Kaunis Kuolematon
Kylmä Kaunis Maailma

Spring and summer bring blooming flowers and whatnot, but Kaunis Kuolematon (‘Beautiful Immortal’) manages to slip in a bit of gloomy darkness just before everything turns to green and people forget their rotten misery and empty lives. Not surprisingly, the Finnish group skips picking up dandelions and instead throws in a melodic death/doom mix with their debut album Kylmä Kaunis Maailma (‘Cold Beautiful World’).

The near 50-minute cross to bear might not hold many shocking revelations along the way nor does it reinvent the genre in any meaningful way, but it’s hard to say that’s a fault. Kylmä Kaunis Maailma is still perhaps a bit less conventional in its ways compared to some of the other bigger names of the genre, but fans of acts like Swallow the Sun and Black Sun Aeon will be right at home and I’d even draw some hesitant parallels with Futile-era Rapture too (see the highlight that is “Kivisydän” for example). The music flows a bit more freely between the polar ends of the melodic spectrum, occasionally speeding things up slightly and adding layers and details to the music that more generic acts might normally shy away from — for example, be it the sometimes peculiar riffing or the excellent use of keyboards that really add value to the songs, which even brought back the memory of Scorngrain’s existence during “Itsestään kuollut”. Even if that mental connection is pushing it quite a bit…

The guitars generally buzz deep enough, but still quite a few feet away from the burial at sea U-Boat levels, even if some of the songs are set up (“Aamu”) to throw rocks at funeral convoys. The musicianship overall doesn’t limit the art or the expression and the decent enough vocals are mainly growled at varying depths — just as one would expect from material like this. Occasionally Mikko Heikkilä’s (see Black Sun Aeon) clean vocals take a role to add a bit of extra variety/contrast and emotion to the material (“En Ole Mitään”). It needs to be said out loud that I really dig the guy’s voice. Fits well. Female vocalization is utilized as another instrument to strengthen the compositions (“Kuolematon”). The lyrics are expressed in Finnish and seem to revolve around the usual but ever-so-jubilant Finnish table topics that contemplate anywhere between the decaying human condition and our own place in this shithole of a world. As for the production, I’ve forgotten the last time I’ve heard a totally shitty sounding album from a Finnish band and Kaunis Kuolematon doesn’t deviate from the high quality norm at all either; everything’s as it should be in that department.

With Kylmä Kaunis Maailma, Kaunis Kuolematon adds itself to the somewhat bottomless pool of not-too-happy melodic death and/or doomy Finnish bands that wade through depressive realism with skill and finesse. Luckily the group does enough to distance itself adequately from the rest, without stepping on any toes on their way, to find their own exact spot in that tight space — right next to the aforementioned acts and a bunch of others, such as Soulfallen or Depressed Mode (to name a few).

If you need to remind yourself of what’s to come as soon as the upcoming, short summer will end, Kylmä Kaunis Maailma is a very competent and effective new dietary supplement to block out the effects of the sun — even if deep down you kind of have heard it all and know what to expect. It might not work as efficiently the first few times, but each successive listen definitely nurtures and cultivates the brooding atmosphere. I suppose therein lies what might be the biggest ‘fault’ of the album to some, as it doesn’t necessarily pull you fully under into the solitary of worthlessness and tranquility of consuming suicidal sorrow. Instead, Kylmä Kaunis Maailma comforts and admonishes you of that being a very worthwhile option — before it potentially turns into a full-blown addiction.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
May 5th, 2014

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