Atretic Intestine is a Finnish quintet that's been churning their brand of brutal death metal since 2006. During this time they've released two demos, two EPs, and now their debut full-length album "Encased."

The band's brand of death is rather well refined. The songs have a lot of tempo-changes despite the songs mostly revolving around the mid-pace. The soundscape is sturdy and solid, but still allows the drums, guitars and bass to shine through with their individual nuances. The brutal and professionally produced soundscape is supported by deep and capable growls that have enough variation - although there's still room for bolder twists.

The songs range from mid-tempo groove to faster blasts, and occasionally there's some well-executed technical bits that flow forwards as smoothly as the more traditional and oldschool riffs do.

So, on the surface everything seems just perfect - even the lyrics' pitch-black humour and their true stories (read the lyrics for songs two and six) are surprisingly skilled. The main major flaw that bothers the album and the whole listening experience is that the listener's got to keep his ears 100% focused on the album to hear any of the compositions' skill and variation, as otherwise it seems just as one solid but harmlessly flowing mass of gore and brutality.

The dense soundscape eats the details from the instruments, thus hiding the songs' clearest variation and hooks and making the album seem less original and appealing than it really is. For me, it took numerous spins and a one extra spin with headphones to see past the album's coat of gore and into the very appealing compositions. So, if the band manages to bring out the songs' hooks and variation better in the future, we're looking at a highly promising and enjoyable Death Metal-band.

As of now, I can only recommend the album to those who are willing to spare some time and effort to digging through the album's shell - which shouldn't be anything new to hardcore fans of brutal death metal. It's worth it, but something that the listener shouldn't be forced to do. If the soundscape would be more about the individual instruments' strengths in balance instead of creating a dense and heavy mass of slaughtering death, the album would work a lot better and make a way more memorable impact.

7 / 10