Oct 152013

Musta aurinko nousee — cover art by Markus Räisänen

Yesterday I discovered some new music, quite a lot of it actually. I picked two of those new discoveries as a pair for this post, but not because they are anything alike. In fact, they could hardly be more different — and that’s why I’ve paired them together.


This band’s Finnish name means “Death’s Valley” or “Valley of Death”. It began as a one-man project of guitarist Markus Laakso (Chaosweaver). After recording a handful of demo tracks, he recruited a group of talented comrades to flesh out the band:  vocalist Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the SunBarren Earth), guitarist Savon Surma (“Kouta”) (Chaosweaver, ex-Verjnuarmu), bassist Tuomo Räisänen (“Usva”) (EleniumThe Nibiruan), and drummer Toni Ronkainen (“Tiera”) (DiscardCult of Endtime).

Together they recorded an album at Woodshed Studio in Germany with V. Santura of Triptykon and Dark Fortress fame, who also mixed and mastered the music. The album is named Uljas uusi maailma (“Brave New World”) and it was released by Svart Records in November 2012. It was very good.

In August of this year the band recorded a second album with V. Santura, this time convening in a cabin in the Finnish woods near the shores of a lake. This morning I spent time I didn’t have reading Markus Laakso’s day-by-day studio diary, because it was both interesting and entertaining (and mouth-watering — this group ate well while together in the woods). If you have the time, and even if you don’t, I recommend it. Continue reading »