This blog has been about digging old graves so far, but I thought it would be relevant to bring some more recent happenings forth too. Therefore I give you “The Chosen Three”. This article will be out in the end of every month and will present three (or more) bands/demos/EP’s/albums which impaled my mind during this particular month. All of these selected pieces aren’t the most current ones, but I hope this series will give something new and inspiring after all – at least there will be a word or two from the artists too. So here are the chosen ones for January, make notes and make graves!
PYHÄ KUOLEMA: Saavun vaikken kulkisi (Anima Arctica 2011)
Pyhä kuolema is Mikko Pöyhönen’s – known from now dead Tuhat kuolemaa sekunnissa – new form. Like TKS, also Pyhä kuolema is about acoustic music, but when TKS was too bland and mediocre in my opinion, Saavun vaikken kulkisi goes deeper, to the intimate sources of magic, nature and sorrow. Maybe one reason for this is that Pöyhönen is alone in Pyhä kuolema – he wears the heavy robe of a singer-songwriter and manages to pull catchy and memorable melodies and lyrics from his soul. There is variance in both: sometimes you float in the haze of feverish folk, sometimes you are surrounded by shamanistic soundscapes; sometimes the train takes you through nightmares, sometimes comets hit your nerves. The whole album has a nice balance, and 34+ minutes is a perfect length for this kind of music. And all you non-Finnish listeners, fear not – Pöyhönen says that Saavun vaikken kulkisi (I’ll arrive even without traveling) has something for you too:
– While my music leans heavily on lyrics, I’m quite picky about how the words sound in my mouth. I choose over certain words, and sometimes long strips of verse, not only for their lyrical content but for their round, wailing sound. Some texts turn into better vocal parts than others, and here the perfectionist in me comes forth. These choices ease the brain for the listener who does not understand the language sung: the vocals become an instrument which, also, can carry messages far better than any written language.
CAULDRON BLACK RAM: The Poisoner Maxi-EP (Abysmal Sounds 2011)
Cauldron Black Ram. Cauldron. Yeah, this band is like a cauldron, which swallows different metals, venoms and pieces of flesh, boils them for good and spits out hideous beasts like that four headed monster on the cover of The Poisoner. This time the menu consists of old school thrash, doomy mumblings, Hellhammer and some Australian bestiality. The band stirs this all well with a professional but enjoyable primitive hand, and it’s amazing to notice how technical these songs are after all. This is the EP for all and for none. A twisted mass of metal. Esh (drums & vocals) describes the essence of The Poisoner:
– It is comprised of a four headed beast, all egos at war with another, vying for destruction and plotting betrayals – thus the cover. So although each track is most definitely a thinking beast, they are conjoined, whether they like it or not. These four heads sing of the dangers of wayward witching and demonic consequence. …I sincerely hope that doesn’t clear up anything.
NUIT NOIRE: The Gigantic Hideout (Creations of the Night 2011)
As I mentioned in my previous post, I waited for Nuit Noire’s fourth full-length with skeptic thoughts. Now the wait is over and The Gigantic Hideout has revealed to be a charming album. Tenebras has sharpened his compositions and especially postpunk/postrock elements are more effective than ever. Still this isn’t a pale Alcest copy after all – nightside lunacy is still there, and Tenebras howls his demons out with an inimitable touch. This is how Tenebras himself comments the situation during Lunar Deflagration debut and now:
– Lunar Deflagration was something very special and I don’t know if I could do something like that again. It was the result of this situation of that time – my brother had just left the band and thought I was going towards a shitty direction. I was craving to record and I was a beginner at singing with non-scorched vocals, so in less than four hours I recorded it. It was a pure revolt against the codes with a total no-care attitude, for the voices I didn’t even stop the recorder in between the twelve tracks – I let them play one after one and sang along. The following albums were more controlled, less urgent, and they were not the fruit of an accident like Lunar Deflagration almost was.
– And for the brand new album, it is even something else. I pushed the instrumentation forward and again everything has been quite controlled although I experimented a lot.