Kauan - _Tietaajan Laulu_
(BadMoodMan Music, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
Predecessor _Lumikuuro_ was a unique debut, one which was rooted in doom but went far beyond the limits, not so much pushing as destroying the boundaries. It was not perfect and had significant flaws, but it was clearly the work of a band that was destined for something greater. I knew that Kauan would discard the doom elements in later works; I just didn't expect that it would be so fast, and what I thought would occur on the fourth or even third release has happened on only their second. This is a positive, by the way; it means they are becoming more comfortable with and are closer to finding their own sound. There are still metal elements on all songs, but the focus is largely on clean instrumentation focused around (acoustic and clean electric) guitars, keys and violin. Distorted guitar no longer drives the music forward, but is used to create a contrast.

They retain, and use more frequently, the delicate melodies from _Lumikuuro_, but that's about the only commonality. There is little space for blackened screeches or death growls, preferring a clean male voice. It demands more from the listener to be sure, and at times I find myself wishing that the vocals were in English (despite the band being Russian, mostly Finnish is used). The major problem I have is with the silly cover: a humanoid alien hardly compares to the watercolours that adorned their last album. Perhaps it was included to defy any expectations, but it would be harder to come up with a lamer picture than the one they have used.

To summarise, this album exceeded my own expectations for this band, and I suspect, their own. The duo (formerly a trio) is still very young and has an increasingly bright path still yet to travel.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/kauanmusic

(article published 5/5/2009)

12/24/2009 M Dolson 6.5 Kauan - Aava Tuulen Maa
3/15/2008 Q Kalis 7 Kauan - Lumikuuro
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