Aug 152015

Ikuinen Kaamos


(In this 61st edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy reviews the discography of Finland’s Ikuinen Kaamos.)

Recommended for fans of: Opeth, In Mourning, Daylight Dies

Though their current status is somewhat… up in the air… the Prog Death collective known as Ikuinen Kaamos (seemingly reduced now to just mainman Jarno Ruuskanen) remain, to my mind at least, one of the most singularly impressive and underappreciated acts ever to attempt to step out of the shadow of their own, admittedly weighty, influences.

Though the fingerprints of major luminaries such as Opeth and Emperor are immediately obvious to all of those with eyes to see and ears to hear, Ikuinen Kaamos clearly take great care to invest each track with a sense of their own unique character and voice, never shying away from admitting their influences, yet never being defined solely by them either.

With two full-length albums to their name, along with one rare and hard (though not impossible) to find digital EP, the band’s back-catalogue may not be the most extensive, but it’s still incredibly deep, and brimming with complex nuances and subtle elements that reward those patient enough to unpick the many layers inherent to the music. Continue reading »

Aug 192012

For better or worse, because of this blog, I spend almost all my listening time on new music, either hunting for new tunes or videos that I think would be worth your time or in preparation for scribbling a review. But not long ago I did something I rarely do any more: put my iPod on shuffle and listened to whatever the machine served up from the 22,000+ songs that are on there. I didn’t listen for long — just long enough to walk to work at the beginning of the day and walk back at the end.

That turned out to be fun, as well as a nice surprise, because the first five songs that Shuffle served up happened to be good. So, I wrote a post about that experience. And I decided to do it again two days ago. And now I’m starting to get a little creeped out. I’m beginning to think my iPod could pass a Turing test for artificial intelligence.

This time it once again served up three good songs in a row (and I stopped at three this time because, as you’ll see, the songs turned out to be long). But the songs also fit together like hands in gloves. All three were longer than average (two of them very long), and each of them was a different type of progressive metal. So here we go — music from Ikuinen Kaamos (Finland), We Were Gentlemen (U.S.), and Odyssey (U.S.).


I first came across this band at the end of 2010 when we were doing that impromptu Finland Tribute Week series (which turned into two weeks of nothing but Finnish metal). Andy Synn had recommended Ikuinen Kaamos to me (and he later named their Fall of Icons release to his list of 2010’s great albums). When I wrote the post that included Ikuinen Kaamos, I had only listened to one song from Fall of Icons — “Condemned” — but I subsequently listened to the rest of the album, too. Continue reading »

Dec 122010

If you’ve been keeping count, we’ve done Finland Tribute Week posts for 10 days in a row (including today) — and that’s not counting the two posts about Amorphis and Before the Dawn that started this tribute rolling before we decided to formalize it with a name. Either way, whether it’s been 10 days or 12, we’ve moved beyond the normal dictionary definition of “week”, at least if you live on Earth. There’s just too much awesome Finnish metal that we feel compelled to write about — and we’re still not done.

We’re not quite sure how much longer we’ll roll with this. We’re not even sure what day it is. But based on what we’ve got up our sleeves at the moment, it will last about three more days (interspersed with a couple of guest contributions). Even then, we’re positive we’ll have left out bands that are near and dear to the hearts of many of you.

Yes, Finland’s a small country, but it’s still a fucking country, and there’s just no way we can do complete justice to all the metal it’s producing, even if we continued this series into the New Year. Plus, lots of things have been happening in the wider world of metal while we’ve been tunnel-visioned with Finland, and we need to get back to that wider world.

But not today. Today, we’re going to play our MISCELLANY game with Finnish metal. As regular readers know, in our usual MISCELLANY posts, I randomly pick bands I’ve never heard before, I listen to a song (or two) of their music, and I make a log of the journey for this site — usually not knowing in advance what the music will sound like or whether it will be appealing or disappointing.

For this Finnish edition of MISCELLANY, I’ve randomly picked five — yes, five — bands from the list of reader suggestions we’ve gotten since this Tribute began. These are bands whose music I’d never heard before. In fact, these are bands whose names I’d never heard before: Ikuinen Kaamos, Hateform, Flame, Crystalic, and Cause For Effect.

And, sure enough, the music tends to validate our hypothesis that there’s some mutating substance in the Finnish water supply that turns a high percentage of Finnish children into hot-shit musicians, because this was one wild ride, from start to finn-ish. (for reactions to the music, and the tracks I heard, read on after the jump . . .) Continue reading »