Kuolemanlaakso - Uljas Uusi MaailmaOne of the most beguiling doom metal albums I’ve heard in a long time is “Uljas Uusi Maailma” by Finnish doom metal outfit Kuolemanlaakso. The nexus of this band was formed during the endless recording sessions of the second Chaosweaver album, during which guitarist Laakso recorded some demos for his own entertainment. He passed the demos on to some other musicians and before they knew it, a new band saw the light of day. Let’s take a closer look at what its debut album has to offer.

For those of you that are familiar with the “Eparistera Daimones” album by Triptykon will find a lot to enjoy on “Uljas Uusi Maailma”. To depict Kuolemanlaakso as a tribute to the life and achievements of Gabriel Fischer and his musical partners in crime would be unfair, it has to be said that in spirit and approach there are an awful lot of similarities between the two bands. This argument is only augmented by the fact that Triptykon/Dark Forest guitarist V. Santura took on the production chores of “Uljas Uusi Maailma” and he even added guitar parts to five songs.

However, “Uljas Uusi Maailma” has enough to offer in sheer quality, atmosphere, nifty musical quirks and powerful hooks to make it stand on its own feet and actually thrive. Tracks like ‘Kuun Lapset’, ‘Ikiuni’, ‘Etsin’ and the title song have an anthem-like quality to them due to the strong hooks and ditto choruses. Little details like acoustic guitar parts, harrowing clean vocals and atmospheric keyboard parts only add to the overall mystique and brilliance of this album. Vocalist Kotamaki (Barren Earth, Swallow The Sun) is the other pillar on which “Uljas Uusi Maailma” rests. His death growls, black metal screams and clean vocals add a lot of attitude and diversity to the already rich textures of this album.

As previously mentioned, the production chores of “Uljas Uusi Maailma” are expertly handled by V.Santura in his Woodshed studio in Germany. He graced the album with a heavy and clear sound, but he didn’t forget to add a nifty gritty edge to the overall production as well. This makes “Uljas Uusi Maailma” even more menacing.

Forget “A Map Of All Our Failures” by My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost’s “Tragic Idol”, because “Uljas Uusi Maailma” by Kuolemanlaakso is THE doom metal album of this year. It has the songs, the hooks and the atmosphere to make even the most jaded doom metal aficionado drool of sheer desire. Heartily recommended!

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