Tuhkaus means cremation, and in addition to that it's also a crust punk band from Finland that just recently released their first demo. The band doesn't reveal much information about it's members or anything else either, I only know that their vocalist is Veikki, known from the lo-fi crust punk act Noituus.

The release consists of 16 songs that range from a couple of twenty second long outbursts to a couple of almost two minutes long tracks, but usually they're around a minute long fast and traditional poundings. The riffs, most of the verse-ones sounding just like the ones you've heard before, are topped with Veikki's very hateful high screams, here and there spiced with a sample and more often with a guitar solo. The thing just is that you've heard too many of the riffs before just a few too many times. The songs have quite nice choruses and the solos bring some more originality to the whole, but many of the songs seem to consist of filler material both riff- and progress/structure-wise. This brings the whole demo down, giving a zealless and even lazy image of the band. There are some even interesting riffs, but they are not delivered with the energy they would need to really make an impact. Not much of the demo sticks to the listener's mind.

The real problem of the demo is that it sounds flat and lacks a strong flow. The guitars lack edge aside of the solos, and this causes the riffs to sound dull and unappealing - even the oddly rock-influenced riff in "Vanha Kehno" goes easily past your ears despite the song being really different from most of the others on the record. The demo has a good amount of tempo changes, too, and even a couple of slower tracks and a few samples to bring variation to the whole. Even though the solos have more edge than the actual riffs, they still sound a bit too similar to each other, and the shrieking vocals stay pretty much the same through the record. The vocal style is aggressive and very recognizeable, sure, but it's quite one-dimensional and doesn't have a rhythm that would add to the songs' structure: the vocals moreso additionally flatten the demo's whole. The vocals work ok in most of the choruses, or in other words, when the vocalist has less words to deliver as then the vocals create a rhythm.

How do you recognize a true crust-CD? It comes shipped to you packed inside the remains of a porridge package. The demo itself has one-sided and foggy black&white covers that don't look very interesting, but at least the packaging instantly tells what the band is about. No lyrics are included, which is a shame as the vocals are rather inaudible, and the band actually seems to have something to say (aside of the slight humorous spice).

The band seems to be well familiar with their instruments, and I hope that they dare to take more out of them in the future. They seem to have a good grasp about what can be executed within the genre and what kind of riffs fit where, but they don't seem to have the enthusiasm to take their output to the next level. I don't know if this is a some kind of a side project of the members, but they sure give out such an image. I hope that their next release has way more zeal and hate oozing from it, and less secure choices in the riffs.

3 / 5