Finland’s Metal scene has been one of the most expansive in the entire world. Amazing when you think of how small in size the country really is, they have produced some exceptional bands through the years. Really a spectrum of different acts, one that has carved their name out along the land of thousand lakes are Kaunis Kuolematon.
Not new to the scene, Kaunis Kuolematon first began to make their way over a decade ago in 2012. Rising from the ashes of the underappreciated and very good Gothic Metal band Sinamore (who released two worthy albums via Napalm Records in 2006 and 2007), Kaunis Kuolematon is a bit of a different entity.
With a name that translating into Beautiful Immortal, the band is comprised of 3 former members of Sinamore (Mikko Heikkilä on guitars/clean vocals, Miika Hostikka on drums, and Jarno Uski on bass) along with End of Aeon’s Ville Mussalo on guitar and Olli Saakeli Suvanto on lead vocals. A cast of who’s who if you are a Finnish Metal lover, Kaunis Kuolematon is a bit of a hybrid of each member’s past; with dashes of Gothic Metal, Doom Metal, and even Black Metal in their sound. A really interesting mix, just one listen to any of the music Kaunis Kuolematon has put out, and you will find it to be quite unique.
First making their way independently with the 2012 self-titled EP, in 2014 they would release their debut album Kylmä kaunis maailma through Finland Metal label Violent Journey Records. From here they would put out the album Vapaus through Haminian Sounds in 2017, before 2020’s Syttyköön toinen aurinko on the German label Nobel Demon. Navigating their way through the proper distribution, those who were fortunate to stumble along Kaunis Kuolematon in these formative years were quite impressed. Now seeming to have found a fitting home with Nobel Demon, they released their second album through the label, Mielenvalta.
Put out on October 13, 2023, their fourth album, Mielenvalta is a bold step forward for the band which pushes the boundaries of everything they have done before. Sounding grander, but equally as dark, even if you are not influential in Finnish, you can feel the intensity of these songs. And this just does not mean in terms of harshness, it means within the collective array of emotions that dig down into your soul. Reflecting on life, the struggles, and obstacles, each track is like a balanced act of brutality and melody that few others accomplish this well.
Nine songs in total that runs for nearly 1 hour, there is haunting explorations around each corner from the opening with “Surussa uinuva,” (“Sleeping in Sorrow”) to end with the immense “Hukkunut sydän” (”A Drowned Heart”). All songs painted with a melancholic atmosphere, what is really astounding is how well Heikkilä’s very distinctive singing bounces off Suvanto’s almost Black Metal screeches. The best part is the two share vocals in a very equal way, with some songs led by Heikkilä, such as “Peilikuva” (“Reflection”) or “Nyt olet poissa” (”Now You’re Gone”), whereas tracks such as “Maan varjoisan puolen” (“Of the Earth’s Shadow Side”) Suvanto’s lead offers some terrifying screams. And then there are songs that are magically surprising with a dream-like feeling such as the title-track “Mielenvalta” (roughly translating to “Mind’s Dominion”).
All in all, if you are relatively new to Kaunis Kuolematon, but love dark, expansive music that engulfs you, Mielenvalta is a must listening experience. The perfect meeting place deep within a forest of Doom, Gothic, and Black Metal, Cryptic Rock gives their exciting new album Mielenvalta 4.5 out of 5 stars.