Kuolemanlaakso : ‘Tulijoutsen’ Album Review

The highly acclaimed Finnish death doomsters return with their brand new album (second full length release following their debut “Uljas uusi maailma” in 2012)  titled “Tulijoutsen“. Produced once again by the TriptykonTulijoutsen-album-cover and Dark Fortress guitarist V. Santura, Kuolemanlaakso’s new album “Tulijoutsen” aim is to push the band into a new territory by combining different music genres such as death, doom and gothic/atmospheric metal with a melancholic touch which is present throughout (almost) the whole album. Their debut album, ‘Uljas Uusi Maailma’ was a good introduction to the scene but with ‘Tulijoutsen’ the aim is clearly to push themselves to a different level and reach audiences – which I will dare to say – who like bands such as from the Symphonic death metalers Tristania to the Gothic metal legends Moonspell.

To start with, whether you get the guitars, the vocals swaps or the keyboards leading the main track’s rhythm and melody, the end result – in most cases – will leave you with a tune stuck in your head and a tendency to hit repeat on your player. That alone, for me, classifies an album release as a successful one. The more times it happens throughout a listen, the more successful an album becomes and with this release I must admit that there are a couple of tracks I couldn’t stop listening such as “Verihaaski” and the harmony between vocal and keyboards, “Me vaellamme yossa” with it’s great guitar riffs, “Musta” and “Tuonen tahtivyo“‘s amazing atmosphere with male/female vocal swaps. Vocal tones vary from aggresive to relaxing defining that way the album’s overall feel, not very successfully though as in most cases I felt that the songs are brilliant as stand alone ones but not very synergistic with each other.

Glastonburyn lehto” must be Kuolemanlaakso’s sarcastic side unless I missed something big about this album or its concept? I mean don’t get me wrong I love when a band composes a song that sounds completely different than the rest of the album as long as there is an association to the whole work. Here we have none. You can pass this song and never look back really.

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All in all I liked the album, it has character, talent, great melodic guitars and as mentioned already lots of moments I  couldn’t resist turning the volume up high. When those moments are consistent throughout a whole release I will maybe ignore our editorial guidelines (we do not rate releases) and give a 10/10 but this album wont meet this exception for the time being, it won’t. Still it is a good indication that this band is going in the right direction and I do recommend to all those who love death & doom metal with a gothic touch to give this release a go.

Release date: To be released via Svart Records on the 28th of February 2014 as a limited digipak CD with an exclusive bonus track “Raadot raunioilla”, digital download and two different limited vinyl editions: red (150 copies) and black (350 copies).

Posted on by Vassago in black metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Music

About Vassago

Vassago is from Athens, Greece, but spent much of his upbringing in Brussels. Music and computer games are his two biggest passions - he's been an obsessive since the age of five, when he bought his first PC - an MSX Canon. Currently he lives in London where he works as a senior digital analyst and SEO/PPC consultant trying to outwit Google! He has been reviewing albums and conducting interviews and band reviews since the late 90′s, via an Athens-based radio station and through magazines such as Starvox (Retired), GothicTronic American Online (Retired), Chaotika (Retired) and even had his own publication Enochian Apocalypse, which had more than 10.000 registered members over ten years. He has also played bass for a couple of bands and released two electronic soundtrack albums through Hypervoxx/BMI under the name Akron.

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