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Kalmankantaja – Ahdistus MMXXI

kalmankantaja – ahdistus mmxxi


‘Ahdistus’ was originally the fourth full-length album by the Finnish Kalmankantaja, which saw a release in 2014 courtesy of War Against Yourself Records. At that time, vocalist Nagh was still part of the band alongside multi-instrumentalist Grim666. And on this re-recording of the album, now under the banner of ‘Ahdistus MMXI’, both band members that recorded the orginal return to mould the album into a new form.

This time released on Misantropia Records, the updated album also comes with an updated cover, changing the original black and white photo to a coloured version. And whether intended or not, that same parallel can be drawn between the music of the original and the 2021/2022 interpretation. To start with things that remained the same, it seems that on ‘Ahdistus MMXI’ the tracks are played at a marginally higher pace compared to the older version, but some small variations in compositions and lyrics aside, the material on both recordings is fairly comparable. The same can’t be said for the mix and production. ‘Ahdistus’ was a raw and Lo-Fi sounding recording, which contributed to a desolate and depressive atmosphere. On ‘Ahdistus MMXI’ this has changed quite a bit, with the production not that far off from for instance ‘Metsäuhri’, which was released just a few months before this re-recording. The more modern production and sound changes the album quite a bit, although the bleak atmosphere to some extent remains. Having said that, the original version of for ‘Kahlittu Alitajuntaan’ had a much more sinister keyboard sound, and as a whole the more choking raw sound of ‘Ahdistus’ had more of a depressive Black Metal atmosphere than the newer version. Another quite drastic change is the omission of the song ‘Kuolevan Kehtolaulu‘ that appeared on the original, but not on the revised edition of the full-length.

Whether those that admired the original version of the album will like this as much will be a matter of preference. But, ‘Ahdistus MMXI’ is a Kalmankantaja album through and through. With the revised sound it fits quite well with the more recent atmospheric Black Metal of the band, and I think that those that appreciate those works of the band will be most drawn to this rendition.