Wringing every dramatic provocative texture and imposing emotion out of their dark creative depths, melodic death metallers Kaunis Kuolematon have unleashed a thoroughly compelling and intimidating debut album in the tempestuous shape of Kylmä Kaunis Maailma. It is a startling release, one bred in menacing atmospheres and thick emotive climates. It consumes and captivates without mercy though it is not always the easiest of journeys for senses and thoughts to explore, landscapes harsh and drenched in intensive causticity which permeates and scores everything from ears to psyche. It is a persistent danger which once undertaken rewards with continually strengthening potency.
The Hamina hailing Finnish band began in 2012 with vocalist/guitarist Mikko Heikkilä (Black Sun Aeon, Routasielu, Sinamore) forming the band to take his songs to the world. The first year saw the release of a self-titled EP to strong responses but it was the single En Ole Mitään last year which raised a definite appetite and anticipation for the band’s first full-length, a hunger which it impressively feeds. Recorded with Saku Moilanen (Red Moon Architect) and mixed and mastered by Saku Moilanen and by Juho Räihä (Before The Dawn, Gloria Morti) respectively, Kylmä Kaunis Maailma takes the listener into the darkest intrusive levels of life, almost welcoming death as a destined friend. It is frightening, intimidating, and impossibly seductive, a narrative to bravely embrace for the surest of pleasures.
Opening track Pimeyden Valtakunta emerges from a portentous sonic mist, its ominous breath a dark hum which is soon veined by a riveting melodic design of guitar and a vocal sample seemingly seeded in negative events. By its entrance rhythms are rigorously casting heavy imprints, soon to be towering incitements, on the scenery as rapacious vocal roars spill across the air. It is a dramatically evocative experience, imagination running with the descriptive hues and vocal scowling, interpreting sounds and the Finnish language used for their own haunting and imposing visions. It is an immensely dramatic start to the album, a malevolent rapture which finds greater seduction with the clean vocals and melodic graces which colour the formidable soundscape surrounding them.
Itsestään Kuollut follows with an electro coaxing at first though it is soon suffocated by the ravenous strides of antagonistic rhythms, savage riffery, and bestial vocals squalls. Predacious grooves only accentuate the weight and glorious toxicity of the track as it twists and tightly seduces the psyche, senses abused and caressed with pulsating keys which still hold that electro suasion, and a rampant urgency to the ravaging. It is a masterful slavery of the passions that increases its virulence with even more intensive repetitious grooving and a web of serpentine and varied vocals, the fade-out the only minor annoyance.
Both Kivisydän and Kuolematon seize their own unique grips on attention and thoughts. The first brings a swamp of emotive shadows over pestilential intensity, though it also washes the senses in a beauteous caress of keys and solemn melodies, whilst the second bursts from within a radio search with bulging rhythmic muscles and sinewed bred riffs, both caging the appetite as expressive keys and drifting angelic harmonies add their glancing touches before carnivorous intent brings its voracity to bear over body and imagination. As with the album, both tracks need plenty of time to truly reveal their full persuasions but start with a thoroughly compelling and lingering base, the second of the two an intriguing presence especially with its outstanding sirenesque female vocal calls.
The earlier mentioned first single from the album, En Ole Mitään steps in next, clean vocals wrapping the senses soothingly before coarse tones enter the scene. The music is equally restrained at first before inviting its malicious side to join the affair, the guitars of Heikkilä and Ville Mussalo entrancing and enticing before becoming sonic predators led by the intensive rhythmic examination provided by bassist Jarno Uski and drummer Miika Hostikka. The track expands across its beautiful but rugged terrain with enthralling skill and invention though arguably is less predacious and certainly more merciful than other tracks, such as the next up Sieluni Sirpaleet, though it too is unafraid to allow a delicious weave of keys and the ever impressive and welcome clean vocals within the band to radiate potently from within the stark and aggressive causticity climbing all over the senses.
The album continues to ignite thoughts and emotions as the likes of the spellbinding Pahan Kasvot, a track which manages to seduce an ardour and tear layers from the senses with its raw voraciousness within the less than four bestial minutes of its body, and the enchanting Aamu seize ears and imagination. The second of the two with melancholic strings and emotionally reflective vocals mesmerises across its extensive flight, the stormy passages and vocal tempests only enhancing its elegance stance and emotive beauty. The song is irresistible, setting the listener up for the final exhausting adventure of Haudasta Hautaan, an encounter as abrasing as it is sonically bracing and as rabidly emotive as it is blisteringly seductive.
Kylmä Kaunis Maailma is a striking debut from Kaunis Kuolematon and though it is a touch frustrating in not being able to fully understand each track’s theme because of language restrictions, that small aspect cannot hide the feelings raging within each encounter or stop the album from impressing intensely.
Kylmä Kaunis Maailma is available through Violent Journey Records now!
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