Kauan
Pirut

On Kauan’s previous album Kuu..  from few years back, the last track “Suora Liila Sydänkäyrä” ended the excellent album in a weighty fashion, closing up the album but hinting of unfinished business. Not surprisingly, with their newest album Pirut, the merry band from Chelyabinsk continues from pretty much where they left off (and one asteroid attack richer).

In a way, Kauan’s fifth album gathers up the previous releases and makes a statement of who they are now, moving quite effortlessly between some raspier overtones and the more delicate, humane experiences. The distorted guitars that pace onwards at slow speeds are a clear throwback to the band’s doom-ish outings of the past.

While on the outside Pirut might express itself as an esoteric and minimalistic release, it’s anything but as the songs float through like the change of seasons and various emotions all the way through its spin time. And just like our lives, the album is meant to be taken as a whole; while separated into eight sections, in reality it’s a one 40-minute track. Mastermind Antov Belov seems to throw in pretty much everything he has accumulated in his arsenal thus far throughout the years; the aforementioned doom metal sections, beautifully flowing, vulnerable scenic paintings and much more grandiose, symphonic celebrations — all seamlessly mixed together.

Take for example the short section after the halfway mark on track “IV”. A few years ago, Belov posted the section as a custom soundtrack to the trailer of Disney’s Crimson Wings movie — it was not hard to memorize those visuals once they hit the airwaves here. But unlike modern, streamlined Disney pieces, the music (rather than the track as a sole entity) moves on to harsher realms, all the while maintaining a longing for life.

The contrast is wide but all the time, mature and coherent. Everything serves a purpose and fits the big picture. At times, while the music and modus operandi are different, Pirut reminded me of The Gathering’s way of doing things (with a hint of Anathema on few occasions), even if at the moment, I have a hard time putting my finger to it… I also have to mention that Belov’s cleans are some of the best I’ve heard all year. While I’ll leave technical reviews to others, the sheer emotion and expressiveness is magical to me; especially when the man uses the Finnish language in such a different way than a native speaker would, emphasizing, stretching letters and vowels that shouldn’t be. Pure, joy.

With all that said and the journey being so rich and full of details that suck you in, this is Kauan’s hardest album yet. After a first few listens, it’s clear that the band has yet again managed to release an involving, long-lasting expedition. It really takes Pirut a long time to really sink in in all of its glory. And that’s just Pirut. The album ends in a burst (not unlike on “Suora Liila Sydänkäyrä”) that not only makes the 40-minutes go a full circle, but with Pirut going through the band’s whole discography (and then some), it also leaves the possibility to derive all sorts of correlations from nature’s cycles and humanity’s habit of repeating itself.

Yet, despite all that, Kauan keeps on moving forward and expanding. That’s something to be relished on its own.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
December 23rd, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: stiffy

    Really great album and a great unique band. I hold these guys up there with Tenhi.


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