|The Finnish death-doom spearhead Kuolemanlaakso, starring vocalist Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun), have released the second single from their upcoming album, ‘Kuusumu’. The new song, titled “Tulessakävelijä”, closes out the album on an epic note and is the first track to feature both Kotamäki and Aleksi Munter (Swallow the Sun, Insomnium) since 2015. |
Kuolemanlaakso guitarist-songwriter Laakso says: “‘Tulessakävelijä’ is the album’s massive closing track. Musically it explores heavy and oriental atmospheres. The chorus line ‘Pilvistä verta sataa’ (‘Blood is falling from the clouds’) refers to Chinese texts from the mid-530s which depict people actually believing it was raining blood. It seems more likely that a volcanic eruption, which blackened and cooled the sun for one and a half years, colored the rain blood-red with its ash.”
Laakso goes on to add, “The orchestration, reminiscent of the soundtrack for ‘Conan the Barbarian’, was conjured up by Aleksi Munter – with whom I produced and arranged Kuusumu’s keyboards. Kotamäki displays completely new aspects of his clean vocals on this track. This might actually be the first song since Swallow the Sun’s triple album ‘Songs from the North’ (2015) where Munter and Kotamäki perform together.”
Tulessakävelijä’s lyric video was created by Hans-Peter Weckman. “We immediately reached a consensus on the execution and color scheme. Great guy, great video,” comments Laakso.
Kuusumu is Kuolemanlaakso’s first album in eight years and their most versatile work to date. In addition to the traditional Kuolemanlaakso heaviness, the album contains fast and bombastic material. The album was co-produced, mixed, mastered, and engineered by the Triptykon and Dark Fortress guitarist V. Santura, with whom the band has worked with on all of their releases. The female vocals were performed by Lotta Ruutiainen from Luna Kills. ‘Kuusumu’ will be released in CD and digital/streaming formats on April 3rd, 2022 via Svart Records, with the vinyl following on July 29th.
|Kuusumu‘s texts are loosely based on the sudden global cooling that began in 535, leading to a 10-year long winter, loss of crops, famine, and mass deaths of cattle and other animals. The climate change was most likely caused by massive volcanic eruptions, the fog of which darkened the sun for 1,5 years, causing loss of light and intolerable coldness. Moreover, the bubonic plague that began in the Byzantine Empire in 541 swept across Europe, killing tens of millions of people during the climate crisis. “I see our previous releases as autumn albums, so this time we decided to make a winter album. I came across some literature about the catastrophic events by chance, and got immensely inspired by them – especially the contemporary writings of the 530–540 era. It didn’t take long for me to write the album after that. It’s spine-chilling to ponder that a deadly climate change and a pandemic raged also 1,500 years ago when medical knowledge, information flow, and living conditions were in their infancy. And there was no electricity, of course. People thought that they have angered the gods and the darkness will last forever,” says Laakso.|