With ‘Pimeyteen Ja Kuolemaan’, roughly translated as ‘Into Darkness and death’, you are launched straight into a grand, orchestral intro from these Finns, and they set down their intentions from the offset. The opening track, ‘Kutsu’, is an instrumental which has been composed by Rob Darken, who you may know from his involvement with Graveland, and it is ostentatious and striking in its attack on your tympanics. I just wish I could say the same for the rest of the release.
Second track ‘Mina Palvelen Saatanaa’ (‘War ahead of us’) starts off on the right footing with a harsh and raw composition, and showcases Thimns vocal from the start. Unfortunately though, the vocals then get lost in the mix and become a very obvious passenger to the locomotive that is the rest of the band.
‘Minä palvelen Saatanaa’, otherwise known as ‘I serve Satan’, to those of us whose mother tongue is not Finnish, carries on in the traditional black metal vain, raw, uncompromising, savage, and doesn’t let up until its time to unleash ‘Kosmos’ upon us. The guitars seem take the lead with the bass and drums providing a solid backbone to the composition.
Track 4, ‘Kosmos’, is a novel addition to the proceedings, and the main component is a strange and almost dismal portrayal of the oral art. The display of vocals are different on every level, and they just don’t sit harmoniously alongside the rest of the album. The vocals switch between true raw black metal howls and screams, and almost operatic tones, which hit you like a tsunami over an unsuspecting village. This may take several listens before you become fine-tuned to the talent on show, and on my fifth attempt, after some encouragement, they are just starting to work for me
The rest of the album continues in the same fashion, it moves from fast paced black metal, reminiscent of a Taake esque style, and dips into a more keyboard inspired sound with occasional concaves into the innovativeness.
As well as contributing to the intro, Rob Darken also lends his prowess to the proceedings by injecting keyboards intermittently into the mix. This seems to work wonderfully alongside the stripped back bleakness that makes up the skeleton of this piece.
The band also round off the album with a decent effort at a Nocturnal Mortum cover, ‘Valkyria’ but it almost doesn’t compensate for the off centre production and obscure elements of the rest of the release. it just screams out as a good effort, just a little too late.
As much as this is marketed as a black metal release, and I agree that there are massive chunks where this is the case, the rest of it is so abstruse I would definitely recommend approaching with an open mind, and a finger poised over the repeat button. This will take a lot of work to grasp and understand, but once it clicks, it really does click
(7/10 Phil Pountney)