Hiidenhauta is a Finnish melodic black metal band. They were founded in 2012 and their music is about nature and history. The lyrics are in Finnish and heavily inspired by Kalevala. The band is back with their second full-length record “1695”. As some of you may have guessed, the album title refers to a specific date and to a theme, which is the Great Famine of 1695-1697. During this period, approximately every third citizen of Finland died as a result of starvation or epidemics. Therefore this concept caught my attention.
The album’s concept and the overall darkness definitely makes the album interesting on a musical level. Since the lyrics are in Finnish, it will be easier for the Finnish listeners to understand and get the whole vibe of the album a lot better. Nevertheless, I think that the band did a good job in depicting the whole atmosphere of those times in their own interpretation with the brutal vocals and the riffs. So even if you don’t know Finnish, you will experience that darkness and brutality. What I also liked is the fact that we don’t only have songs but some instrumental passages such as “Musta leipä” or some monologues. You will feel like you are in a museum, wandering and gathering information about the concept.
The biggest issue for me with this record is the production sadly. I understand that the band wanted to be rough so there is a raw BM approach there…which was OK until I heard the female vocals. Sadly, the production is quite weak that it seemed like the female vocals didn’t fit in there and were left in the background whereas all we hear during Ms. Keskimäki’s parts are loud riffs. This is such a shame because the female vocals could have been used in a way to have that perfect contrast with the brutal male vocals. So this album would have been a lot more professional with better production. All in all, I am actually quite satisfied with the overall music and sound. Let’s hope the band will do a bit of improvements for the future releases.
Tuomas Keskimäki – vocals
Emma Keskimäki – vocals
Otto Hyvärinen – guitars
Eetu Ritakorpi – drums & percussions
1. Hallan valta