The Finnish crust/grind/hardcore-act Earth Today has existed since 1997, and this is their first full-length release. During their existence they've made one demo, three splits (with Urine Specimen, Positive Bastards and Dissystema, respectively) and one compilation-release. Their previous release dates back all the way to 2004, so I'm sure that people have anxiously been waiting to hear new material from them.

Boiling hate and frustration can be great tools if leashed properly, and this band knows it. The songs are fast and aggressive pieces that operate between harsh and heavy crust and all-out hardcore, with some hints of d-beat. Some brief slower and heavier moments and other stylish breaks are thrown in to help the album retain its flaming wrath through its compact length, and "Utopia" has some lighter elements keep it from sounding too overbearing. There are a few moments that are even too usual and traditional when compared with the band's best moments, but luckily they're quickly passed by.

The soundscape is harsh and bass-heavy, and the loud and carefully crafted drum-sounds make the album sound further original despite the songs' tradition-reliant basis. The album might be too heavy and metallic for a lot of crust punks out there, but I found the sounds to be my liking. The songs have a good amount of details and a lot of variation to keep the album from becoming a bore. The two male vocalists, one with hoarse howls and the other with a harsher and a lot more distorted voice, make the album further aggressive and interesting. The couple oriental samples and backing quest vocalists are a great add, and the band has known not to overuse them. The song "Arvet" deserves a honorary mention for the visiting vocalist Kerttu Vauras (from Khatarina) helping in turning its chorus into a maelstrom.

Visually the LP is minimalistic but very stylish, and the brown colourscape stands out in a good way. The lyrics are not included; instead, the songs are accompanied with a brief English explanations of their themes. All the non-Finnish buyers should be thankful. The themes are basically about the darker side of humanity; mental problems, violent hate, submission, heavy social problems and drug abuse. The themes are dark and heavy with a small glimmer of hope, and thus they fit perfectly together with the musical side.

The album isn't perfect nor too easy to listen to due to its themes - nor should it be. The album is clearly the result of great effort, from the actual music to the lyrics, visual side, sounds, and the fact that the album seems like it's actually meant to be a vinyl-release from the start. It was a pleasure to review this album, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from the group in the future.

8½ / 10