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Kuolemanlaakso - Uljas Uusi Maailma (Svart Records)

By: David E. Gehlke

[7.5/10] Mikko Kotamaki is threatening to become the Tomas Lindberg of Finnish metal, having released three albums in 2012. His work in Swallow the Sun and Barren Earth are no secret, the latter giving the Finn some freedom away from his imposing death growl, while Swallow the Sun occasionally treads down more digestible paths. Kuolemanlaakso (translation: "Death Valley") sees Kotamaki fall squarely upon all Finnish vocals, translating to a cross between Shape of Despair and Ajattara, two bands that featured former Amorphis throat Pasi Koskinen.

Doom, but not funeral doom is the name of the game on their Uljas Uusi Maailma debut, trotting out those frank, rigid riffs that only work because of the jarring guitar tone provided. The simplicity in which Kuolemanlaakso operates is their primary misgiving, as they're without any breadth, just herded power chords, pumped through what is likely a 5150 at full gain. Produced by Triptykon guitarist V. Santura, Uljas Uusi Maailma has a similar dense, almost too coddled sound, much like Eparistera Daimones did, albeit with much simpler songs.

Kotamaki tries in earnest to steer this thing in the right direction, with "Roihusydan" and "Aurinko" serving as the album's highwater markets. Yet, Uljas Uusi Maailma limits itself to the basics of sub-funeral doom, a transient spot to be in, especially from someone with at least a handful of sterling albums to his resume like Kotamaki.

Kuolemanlaakso offcial site

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