We discovered Kaunis Kuolematon last August through their release of a striking song named “En Ole Mitään” (I Am Nothing) — so striking that it was the only track we named to our list of 2013’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs that didn’t come from an album or EP. That song was the advance guard of the band’s full-length debut album Kylmä Kaunis Maailma, which will be released through Violent Journey Records on April 25, 2014. Today we bring you the premiere of another song from the album — “Kivisydän” — plus a few words about the album as a whole.
In a nutshell, Kylmä Kaunis Maailma is just as striking as that first advance track that captivated us last year. Kaunis Kuolematon (“Immortal Beauty”) aren’t the first Finnish band to deliver melodic death metal drenched in doom, but they are one of the few to do it this well this fast. Blending gargantuan heaviness with a panoply of wrenching melodies, they’ve recorded nine powerful songs so well-written that they all have the capability of getting stuck firmly in your head.
The music is almost entirely mid-paced and almost entirely somber in its emotional atmosphere, yet the songs never lose their tight grip on the listener’s attention. Apart from all those reverberating melodic hooks, the band are masterful in their creation of contrasts. They juxtapose jagged, jabbing riffs and booming bass lines with rippling lead guitar instrumentals that shimmer and soar. They’ll hammer your head like an anvil and in the next moment pierce you right in your anguished heart.
In harnessing those elements of ominous aggression and soul-stirring melancholia, the band benefit greatly from the vocal talents of guitarist Mikko Heikkilä (ex-Black Sun Aeon, ex-RoutaSielu) and Olli Saakeli Suvanto (End of Aeon). Saakeli delivers both tortured death metal howls and cavernous roars that are as deep as ocean trenches, while Mikko Heikkilä’s vocals are clean and strong — and both of them do their thing with tremendous passion. Heikkilä‘s vocals don’t appear in every song, but he never fails to make an impression when he does, and he dominates the song “Aamu” (morning) with a truly standout performance.
And speaking of contrasts, the acutely melodic (and deeply sorrowful) “Aamu” is followed by the album closer “Haudasta Hautaan”, which may be the most intense song on the album, dominated by Saakeli’s layered howls and roars along with spine-snapping bass grooves and a dual-guitar performance that’s both lush and lethal.
It’s still relatively early in the year, but Kylmä Kaunis Maailma has all the earmarks of an album that will have staying power throughout the year and beyond. It’s one of the strongest debuts we’re likely to see in 2014 and it’s a “must listen” for fans of both doom and melodic death metal. It can be pre-ordered at this location.
Now here’s our premiere of the album’s third track, “Kivisydän” (heart of stone). It’s heavy and harrowing, yet while shrouded in gloom it also features a dramatic melody that verges on the ethereal.