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KUOLEMANLAAKSO
KUOLEMANLAAKSO
Uljas Uusi Maailma
(Svart Records)
46:45min

The mastermind Max Power behind the Finnish futuristic and symphonic-tinged Black Metal band CHAOSWEAVER, wanted to create something a bit more different musically from his main band; something that would combine a band like TRIPTYKON's all-swallowing darkness and heaviness with sheer uniqueness of one of the pioneers of Finnish poetry, Eino Leino's poem collection named "Helkavirsiä". Out of these 2 main elements KUOLEMANLAAKSO ('Death Valley' in English) was born. Besides Max Power - or just Laakso (on guitar and keyboards) in this new outfit KUOLEMANLAAKSO, the band also features no less than Kotamäki on vocals (BARREN EARTH, SWALLOW THE SUN, etc.), Kouta on guitar (also in CHAOSWEAVER), Usva on bass (THE NIBIRUAN, ELENIUM) and Tiera on drums (BACKSTABBING BASTARD, ELENIUM), so one could say there's quite a lot of experience behind this new Finnish act that crawls out from the horizon like the last fading shadows being summoned by a pitch-black darkness. "Uljas Uusi Maailma" - or "Brave New World" if you prefer an English translation to the album title, employs the same kind of crushing heaviness there's to be found from the bold and brave soundscape of TRIPTYKON. However, when the Swiss combo TRIPTYKON relies more on Doom and Gothic approaches within their material, KUOLEMANLAAKSO looks deeper down into the abyss, and let this fully Finnish-sung 8-track effort combine bravely elements from Death Metal, Doom Metal and Black Metal into one insane and pompous sounding experience. At times they manage to conjure up the already defunct Finnish Black Metal act AJATTARA, without still shamelessly stealing anything away from them though. A fair dose of experimental and even avant-garde elements also help KUOLEMANLAAKSO to set the kind of sound for this record that not only make the record sound unique, highly original but also should give them a fair load of credibility for their attempts to paint the world even blacker. V Santura (TRIPTYKON, DARK FORTRESS fame) not only co-produced, mixed, mastered and engineered KUOLEMANLAAKSO's debut record, but he also provided guest guitars on 5 songs on this extraordinary well-crafted album as well. So, what we have got in our hands here, is a pretty positively astonishing wholeness all in all. Highly recommended. For all further information check out www.facebook.com/kuolemanlaakso, www.kuolemanlaakso.net, www.svartrecords.com

Luxi Lahtinen

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