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Kalmankantaja – Unohdettu [EP]

kalmankantaja – unohdettu [ep]


With the release of ‘Unohdettu’, Kalmankantaja is up to their third release of 2023. After two full-length albums the latest addition to the discography is an EP, although with a total playing time of 30 minutes that is plenty of new material to dig your teeth in. On this recording we find four tracks in which Grim666 is joined by two regular contributors, J. Wirtanen on drums and Tyrant on vocals.

From one release to the other, Kalmankantaja is known to vary their sound quite a bit within the realm of atmospheric Black Metal and ‘Unohdettu’ is no exception. To the fanatic follower of the band the EP title might ring a bell and indeed, a song bearing that same title was released some years ago in 2015, on a split with Hermóðr. EPs have been classically the format where the band has tried to move away from their sound of that time, and this split was no exception. The song in question had a formula that the band would explore somewhat later in their career, on their 2017 album ‘Demonwoods’, the 2019 album ‘Korpi’ and especially on the closing chapter of their ‘Nostalgia’ trilogy, 2021’s ‘Nostalgia III: Surun Syntysija’. These albums all have a more dreamlike, cleaner sound with an atmospheric background role for the keyboards, mostly midpaced tempos and an emphasis on clean and distorted guitar strumming. The beautiful guitar melodies are leading, adding the main dose of melancholy yet contain a sense of warmth and comfort to them. Contrasting are the raw and rough screams of Tyrant, whose vocals provide a perfect antagonist to the more soothing and lucid music. Musically, the album contains slightly more frivolous bass play and the same applies to the drums, frequently shifting in pace and fills that provide a dynamic background for the otherwise more stable pace of the guitar melodies.

Compared to the namegiving song, the ‘Unohdettu’ EP sounds more refined and less raw, and clearly bears the experience that Grim666 has built in all his years experimenting with new angles for Kalmankantaja. In particular his penchant for melodic, Katatonia-inspired riffs seeps through and these melodies are once again a highlight on the most recent EP. But it’s the way how the drums move, how the bass adds a different layer and how guitar riffs shift their accents that make these songs stand out. The songs delicately flow, and culminate in the highlights track ‘Arvet’, which not only stands as the lengthiest track but also the most developing, layered and intriguing out of them all. Closing off is the song ‘Unohdettu’, which appears unrelated to the original, ending the EP in instrumental beauty.

30 minutes of nostalgic, somewhat melancholic atmospheric Black Metal with flowing melodies and raspy vocals. The avid followers of Kalmankantaja know that whatever twist they give to their sound, the band always delivers. ‘Unohdettu’ is no exception.