Releasedate: 28-02-2014; Label: Svart Records
By: Basak Günel
Kuolemanlaakso is a doom/death metal band formed in 2010. Initially formed as a one-man project by guitarist/keyboardist Laakso, the project has received a lot of positive feedback and it was clear that more band members were needed. Hence, Kuolemanlaakso became a band in 2012. Just like the name of the band (Kuolemanlaakso means “Death Valley” in Finnish), the ideas behind Kuolemanlaakso’s music is quite interesting; the band is musically inspired by Finnish forests, darkness and death.
The band’s latest album “Tulijoutsen” shows the true improvement and ‘evolution’ of Kuolemanlaakso. While listening to the album, you will be swept away to the dark and cold Finnish forests and feel the true death in your bones for sure! Surely, the most catching elements in this album are the melodies and the riffs; I have always adored the “dark” guitar riffs in doom metal songs and this album is a pure wonder in that sense. It’s quite clear to feel the Type O Negative, Swallow the Sun or Black Sabbath vibes in the songs and if you add the originality that the band adds to their music, then you probably have one of the best doom/death metal albums of our age.
Another element I loved was the mixture of growls and the clean vocals in the album. “Tulijoutsen” is not all about harsh growls but the clean vocals add another beauty to the whole package. I think it was also a good idea for the band to have all of the lyrics in Finnish; lyrically, the songs are really smooth and the language fits to the bitterness of the melody quite well.
“Tulijoutsen” is definitely not an album to headbang crazily or mosh; this album is a true ‘dark’ and ‘doom’ album and I am sure the fans of doom/dark/gothic/death or even black metal will love this record. If you want the taste of the album, I would recommend “Glastonburyn lehto” and “Me vaellamme yössa” .
The magic of darkness and nature… “Tulijoutsen” is a perfect record to listen to while being in the forest at night and enjoying the tranquility of the nature; no wonder why the band recorded “Tulijoutsen” in the middle of the woods and in perfect isolation.
Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun, ex- Barren Earth) – vocals
Laakso (Chaosweaver) – guitar & keys
Kouta (Chaosweaver, ex-Verjnuarmu) – guitar
Usva (The Nibiruan, ex-Elenium) – bass
Tiera (Cult of Endtime, ex-Discard) – drums
03. Me vaellamme yössa
06. Glastonburyn lehto
07. Tuonen tähtivyö
08. Raadot raunioilla