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Kaunis Kuolematon - Syttykoon Toinen Aurinko Award winner

Kaunis Kuolematon
Syttykoon Toinen Aurinko
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 11 December 2020, 5:11 PM

KAUNIS KUOLEMATON is a Finnish melodic death/doom band formed in 2012. "Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko," is the band's third full length album. They have also released two Eps. The album features Mikko Heikkilä on clean vocals and guitars. He is also the vocalist for DAWN OF SOLACE who released a kick ass doom album earlier in the year in the form of "Waves." That album will no doubt land on my "best of" doom list later on but Mikko might be his own competition now.

I'm going to go ahead and spoil this review a bit: I have discovered "Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko" to be an absolutely incredible album. The melancholy that Finland's metal scene is so well known for is masterfully captured, well taught, and released into the beckoning wilds that make up this album's nine track, 52 minute run time. There is so much depth contained among these beautiful but broke ruins of songs. This is an album that completely absorbs you, an icy touch that never feels too far away. It is also music that you'll want to listen to over and over again. Not only because it is a great ride but also because you will discover something new each time.

It isn't your standard melodic death/doom either. At times, it sounds off kilter and unconventional.  After the epic intro of , "Sub Idem Tempus,"  the opening keys of "Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko (Let A New Sun Ignite)" mix with the accompanying death metal growls and riffs. The style of these keys really don't go together with what the rest of the band is playing yet it works anyway. A little over two minutes in, the song is kept afloat with ethereal keys and clean guitars. This album certainly isn't shy about switching things up or changing moods often. A moving guitar solo cuts through this ambient section before symphonic textures lift up the death/doom to greater heights. The song ends with a myriad of keyboards and touching melodic clean guitar that sounds a bit Spanish.

The lead and rhythm guitars have a robust, dynamic relationship. That constant rhythmic flow in "Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko," is perfect for the meaty melodies that work alongside it.  The death growls are catchy as hell, as are the bass and drums that compliment them. Mikko's clean vocals make their first appearance on the album here and he sounds as amazing as expected. The contrast between his cleans and Olli's growls perfectly exemplifies the band's tendency to switch between heavier dimensions and lighter forays.

The album hits pretty hard with, "Kylmä Maa (Frozen Ground)." The beginning is sprinkled with tragic keys and a buildup that ends with a harrowing death growl. The vocals turn into a more blackened approach and it is fitting as the music is more blackened as well.  The movement between 4:10 and 5:15 is the definition of how I like my melodic death/doom: beautiful, sad, deep, and expansive."Kuolevan Surun Alla (Under The Grief Of The Dying)" sounds like the soundtrack of a post apocalypse scenario; the war is over but there are so many pieces to pick up. Mikko's vocals are so effective in bringing out these feelings and he puts in a stellar performance. Olli's death growls are just as potent in their own way. The songs halfway point is a head banging fest that gives way for the bass to take center stage. Afterwards, the keyboards keep the action and momentum up before clean guitar lets it all cool off.

"Paha Ihminen (A Bad Person)," is, in the song's beginning moments, acoustic with atmospheric keys and woeful clean vocals.  Mikko sings his heart out just before the doom portion comes in, laced with melodic guitars. The keyboards become playful while the blackened vocals return and the band rocks out really well. The later half finds the song centered around a well done keyboard groove and that gives way to more melodic guitar passages. An amazing song from beginning to end.

The last track, "Hyvästi (Goodbye)," is densely packed with melodies. The two and a half minutes paint a wondrous musical landscape. But other parts of the song are considerably more violent, especially the brutal extreme vocals that mix various styles into one. With 2020 being what it is, I'm very thankful KAUNIS KUOLEMATON's "Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko.” As far as I’m concerned this ends doom for the year on an incredible high. An essential listen for this year.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Sub Idem Tempus
2. Syttyköön toinen aurinko (Let A New Sun Ignite)
3. Hautajaiset (Funeral)
4. Mustavalkoinen (Monochrome)
5. Kylmä maa (Frozen Ground)
6. Kuolevan surun alla (Under The Grief Of The Dying)
7. Paha ihminen (A Bad Person)
8. Särkynyt (Broken)
9. Hyvästi (Goodbye)
Lineup:
Jarno Uski - Bass
Miika Hostikka - Drums
Ville Mussalo - Guitars
Olli Saakeli Suvanto - Vocals (Lead, Growls)
Mikko Heikkilä – Guitars, Vocals (Clean)
Record Label: Noble Demon Records
     


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Edited 27 February 2021
 

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