Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kuolemanlaakso: Uljas uusi maailma (2012)

Uljas uusi maailma . . . Vai onko?

Kuolemanlaakso is, if you couldn’t tell by the name, a Finnish band. Originally a one-man project, it is now a full band who set out to imitate Triptykon. That’s not my assessment; that’s what their PR says. Imitating Triptykon is as noble a pursuit as any, so I eagerly dug into their debut.

What I found isn’t exactly what was promised. “Etsin,” definitely, has that sort of ominous and eerie death/doom with plenty of string bending, as does “Kuun lapset.” Neither of them exactly captures that soul-crushing mood that Warrior and Co. can perpetrate without effort, even though Triptykon's own V. Santura is on board. But Kuolemanlaakso do an admirable job of reaching for that. On the whole, however, the record betrays a lot more influences than just the one.

I can hear plenty of Swallow the Sun (Mikko Kotamäki is also on the projec), and a little bit of Gojira. But mostly, they dwell in the valley of Dååth. If I thought any of the guys in Dååth could speak Finnish (or that they could still make a full album worth listening to) I would have pegged this for an undercover side project. It’s not just the keyboards and other electronic sounds, either, but the riffs as well. “Ikiuni” is the most obvious Dååthly tune; the title track has plenty of that as well. Opener “Minä Elän” is probably the best place to start if you’re trying to decide if this will appeal to you, as it splits the Dååth (verse) with the Triptykon (chorus) pretty evenly. “Roihusydän” is a weird tribal drum and chant, so, not exactly representative.

Overall, I quite enjoyed Uljas uusi maailma, and the modern production suits the music well. Then again, I think Eparistera Daimones is the best album to come out in over five years, and I still have a soft spot for some early Dååth.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Buy Uljas Uusi Maailma

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