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Hiidenhauta – Riiven

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 28 September 2020, 7:12 AM

HIIDENHAUTA is a Melodic Black Metal band from Finland. The band was founded early in 2012. Their lyrics are about nature, folklore, mythology and history. “Riiven” is the band’s third full-length, and contains nine tracks. “Riidenleiko” leads off the album. It comes at you hard out of the gate, with harsh male vocals that almost sound like the Hardcore genre, then comes the Black Metal sound. It’s an odd combination. The clean female vocals add a totally different vibe here. A bit of melody seeps in before the ending. “Lettorikko” opens with some light symphonic elements, and then come the vocals, sung in the same exact note…almost shouted. The female vocals provide some moments of levity, but almost sound out of place with the music. Is it just me, or do they also sound a bit out of key? Is this intentional?

“Raate” opens with clean female vocals but then a switch is flipped and it’s full on intense with the harsh vocals. It was a short, under four-minute ride. “Petäjä” opens with a more traditional Black Metal sound, complete with a scream. I can hear some subtle melodies as well as an angry female yelling as well. Then, it settles into her soothing voice, drums galloping. “Leväkkö” opens with a slower groove, and with some welcomed piano notes as well. I like the despondent sound created here. It becomes more sinister as it moves along, and with no female vocals, it seems to make more sense.

“Halava” is another track that comes straight for your soul out of the gates, with this nifty little piano melody that follows the first verse. You feel like you are in the cemetery at night, and suddenly you can’t find a way out. “Yövilkka” opens with that “wall of sound” but also with a little melody before it settles into a slower moving song with harsh vocals. The clean female vocals make more sense here, as does the beautifully dark melodies after the half-way mark, as does the delicate passage towards the end. “Ahonoidanlukko” is a song that delivers in several different methods. If, however, you take them out just by themselves, they don’t make a lot of sense. I suppose that comes down to transitions. This is an area where the band can improve a bit.

“Harmio” closes the album. Opening with full steam, and galloping drums, and clean vocals, it has a tense feeling and a loose feeling at the same time. Then come the harsh vocals, and the intensity increases, then back to the cleans again…with a long fade-out at the end. Give this album a few listens, because you will pick up on all the little nuances they have in their music, and find great joy in listening to it. At first, I did not think the female vocals worked, but after a few listens, I found that not only did they work, but they worked very well. This is quite a unique take on the genre, that I think all fans of Black Metal and Melodic Death Metal will love.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Riidenlieko
2. Lettorikko
3. Raate
4. Petäjä
5. Leväkkö
6. Halava
7. Yövilkka
8. Ahonoidanlukko
9. Harmio
Tuomas Keskimäki – Vocals & Lyrics
Emma Keskimäki – Female Vocals
Otto Hyvärinen – Guitars
Eetu Ritakorpi – Drums & Percussions
Henri Hakala – Bass
Record Label: Inverse Records


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