Kaunis Kuolematon in 2014 had been authors of the excellent Kylmä Kaunis Maailma, admirable example of melodic death doom, sung entirely in Finnish. After about three years, the band from Hamina, a small town on the Gulf of Finland east of the capital, returns with Vapaus (freedom) with the well-founded ambition to give the climb to the heights of the genre, at home and consequently also in Europe. The result could not be better: Kaunis Kuolematon refine the sound proposed in the previous album without losing anything in emotional charge and melodic research. As in Kylmä Kaunis Maailma, the use of the double voice is exemplary, and the grim growl of Olli Suvanto is the perfect counterpart to the evocative clean vocals of guitarist Mikko Heikkilä: just this alternation, together with a sound much more melancholic than dramatic, makes the listening engaging and captivating from the first to the last note. The wonderful intro Alkunasat is already enough to demonstrate the technical and compositional skills of the Finnish band, who then with Eloton launch into a song of spasmodic intensity enriched by appropriate grafts of female voice; altogether more impactful than atmospheric is instead Hurskas, ideal preparation of the ground for the album’s masterpiece, Yksin. In these five and a half minutes the technical and compositional talent of the quintet literally explodes, capable of challenging with important topics the top bands in the industry: the clean voice tells of that loneliness evoked by the title, before one of the most poignant chorus heard in recent years opens in all its thunderous beauty. The level does not drop, if not imperceptibly, with the more robust Tuhottu Elämä, released as a single in February and for which a video was shot that is the ideal sequel to the touching one that accompanied En Ole Mitään in the previous full length; Ikuinen Ikävä and Ikaros are perhaps more affected by the comparison, although they are excellent songs that manage not to diminish the tension of the album, before Arvet brings again the tones to the highest levels, maintained by the closing more rarefied and intimate Sanat Jotka Jäivät Sanomatta. If for the previous album I had bothered as an obvious reference the compatriots Swallow The Sun, in Vapaus the band to which Kaunis Kuolematon more closely resemble are Hamferð, both for the vocal combination (but in faroeriani is all the work of a single singer, the amazing Jón Aldará), both for the use of a peculiar idiom that perhaps makes you lose in the immediate understanding of the lyrics but that, at the same time, cloaks of further charm the proposal of the band. However, that of Kaunis Kuolematon is a stylistic figure rather personal and, above all, valuable and mature at every juncture: what until a few years ago was a group in clear ascent can be considered, as of today, a tangible reality and established, because composing two albums of such value is the prerogative only of the bands of higher than average caliber.

2017 – Haminian Sounds