Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kuolemanlaakso-Uljas uusi maailma

Svart Records

 Kuolemanlaakso , which is Finnish for "Death Valley", originally started out as a one-man project of guitarist/keybaordest Markus Laakso (of Chaosweaver fame). Looking to craft "an utterly dark and heavy album, full of catchy hooks and originality: a tragically beautiful world all its own" Laakso looked toward the music of Tom G. Warrior's goth/doom metal band Triptykon as a influence (especially their album "Eparistera Diaimones"). After the positive response of an unreleased four-song demo recording Laakso decided to make Kuolemanlaak a full-fledged band. To that end he recruited members of Swallow The Sun, Chaosweaver, Elenium, and Cult of Endtime to help him craft his vision. Choosing to release a album that is also sung entirely in Finnish (which incidentally makes for a unique listening experience) could be looked at as a gamble as far too many heavy metal fans prefer their metal sung in English. As I've always tried to stress though it's the music that matters most especially as heavy metal, in and of itself, is a universal language meant to convey both freedom and non-conformity. That being said it does mean the lyrics (which were inspired by Eino Leino poetry collection, "Helkavirsia" as well as "the mystique of the Finnish forests, and the morbidity of the modern world".) will only come into play if you speak Finnish. As I do not know a single word of Finnish, as I took German in high school (although it's not like they offered Finnish at the time) ,all there is to go by is the music which is fine. The beauty of this album is that one does not need to understand the Finnish language in order to appreciate the music. While these eight tracks prove to be easy enough to digest, in this case being "easy" also means the music is good, but not great. Much like Triptykon (who are a fairly cool band as well even if they are nowhere near the force of Celtic Frost) this new band relies as much on atmospheric metal as it does traditional doom metal. Of course one big difference between the two acts is that Kuolemanlaakso relies on the addition of black metal instead of goth. Of course, since V. Santura (of Triptykon fame as well as Dark Fortress fame) not only co-produced, mixed, mastered and engineered the band's debut album, (which by the way means”Brave New World”), but also played guitars on five of the album's eight tracks (obviously he liked what he was hearing) one could very easily see people wanting to compare this to Triptykon. In the end though this is really just a collection of various genres (atmospheric metal, doom metal, black metal and feedback-laced traditional metal) all squeezed together in an attempt to create something meaningful. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder some will find this to be a work of art no doubt while others, and I count myself in this boat I suppose, will see this as an interesting group if nothing overly exciting.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you mean Finnish, not french?

6:30 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

Thanks for the catch...

7:29 AM  

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