Do you ever listen to music from another country and after a bit, you try to sing along? Like, it’s obvious that you don’t know let’s say Finnish; but you hear this song from a Finnish band, and you love the shit out of it and suddenly you think you know Finnish and are fluent in that shit, rapidly you’re belting out meaningless drivel while loving everything about their language. In the case of Kouta I am guilty as fucking charged. I decided to listen to this while mowing the yard. Imagine a fifty-year-old Metalhead bouncing like a dumbass in the backyard, and you’ll have an accurate picture.

Kaarnaköydet is the first full-length from these Folk/Black Metal berserkers and it’s a frothing beast of an album. According to the press release the album centers around the story of two brothers, so I guess it’s a concept album…, and it all starts with “Äiti maan laulu” a 3.50-minute acoustic voyage that is brimming with emotion, there’s a point where I thought I was going to fucking start crying. It’s that powerful of an opener and that’s what made me fall in love with Kaarnaköydet, immediately. So how do they follow that?

With “Turjan takaa” of course, this track has a breakdown that literally had me dancing like St. Vitus; and believe me, you’ll know it when you hear it, it’s one of those album moments that bring out the soul of the music, it’s blasting Black Metal thunder and majesty invoking images of the story being told. The heart and lungs of this animal come with “Veriaura”, and “Kurja raakile”; tracks like these put Kouta among the Finnish masters of Korpiklaani and Finntroll (just to name two).

Kouta doesn’t really sound like any other band than themselves, however, which makes my for fans of section a bit tough. Yeah, I mentioned Korpiklaani but I also hear Arkona (Rus), Varmia, and Bornholm. But these are like spices in a soup, Kouta is in their own realm, brimming with originality and Kaarnaköydet is an album I will be going back to quite a bit over the passage of time, what is more, if they keep releasing albums this fucking epic, I’ll be a goddamn disciple and that’s no bullshit.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
May 19th, 2023


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