Kauan - Pirut (Blood Music)

A haunting combination of folk, electronica and funeral-doom, Kauan's Pirut is best listened to as one continuous song.
Release Date: 
13 Dec 2013 (All day)

Kauan’s Pirut slowly rises out of silence, a mix of electronic elements over atmospheric funeral-doom. Kauan have mixed broodingly elegant sweeps of distorted sound over classical and folk instruments against pensive vocals. Though Kauan are Russian/Ukrainian, the lyrics are in Finnish. The rhythmic intonation of the Finnish language allows for the steady doom pacing of the absorbingly beautiful songs.

Kauan use sound effects as instruments, not as filler. Avant-garde doom filled with string sections, rupturing bass and vocals which transition seamlessly between clean chanted lyrics to rich growls to harmonic duets. The songs are labeled I to VIII, which could be seen as pretentiousness or as reluctance to give any predefined expectations of the album.

The ebb and flow of the tracks lead to an absorbing experience. The mixture of classical, folk, progressive, doom and experimental elements build Pirut into a captivating work of aural art. The male chorus elements in II are paced with a meditative air, before the tone in III becomes much more questioning. Dominated by elegantly orchestrated strings, the mood of III rises and falls throughout. The blending of the classical elements against the modern electronica is well done.

IV surges up as the anthemic high of the album, with some beautiful piano work set against the elegant drone of a cello and soaring vocals. From here, V sinks back to a solo piano against drum and bass. Keyboards and distorted guitars build up a folk-metal feel with an experimental lean before slow guitar solos wind through the soundscape.

VI brings a darker feeling to the album, which by this stage is at times triumphant, pensive and despondent. The growling sections of VII are interspersed with clean lyrics, distorted guitars and more strings continuing the thematic elements of the album. VIII is the final reflective step at the end of the album but retraces the main melodic flow before leaving all too suddenly.

The tracks in this album build as a modern symphony. Each track is complete on its own, but in the endless progression between songs an understanding is created. This album should be listened to as one continuous piece, not just one track or as part of a shuffled mix. Kauan sometimes hark to Sigur Ros, sometimes to Moonsorrow, but mainly in the way that like these counterparts they defy any straightforward definition.

Released on CD and Vinyl by Blood Music, and now available on Bandcamp, this is an album to sink slowly into and let the music wash over you.