Thursday, 10 March 2016

Kauan "Lumikuuro" (2007)

Following up on the spectacular "Sorni Nai", an album which really blew me away, I find myself at the Russian bands roots, their debut dropped eight years earlier. It caught my attention for possibly the wrong reasons, a song "Savu" containing a slower tempo moment of Dimmu Borgir's classic "Relinquishment Of Spirit And Flesh", a near carbon copy pulled of in a different context. Not accusing the band of anything, it simply caught my attention and sucked me into what is a light, easy and enjoyable record with a unique chemistry between the dark and light elements of its design.

The experience is defined by a distance between its lush melodious bells, graciously dancing over soothing strings and the dark, narrow, dense distortion guitars that chop and churn under snarly, grim screams. Some acoustic guitars and softer electric leads bridge the gaps with harmonious folk singing but its the disparity that creates an unusual chemistry where the bells and strings guide us through ethereal like, atmospheric moods as the linear distortion guitars chisel and drone away in the distance. Its moody and the slow tempo influences of Doom Metal can be felt throughout. The writing can be both graceful, sudden and blunt as instruments interchange focus around one another and it is often where the guitar takes lead that the magic can be dispelled.

For eight years and five records, "Lumikuuro" isn't to far behind "Sorni Nai" in terms of identity and aesthetic. Some of the bands defining characteristics are here and even a few comparable moments. Its overall direction feels a little murky when chunky, groove oriented riffing crops into an otherwise atmospheric experience where the guitars are a distant fuzz. The record can also swiftly shift from one moment to the next and it isn't always pulled of with the agility they would later find. I'm fond of this record, its flawed and rather unusual in its own identifiable way.

Favorite Song: Savu,
Rating: 6/10