Doomed Nation

Sounds For The Lost Generation

Kuolemanlaakso stream their third full-length album »Kuusumu«, out now via Svart Records

Finnish death/doom metal act Kuolemanlaakso featuring vocalist Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow The Sun, Hedonihil, ex-Barren Earth) stream their third full-length album, »Kuusumu«, which just dropped yesterday, March 4th, 2022 via Svart Records.

The band comments: “After eight long years since »Tulijoutsen« (2014), we are extremely proud to unleash »Kuusumu« (2022) upon the world. Up till now it has been “our” album, now it’s yours.
May it cast a ray of joy to people in these devastating times. Even though our art is dark and bleak, our message is of hope. A better tomorrow will arrive, as it did back in the 530-540’s where the album draws its main inspiration from.”

01. Pimeys laski
02. Katkeruuden malja
03. Surusta meri suolainen
04. Kuohuista tulisten koskien
05. Surun sinfonia
06. Pedon vaisto
07. Tulessakävelijä

Courtesy of Freeman Promotions:

The Finnish death doom spearhead Kuolemanlaakso, starring vocalist Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow The Sun), are about to release their first album in eight years. The band’s third full-length »Kuusumu« was co-produced, mixed, mastered and engineered by the Triptykon and Dark Fortress guitarist V. Santura, with whom the band has worked with on all of their releases. »Kuusumu« will be released in 2022 via Svart Records.

“The recording break stretched unforgivably long, but in doom, there’s no rush. It was great to get back to business with the guys and have the opportunity to invite a couple of old friends to help us out, too. »Kuusumu«’s keyboards were produced and co-arranged by Aleksi Munter (Swallow The Sun, Insomnium, Ghost Brigade), and Lotta Ruutiainen (Luna Kills) did some amazing singing on a couple of tracks. In my humble opinion we took many steps forward on »Kuusumu«,” says guitarist-songwriter Laakso.

Photo by Riku Jokinen

»Kuusumu«’s texts are loosely based on the sudden global cooling that began in 535, leading to a 10-year long winter, loss of crops, famine, and mass deaths of cattle and other animals. The climate change was most likely caused by massive volcanic eruptions, the fog of which darkened the sun for 1,5 years, causing loss of light and intolerable coldness. Moreover, the bubonic plague that began in the Byzantine Empire in 541 swept across Europe, killing tens of millions of people during the climate crisis.

“I see our previous releases as autumn albums, so this time we decided to make a winter album. I came across some literature about the catastrophic events by chance, and got immensely inspired by them – especially the contemporary writings of the 530–540 era. It didn’t take long for me to write the album after that. It’s spine-chilling to ponder that a deadly climate change and a pandemic raged also 1,500 years ago when medical knowledge, information flow, and living conditions were in their infancy. And there was no electricity, of course. People thought that they have angered the gods and the darkness will last forever,” says Laakso.

On »Kuusumu«, Kuolemanlaakso stretch their artistic boundaries even further. The album contains the trademark Kuolemanlaakso heaviness, but also more bombastic, fast, and meticulously arranged material. The first single, »Katkeruuden malja« (featuring Lotta Ruutiainen), represents the catchier and lighter side of the album.

“»Katkeruuden malja« draws its inspiration from grief and misery. Musically it’s almost tripping in the landscapes of recent day Tribulation, but with melancholic and Kalevala-infused melodic influences, that sound very Finnish to me. The music video sort of mixes and matches the frost theme of the album with the color palette of the cover artwork.” states Laakso.

“»Surusta meri suolainen« is based on the Justinian plague breaking out in Europe in 541. There were so many corpses laying around in the streets of Constantinople in 542 that the Byzantine emperor Justinian I asked his subordinates to pile the carcasses on ships, transport them to the open sea and throw them overboard. After a while the waves brought these putrid bodies back to shore as humanary rafts. The title translates to ‘Sea Salty of Sorrow’, which refers to the tears of those who lost their loved ones.”

“»Tulessakävelijä« is the album’s massive closing track. Musically it explores heavy and oriental atmospheres. The chorus line ‘Pilvistä verta sataa’ (‘Blood is falling from the clouds’) refers to Chinese texts from the mid-530s which depict people actually believing it was raining blood. It seems more likely that a volcanic eruption, which blackened and cooled the sun for one and a half years, colored the rain blood-red with its ash.”

Laakso goes on to add, “The orchestration, reminiscent of the soundtrack for Conan The Barbarian, was conjured up by Aleksi Munter – with whom I produced and arranged »Kuusumu«’s keyboards. Kotamäki displays completely new aspects of his clean vocals on this track. This might actually be the first song since Swallow The Sun’s triple album »Songs From The North« (2015) where Munter and Kotamäki perform together.”

»Kuusumu« is released on CD and digital/streaming formats on March 4th, 2022 via Svart Records, with the vinyl following on July 29th.

Grab your copy here:

Kuolemanlaakso is:
Kotamäki – Vocals
Laakso – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Kouta – Guitar
Usva – Bass
Tiera – Drums

Bojan Bidovc // music enthusiast, promoter, misanthrop and sometimes a journalist as well

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