Thursday, 21 December 2017

Kalmankantaja - Routamaa

KALMANKANTAJA - Routamaa (WOLFSPELL Records CD 2017)
The weather outside gets colder and colder every day, so here's an album, which can serve as a soundtrack to such conditions perfectly. It's another Kalmankantaja release, their eleventh full length already! Last one I heard was "Tyhjyys" and already when reviewing it I mentioned that it's just impossible to hear everything what Kalmankantaja records. They did so many albums, splits and other recordings in just few years, more than you can count! Unbelievable. And since "Tyhjyys" was out, the band recorded also "Demonwoods" album (which I'm yet to hear) and two demos and splits. Finally time came also for "Routamaa" album, which I have been spinning a lot in recent days. I have to say that for me personally this is the best Kalmankantaja recording of all those, which I have in my collection. I did like some of their previous stuff, sure, but somehow I feel like "Routamaa" sounds the best and has the best songs this band created so far (it makes me want to get "Demonwoods" asap also) 
And as I mentioned in the beginning, this is cold, grim, melancholic traditional black metal, which fits the wintery conditions outside. I was taking this album with me everytime I was going outside for a longer walk, so suitable it is. Just as previously, Kalmankantaja music is very doomy and sorrowful, yet it's also pretty rough and vicious. The songs have some necessary diversity between them, the band doesn't stick to just one formula, which is good of course. And I have to say that the quality of songwriting and many riffs and melodies, which are on "Routamaa" are just excellent. My favourite song is "Kylmä ikuinen" - it's very Burzum-esque, yes. It has that hypnotizing, repetitive riff, which may remind you classic tracks like "Dunkelheit" or "Det som engang var". But damn, I love that main riff in it and for me it sounds like the best early 90's Norwegian black metal cults. "Pimeyteen" brings some fantastic harmonious riffs, but it also breaks the doomy tempo to slash with some fast, malicious playing and very straight forward attitude. So does "Varjon ja tulen jumala" and I have no doubts that these songs will also speak to all die hard black metal maniacs. Finally "Sokean polku" shall enchant you with the aura of melancholy and solitude. It's my second favourite song here. 
Songs are slightly shorter, none of them has been extended to some crazy ten or more minutes, but they're up to 7,5 minutes max, which is probably good, as this way you won't have that impression of something too monotonous. I have to mention also that I really like the production of "Routamaa". It's pretty clean sounding album, yet it keeps that harsh, cold black metal sound to it. It's also pretty heavy and aggressive, I am glad then that there's no wimpy thin guitar sound or shitty drumming. All in all, I can say that I'm very pleased with this album. It's eleventh Kalmankantaja full length and they just delivered their best album - this is an answer, in case someone asks why would someone record so many albums or splits in such a short time, worrying about the quality with such quantity.  
Standout tracks: "Kylmä ikuinen", "Sokean polku", "Varjon ja tulen jumala" 
Verdict: 80/100 

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