Inverse Records Double Feature: Hedonihil & Mustan Kuun Lapset
Mods are asleep. Quick, post Finnish music!
Hedonihil – I
Hedonihil is a brand new “death metal anti-poetry product” from the mind Juuso Raatikainen, best known as the drummer of Swallow the Sun. With him into the studio he dragged two StS alumni, newcomer guitarist Juho Räihä of Gloria Morti and Before The Dawn fame, and vocalist Mikko Kotamäki (Kuolemanlaakso, Alghazanth), whom I suspect also plays bass on the recording, having handled the duties in prior bands – as it would prove difficult for Räihä to handle two instruments simultaneously should the band opt for live performances – but the promo letter, and the band’s Facebook page neglected to verify this information.
The lead single, “The Hedonist Anthem” was every bit as straightforward, hateful and simple as one might expect – very lively bringing to mind Marduk, without their melodic tendencies. As opener “Otherwordly Embace” is hewn from the same rock, doubt of the record’s longevity is quick to enter. While I’ve always enjoyed Marduk, without the melodies and varying tempo – both largely missing from the blastastic I – I’d find much harder to. Luckily “Run You Scum”, crammed between the two entertains some livelier riffing and briefly tootles on slower tempos. The latter continues on to appear on several songs, “Temple of Venus”, “Anti-Human Agenda” and “Better Tomorrow” all slow down for a moment, but none of the songs is characterized by lesser speed. The livelier riffing, on the other hand, remains largely on the aforementioned “Run You Scum”, though most of the remaining songs don’t quite follow the two-and-a-half-power-chords-for-a-riff route either.
At roughly half-an-hour I doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, features just enough variation for such a short record. While it is rather compressed, the mix is pleasantly separating with dry, but not flat, guitars and a full bass making consistent appearances. For a record that’s supposed to be “a direct sonic insult towards existence” I is a safe choice, but the intent is audible in the music. It’s a good game opener, and I’m left wanting for a rematch, but as Hans put it, it’s just not quite as good as the logo.
I releases through Inverse Records on the 12th day of April, on the year of our Lord 2019.
Mustan Kuun Lapset – Valo
Mustan Kuun Lapset has been around, in one form or another, since 1993. Originally a black metal band, but quickly shifting towards melodic dark metal, abandoning satanic lyricism in favour of more “poetic” approach. They split up originally in 2007, only to reform three years later but left a decade’s gap between releases, and by the time Kuolemanvirta EP and the following Saatto full-length appeared, they had practically shed all vestige of black metal, only the majorly harsh vocals reminding that they had once dabbled in more “extreme” directions.
Valo is the second album after their comeback and mostly continues on the path set by it’s predecessor. A folky, violin-laden introduction to “Kuninkaan Uni”, approach later revisited in “Soidin”, leads into two sing-along melometal pieces, of which “Ikaros” was released as a single last year and has since gained an unfortunate, ill-fitting guest spot from Julia Mattila, on it’s previously highlighting bridge. “Kohti Valoa” and “Nostalgia” widen the bands palette, featuring Valo’s heaviest and most memorable material, this time relying more on guitar leads than vocals, the last three tracks flirting with their past.
I was briefly very excited to find out the closing title track would be a fifteen-minuter, but unfortunately it turns out ti be two separate songs – one last return to the folky themes presenetd before followed by silence and the actual song, in line with the rest. Mustan Kuun Lapset has mastered the skill of making catchy, danceable melometal tunes for those, like our dear disappeared Lonk from Pennsylvania, not afeared of harsher tones. Valo isn’t really anything new for the band, but stands well on it’s own hind. As it is, the band has very few actual challengers for their throne, though the lyrical aspect, which de facto sets them apart, is wasted on the majority of you degenerate mongrels.
Valo is out on Inverse Records now. Check up on the band’s or the labels Facebook as well.