I thoroughly enjoyed Kuusumu from earlier in the year, so it’s pleasing – yet surprising – to have a new EP so soon. Apparently these songs were recorded at the same time as Kuusumu though, and in the words of the band, “We knew already when entering the studio that we’re going to record more than an album, as we had plenty of material to work on. When all ten songs were done, it felt natural to compile the album of the heavier epic songs and put the more unusual and catchy tracks on the EP. These three songs have contagious hooks and clean vocals”.
Kuolleiden Laulu opens the release. It’s an upbeat and catchy affair, that reminds me of a cross between Sentenced and Theatre of Tragedy. Guest vocals come from the singer of Luna Kills, and her voice complements the Kuolemanlaakso singer’s vocals well. It’s a top little track.
Following on from that we have Juuret Jalkojeni Alla, which is more intricate and doomy, with a slightly folky twang in places. The song has a sinister atmosphere, and delivers a creeping sense of menace that’s very moreish. In contrast to Kuolleiden Laulu‘s instant appeal, Juuret Jalkojeni Alla is a mood-based macabre affair that grows in power over time.
The EP closes with Rautasiivet, a song that is saturated in the sort of doom waters of the sort that Katatonia and My Dying Bride wade in. It’s a powerful piece of music, with keyboards that swell up emotively, and a light/heavy structure that is quite effective.
The EP may only last 14 minutes, but it packs a punch. It showcases a different side of Kuolemanlaakso than Kuusumu did, and reveals a band that are quite comfortable with diversity of doom-laden texture.
Very highly recommended.