Syven - Aikaintaite
When I describe Syven's sound, I'd ask you to imagine it, but I can't do it justice. Part black metal, part Gregorian chant, part Nordic folk myth, the music on "Aikaintaite" (which is Finnish for, approximately, "the passing of time") is as unique as it is poetic and powerful. The band's name means Depth, and it fits. It is hard to find truly original music these days, but this comes close. To listen to this is to let in it for good...
The opener, "Syvyys," is an entry into another world, one that takes seriously the world of gods and demons, and of spells both dark and redemptive. Of the five tracks, this one may stay with you for a long time, if nothing else because it heralds such a unique and original sound. However, the funereal "Ne jotka selviävät talvestamme," at eighteen minutes plus, is the centerpiece of the record. This duo of instrumentalist Aslak Tolonen and singer Andy Koski-Semmens here create a song that can in every sense of the word be called epic. I have no idea what they are singing about, yet the mythic feel of this has an authority and power that is hard to shake. As on other tracks, one of the main instruments is the kantele, a fifteen string traditional Finnish acoustic piece similar to a zither. Its haunting, psaltery-like tones only add to the mystical vibe.
"Aikaintaite" can be listened to as a ritual call to ceremony or as a darkly beautiful folk-metal record. Either way, Syven will leave an indelible mark on you; do what you wish with it.
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on 2012-02-03 SolitaryMan Said:
Hahaha, man. I stewed over a review of this for three days recently and just couldn't find a way to tackle it. Leave it to Mike to to sum it all up. Good stuff bro, and this is a fantastic record, one that has an atmosphere incomparable to any other record I've heard.