Friday, 5 February 2016

Kauan "Sorni Nai" (2015)


Browsing the catalogs of record label Blood Music, which I found through Dan Terminus, I could not miss the praise that was being lavished onto this record. Having fallen in love with it, I can firmly say its justified and possibly the best record I'll hear this year. Doing a little research on the record today I have learned its based on the Dyatlov Pass incident, an unsolved, mysterious death for a group of seasoned snow hikers who lost their lives in Soviet Russia 1959 during the hike. Learning of the records inspiration has added a new sense of clarity to the events and moods the record drifts through. I could always hear its voice, but now I know of the tale it cry's. Unsurprisingly the band are Russian, however the bands name is Finnish for "A Long Time". It's their sixth full length and the bands maturity shines bright on this stunningly crafted piece of music.

Sorni Nai is a serene and lush journey to experience as these pale soundscapes calmly sway through inspired leads and indulging atmospheres of the beautiful cold. With the pace of Doom Metal and atmosphere of Post-Rock the record finds a blissful balance in slow suspended states for gorgeous musical moments to erupt and blossom from. Dense guitar tones meld and fade under sensuous choral synths the paint the winds with pale colors for melodies to dance through. The record can smoothly shift between its lighter moments and Black Metal inspired darkness with snarly, contained screams and ripening of distortion guitars when the times call for it. Every moment this record experiences us with is a continuation of the previous moment, even the tracks seamlessly transition, barely noticeable as another natural shift occurs, changing and turning through its deep inspiration.

And now for my favorite moment in the record. In "At" we hear the cries of a native spoken woman, her words carry much emotion under a beautiful piano melody and I now believe she represents the female hiker on the expedition. This slightly tragic moment leads us into the records dark and evil moment which now I know represents the unknown death these souls faced in freezing cold temperatures. The swaying hums and acoustic guitar fades into black as a crunching guitar penetrates the silence with its unwelcome presence, striking out with force. Hellish synths eerily descend with a menacing tone and before you know it the most theatrical moment paces into a melodic, unsettling limbo.

Its a brilliant moment that is also one of the most indifferent in what the album offers, but it summarizes the genius at work throughout. Its stunning, rich in atmosphere and littered with magic as we drift through the snowy, frozen mountains of mother Russia. Its inspiration could be felt through the music alone and I love it even more now I know the tale behind this brilliant record I have been enjoying continuously for weeks. Its hard to call a 10. It takes time, but I feel with age ill grow to love it more and more.

Favorite Track: Khot
Rating: 9.5/10

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