A new Finnish supergroup giving its debut here? It seems like, on may levels... let´s simply start with the band history:
Named after one of the lowest, driest, and hottest places on Earth, KUOLEMANLAAKSO (”Death Valley”) took its first breath in the Spring of 2010 as a one-man project of guitarist Laakso (Chaosweaver). It was clear from the start that the lyrics would be in Finnish, inspired by Eino Leino’s (1878–1926) poem collection Helkavirsiä.
The feedback from an unreleased demo was overwhelmingly positive, so Laakso decided to make KUOLEMANLAAKSO a fully operating five-head outfit, recruiting vocalist Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun, Barren Earth), guitarist Kouta (Chaosweaver, ex-Verjnuarmu), bassist Usva (Elenium, The Nibiruan), and drummer Tiera (Discard, Cult of Endtime).
In February 2012 the band recorded their debut at Woodshed Studio, Germany, with V. Santura (Triptykon, Dark Fortress), who not only co-produced, mixed, mastered and engineered the album, he also provided guest guitars on five tracks.
Uljas uusi maailma ("Brave New World") sounds indeed very “Finnish” not only because of the lyrics, which ooze a mixture sarcasm, anger and despair, although you might not understand any of the words. The mood is gloomy to sinister, the music is melodic but mean and reminds me of Ajattara, with a touch of Viikate, Kotiteollisuus, Finntroll and STS-doom, garnished with occasional BM blast attacks, piano, folk-guitar, shamanic vocals... A dark piece of “just the right headbanging groove” that sneaks its way through your auditory channels into your brain, to the “pleasure” zone...
For all those who have also been suffering under this “overly-happy” X-mas music bombardement - this CD is a nice antidote.
1. Minä elän (”I live”)
2. Kuun lapset (”Children of the Moon”)
3. Nostos & Algos
4. Roihusydän (”Blaze Heart”)
5. Etsin (”Searching”)
6. Ikiuni (”The Eternal Sleep”)
7. Uljas uusi maailma (”Brave New World”)
8. Aurinko (”The Sun”)