A split between two legends. Kuolema was originally active for a short period in the eighties, but reformed with a new line-up in 2001 and have spreaded their message of drug misuse and extreme hardcore punk ever since. Conclude shares a similar tale; they were originally active from 1994 to 1999, and suffered from many obstacles and tragedies during the time. The vocalist Keijo (or Keiichi) reformed the band in 2008, and after publishing some previously unreleased material from the 90s, the band finally released some fully new material from '09 in the form of this split. I guess it was the combined karma of these two bands that caused the split's massive delays, but the main thing is that it was released eventually.
Kuolema starts the split with five songs that you might've already have heard on the band's "Viinaa Aineita Naisia"-compilation - although this split seems to feature a slightly rawer and grittier mix, unless my ears are lying to me. The songs are a minute long '82-style 3-chord hardcore outbursts, with extra speed and rawness. The songs rely on the loud and clearly pounding harsh bass guitar which drives the songs forward, along with Ile's unique drunken shouts and the clear but fittingly damp snare pounding. The guitar sound is so harsh and distorted that it's quite a chore to make out the riffs, and the cymbals amplify the harshness even further.
If you enjoy fast, chaotic and noisy hardcore punk or "musical" noisecore, Kuolema is your way to go. The songs are short explosions of primitive catchiness and uncontrollable aggression teamed with harsh and very organic noisiness, and the slightly slower and more rhythmic "Nyt Otetaan" makes the whole less overwhelming. Minus points are served for the dull layout, too short playtime and lack of lyrics. Aside of the previously mentioned facts, this is Kuolema at their best.
9- / 10
Conclude was heavily influenced by Finnish hardcore and especially Terveet Kädet in the 90s. Now, the TK-influences have been pushed back, and although some Finnish '82-hc -influences are still present, the band's sound is more closer to raw Swedish punk. The really harsh, a bit heavy and even static guitar distortion executes simplistic but effective hc-riffs, and even a short solo-like in the last track. The bass tolls forward with it's pretty vast and damp sound, giving the songs a good amount of mass and drive. The drums are energetic, and support the songs' progress greatly without taking up too much attention. The vocals are not as eccentric or weird now as before, but the distorted shouting and growling is still pretty unique. Now Keijo's voice just works better together with the music, instead of taking too much of the attention.
The band presents three aggressive and catchy songs full of attitude, hate, and rhythmic hooks - and with a good amount of message, too. Their soundscape is perfect in it's depth and rawness, and lifts the songs up to a whole new level. I can only hope that the band will maintain their quality, and that they'll be making a longer release in the future.
9 / 10
I don't know if the bands really compliment each other perfectly as split companions, but at least they share the rawness, history, quality, and original style. The visual side is a bit lacking on Kuolema's part, and the record centres are blank, but the cover image by Läjä Äijälä (Terveet Kädet) makes up for it. If only the split was longer...