St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)
Superficially, everything about this release is Finland incarnate, from the slightly confusing cover to the monstrous teenage foreheads of these Scandinavian aliens. This is practically a compendium of Finnish death metal trademarks 1988-1993, competently delivered and bolstered by a well-rounded sound.
So why aren’t these guys better known, their having only limited official output notwithstanding? The closing of Morbid Records certainly didn’t help, but more of the blame probably rests squarely on the eclectic (i.e. disconnected, immature) songwriting of LUBRICANT themselves. One minute they’re mired in pure CARCASS-worship blasting with the attendant thesaurus-y song-titles and lyrics. The next, they run headlong into a psychedelic/BLACK SABBATH groove, which seemed to be a predilection of many of their metal-weary countrymen sooner or later (cf AMORPHIS, XYSMA, DISGRACE, CONVULSE). And in between they’re stoking melodic doom/death fires, usually just long enough to hit on one iteration of an excellent mournful riff before the tempo picks up again. It’s actually pretty maddening trying to find anything on Nookleptia worthy of more than passing attention. The tone-deaf Ozzy-like clean vocals that crop up occasionally don’t help make things seem any more cohesive or thoughtful.
Despite these problems, it’s strange indeed these guys never went on to anything else in metal after folding in 1994. The skill and want was certainly there, so more likely their late entry into legitimacy damned their path as death metal’s star faded in the mid-1990s. Pity, really — a bit of grown-up discipline may have gone a long way to LUBRICANT hitting on some above average listening in tradition of other Finnish excellence. Stick to the known classics from the country for your fix instead, AMORPHIS The Karelian Isthmus, SENTENCED North from Here and CONVULSE World Without God being among the most readily available among them.
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