Finnish band Syven are an ambient metal collaboration between Aslak Tolonen (Nest), providing all of the instrumentation, and Andy Koski-Semmens (Ereipia), whose deep, shaman-like baritone makes the entire album play out like a druidic ritual. Aikaintaite is their debut effort, and was composed, recorded and mixed by the artists. The album is being released on the seventh of February to coincide with Finland's Independence Day celebration. Aikaintaite draws heavily upon Finnish mythology and folk music, with Syven's compositions prominently featuring Finnish string instrument the kantele.
The band have blended the sounds of the natural world with acoustic and electric instruments brilliantly. The instruments often take on the voices of animals, as a synth becomes owls hooting or a keyboard trill the ripple of a meltwater stream. The vocals are deep and echoing, and Koski-Semmens shifts between powerful, pulsing chants and soaring invocations. The guitar work is rendered almost sacred, vibrating upwards, each struck note a pagan offering. There is a solemn quality to this album – the sense of great strength carefully curbed and leashed. For those looking for a release that can become a ritual, for music that doubles as a pagan ceremony, Aikaintaite is perfect.
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