"Roadmap Of Pain" (Firebox; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Usually when I receive a CD for review from Firebox Records, I put it aside for awhile as I've become accustomed to the gritty atmospheric and doom musical styles usually supported by the label. However, I was caught off guard by Total Devastation's modern death metal style.

One could say that the style of Total Devastation's "Roadmap Of Pain" sounds like Peter Tagtgren's Pain slowed down for more groove and atmospherics to spruce up the band's songs. As one might expect, Total Devastation use typically harsh death growls as a prominent element of their sound. However, every track on "Roadmap Of Pain" features 'programming' of some sort or another, so "Roadmap Of Pain" isn't a cookie cutter affair -- and I like that. Yet, the level of 'programming' never quite reaches the level of technical, industrialized infusion created by And Oceans.

My favorite tracks on "Roadmap Of Pain" include alternating death/groove battle of "Struggling From Chokehold," the controlled aggression of "Left Hand Of The Devil," and the expansive "Production Peak."

It wasn't a surprise that Total Devastation are from Finland as this small Scandinavian country seems to be producing more quality bands than any other country as of late. 

Fans of death metal that aren't afraid to splice a little modern vibes into the traditional sound of the genre will be pleasantly surprised by Total Devastation's "Roadmap Of Pain."

"Roadmap Of Pain" was produced by Tuomo Valtonen.

Total Devastation: Jaakko Heinonen on vocals, Harri Pikka and Saku Hakuli on guitars, Pasi Hakuli on bass, Lauri Pikka on programming, and Jarmo Pikka on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 14:16:29 -0400.