Huoripukki – Voima & Barbaria
Fallen Temple, 2018
This reissue of two EPs as one CD/LP demonstrates clearly why the “Incantoclone” bands are all the rage: they take metal backward to rock and carefully disguise this as a wave of noise. To make an Incantoclone band, you forget about all the cool extended riffs and structures of Onward to Golgotha and focus on the rushing riff, which consists of choosing a power chord — first five frets only please! — and then wiggling your fingers in a constant chromatic fill over that note.
This creates a sonic effect of falling water, the Twin Towers falling, horse flatulence, or maybe the end of the world, but your brain basically short-circuits at this point. All you hear is constant motion, maybe like a wild animal attacking you or the soundtrack to a porno film. This fools your brain and it does not realize that, just as in the most prosaic 1950s rock, the point is to sit on a chord and then pick out a rhythm while the vocals contain all the melody, texture, and foreshadowing of song structure.
This is not just a different type of riff, it is the anti-riff. Instead of elaborate phrases in the style from Black Sabbath onward, you have a style from rock before the Beatles where each verse consists of essentially a single chord, although in this case the waters are muddied with the aforementioned chromatic wiggling. That sets up such a constant rush of sound that any variation from it seems fresh and wild, even if it is just transition to another chord and a different type of chromatic wiggling.
Almost all of these bands seem really powerful on first listen but then become rapidly dissatisfying, and Huoripukki are no exception. These are songs about an aesthetic technique and have no content of their own, since all variation is driven by a reaction to the previous riff, and go nowhere, but if you can turn off your brain for long enough, they sound pretty cool.