KALMANKANTAJA - Tyhjyys (WOLFSPELL Records CD 2016)
This is ninth album from Finnish depressive black metal project Kalmankantaja. Ninth! Add another ten EPs or splits, which they’ve released in last five years and that gives just crazy dose of material. Personally I only know Kalmankantaja from their split CDs with Hermóðr and Oþalan, so with “Tyhjyys” this is basically first time I listen to their music from a full album. And to be honest, I was quite afraid of this album. You know, how can someone keep the quality with such quantity? And more so, usually I get quickly bored with most of the so called depressive doomy black metal bands (Hermóðr being one of the few exceptions).
How is “Tyhjyys” then? Well, I may not be fully impressed with it, but I cannot deny that it’s a solid and enjoyable release. I’ve surprised myself, because usually I can listen to such music for an hour, two maybe, but quickly I feel an urge to play something faster and more ferocious. But in this case I’ve spent a whole day with “Tyhjyys”. I was playing it repeatedly for many hours and I kind of let myself drown in these sounds. Yeah, there’s definitely something about the atmosphere of “Tyhjyys” that makes me want to come back to it. But that’s not only about the atmosphere, as the performance, as well as the gift for mesmerizing, almost hypnotizing melodies is something what makes Kalmankantaja more worthy than 90% of similar bands.
Yeah. And this is probably why I would never describe this album as boring and too monotonous. I can understand people, who only wanna have Marduk type of speed, that they will feel bored and tired with such doomy type of atmospheric black metal. Who cares for them, right? It was close though, because the songs are all about nine minutes long and the tempo through them all is always the same, slow pace, with not so much diversity. But somehow I managed to pick up some great harmonies, arrangements or whatever else here. I like how the guitars work with subtle keyboard background, I really like vocals of Tyrant, who’s fantastic vocalist, I think. And the depressive, melancholic and sorrowful, dark aura can remind you old Katatonia or Summoning, maybe even Burzum. So, monotonous or not, it’s just damn well played atmospheric doomy black metal.
Wolfspell Records should be widely known by now for their great catalogue and passion for atmospheric black metal. It seems like Kalmankantaja may be their most important act along Hermóðr. And I’m pretty sure they will release more such from Grim666. I don’t know how will progression of Kalmankantaja look like and if the previous as well as the future albums be able to offer something more than “Tyhjyys”. But let’s not care about stuff like stagnation and creativity now. Let’s just enjoy this solid album.
Standout track: “Mustat vedet”
Final rate: 75/100