Metal Review: Kuolemanlaakso: Musta Aurinko Nousee (2013)

Kuolemanlaakso Musta Aurinko NouseeFinnish death/doom metal newcomers Kuolemanlaakso (translated to “Death Valley”) burst onto the scene last year with the release of “Uljas Uusi Maailma” and for good reason. After a homeland tour and a performance at the 2013 Tuska Open Air Festival, Kuolemanlaakso laid down some tracks, some of which were used for the “Musta Aurinko Nousee” EP containing three original new tracks and a cover of Juice Leskinen’s song by which the EP is named. The “Musta Aurinko Nousee” EP will be released on November 29, 2013 via Svart Records.

Kuolemanlaakso’s founder, Markus Laakso, has something special with this band, and their latest effort showcases a lot of what makes them special. Each track showcases a different sound, but true appreciation of all of the layers to each track only comes with multiple listens. Every time I listen to this EP, I fall in love with it more.

The EP opens with Me vaellamme yössä and its slow, brooding powerful riffs accompanied by haunting keyboard undertones. This track used melody when appropriate, but the distant keyboards add so much depth to it. Once the vocals kick it, the song hits a new level of evil. The growling vocals are interspersed with low, dark vocals nicely with the rhythm section keeping the song together.

The next track, Tulenväki, uses a slower tempo as its power source. Once again, the vocals shine with a more raspy style, but the slow, evil guitar riffs shine through. Tulenväki also incorporates many more gothic elements into it adding even more depth to the song.

Kalmoskooppi has more of a groove within its riffs as it gets down to business quickly. The middle of the track slow things down into a haunted section, which explodes back into the song proper to close things out.

The title track and Juice Leskinen cover, Musta Aurinko Nousee, sounds eerily like something out of the Type O Negative catalog, which is not a bad thing at all. To see what the band did with this song is something else indeed and is a brilliant way to close out this gem of an EP.

Overall, death metal fans will need to add this album to their collection, but all metal fans need to check it out. “Musta Aurinko Nousee” is a gripping release that should not be missed by anyone.

Musta Aurinko Nousee Track Listing:
1. Me vaellamme yössä (edit) 04:50
2. Tulenväki 05:09
3. Kalmoskooppi 05:30
4. Musta aurinko nousee (Juice Leskinen cover) 06:54