mokoma is the first song! After the initial feedback noise, we are treated to one of the best thrash metal songs ever. What makes Mokoma a better band than others from Finland such as Airdash and Hateframe? Mokoma has riffs that WORK very well!
Marko Annala's Decision to Take the Band Further is a Big Positive Step
Here is a reason why heavy metal fans around the world should be grateful that Marko decided to take it further musically. It is because his decision helps people like me enjoy Mokoma’s music any time of day or night though I will say that I enjoy their music especially at night when I can excite myself with the awesome first song! If this band had been able to market their music outside of Finland, they would have gotten a decent following of fans.
Mene Ja Tieda (Go and Know)
How Does it feel to Listen to Kurimus in 2020?
Note: since it is now 2020, your question may be how does Kurimus feel as an album in terms of thrash metal? It is definitely very high energy as a thrash metal album and even the repetitive Takatalvi which lyrically is about a winter lasting so long that it can really wear out a person’s spirit is a good song. Where is the spring that he was waiting for? This Half is a song that lyrically is about a man that wants to escape the side of hate and focus on going to a side of the world that is calmer and more peaceful. How about this for a thrash metal band? Lyrics about advocating a more peaceful place are something that I would be in favor of! Kurimus is an album that deserves nothing less than a 90 point rating out of 100 even as of 2019! Here is a more expanded review of the album Kurimus!
The first song though has the drums kicking in and then we are treated to a thrash metal classic! This is one of those songs that you will definitely click the back button on and keep on listening to it. Red Rooster which is song #8 has some weird lyrics in it but the heaviness doesn’t dissipate at all for us lovers of thrash metal. The second song which actually translates to Rear Winter has a lot of repeating lyrics that may turn off some listeners but it does not do that to me. By the third song which we have mentioned previously this album turns out to be pretty close to a thrash metal gem! I know that this is a bold statement but Mokoma is just that skilled as a group. Kurimus also has hardcore elements in it so this is a thrash metal album that is very heavy and some fans may not be able to handle this kind of intensity. Although this is obvious it must be mentioned that the Finnish language will be a problem for some listeners and that is unfortunate because Marko is one of those vocalists that has passion, intensity, and a desire to be a part of a thrash metal movement. Even though this album came out in 2003, it is still relevant to today’s thrash metal scene. The fast picking yet modern song called Promise is a rather catchy song by these guys and it is about how trust has the power to heal a relationship between two people. A reviewer on the website Metal Archives describes Kurimus as an album that in spite of the Finnish language, everything clicks. After so many listens of this album, even I am realizing the musical cohesiveness of the album. What are the strong songs in this album? The obvious Mene Ja Tieda which is the catchy first song as well as Promise, Houkka, and The Face Towards the East.
Mokoma vs. Stam1na vs. Finntroll
Which one of these Finnish bands do you like the most?
© 2016 Ara Vahanian