Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Suruni - Ikuus (2014) / 77%

Dark and lo-fi exploration

The musical child of Sakari Piisti, Suruni from central Finland is a weird project to describe but I'll attempt the task anyway since I never run away from musical adversity. “Not for everyone” can easily describe this album, it's an unorthodox mix of experimental raw black metal with noise, ambient and drone all under a voluntary lo-fi approach.

One of the things that surprised me is the bass, it's freaking loud and I really like how it's played. I often wish this instrument would be more prominent in black metal and it's the case here. It's well incorporated in the sonic chaotic mass enriched by the use of acoustic guitars and some other nontraditional instruments (is that cello???). It's pretty slow stuff and it reminds me of the avant garde nature of Sami Hynninen's Opium Warlords and Armanenschaft projects. The overbearing bass licks are definitely a big hint to that.

Suruni felt like it doesn't have a metal core since there's so many additional elements to be considered but underneath everything, there is an undying dark atmosphere possessed by raw black metal riffing and a bunch of melodic clean guitar parts. It's simplistic but there's some really beautiful moments like the ethereal guitar at the end of “Ei Se Ollut Vahinko”. The drums (unsure if they're programmed or not) are fun albeit located in a weird place in the mix, they're kind at the forefront of the sound. This really adds to the uneasy feeling this album gave me.

Piisti's vocals (when there's some) are a mix of black metal shrieks and buried clean vocals, it fits well with the music but they could have be a bit more powerful. The project is more about instrumental landscapes and it's showcasing its wide range of influences (the instrumental black metal country of “Akana” is a clear highlight.) There's also this sort of martial influence sometimes approaching Akitsa.

Ikuus is a a decent and original album but there's still a lot to improve to play in the “big leagues”. The production, raw but melodic, is actually pretty interesting but I'd like to get more meat in the songs. That's a good debut, follow this band with me if you're into adventurous music without compromises.

Thanks to Sun & Moon Records for the CD copy.
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