I must admit that I had recently neglected my death metal reviews for a while as I was concentrating on other things. When the next list of albums was open to reviewers I took it upon myself to try something new and see if I can uncover a jewel in the crown amongst the plethora of albums we get to review here. I will let you all into a little secret that before I choose an album to review, I always search youtube for material and if I like it I will choose that album to review.
This rule of thumb was once again adhered to with Finnish band Kaamos Warriors who have only been active since 2018.. They have already amassed two singles and now their full length debut album through Inverse Records – Ikuisen Talven Sarastus. What I did not expect was to be taken aback by the quality of songs on this debut from a band much in their infancy and it’s been a long time since I moshed as much as this to an album.
What is surprising is to hear that Kaamos Warriors are only a two piece and yet have created an album with maturity, tightness and quality. What is also surprising is that I cannot find any history of guitarist Jani Moilanen, so if this is his first venture in music then what a start he has made.
The first track that I listened to and have to bring to your attention is “Winter Eternal” with a stunning melodic lead solo throughout the entirety of the song which I would love to see in a live environment. This song is unique with their being an overall ethereal riff with its great use of slides and reverbs throughout. This is a song that I have played on constant repeat and I think I can only describe it as a darker later day Satyricon. The vocalist Mikko Ojala is neither death metal nor black metal but somewhere in between and they suit the music perfectly.
Latter day Satyricon again rears its ugly head in parts throughout the album, for example with the opening sequence to “Aaveet” which in parts reminded me of “Fuel for Hatred”. Kaamos Warriors are no mere copycats and add their finnish heritage to their music which can only be described as Nordic dark metal. One of the many highlights of this band is they way they build the atmosphere in the songs where it can be melodic metal one second before periodic blast beats and heavy double bass kicks in and gets you screaming “yessssss”. For example, stunning track opening track “Kaamos Warriors” starts with incredible double bass and blast beats with keyboards in the background that are reminiscent of early death metal.
Each song is so diverse, and to think that this all comes from just two minds on their debut album makes it all the more impressive and bodes well for the future. Everything is not all dark and their are the lighter progressive moments throughout the album which, as stated before, builds that atmosphere before the darkness and despair takes in. I will admit that I feel the first half of the album is much stronger than the second half, but don’t let this concern you as there are still songs that show promise, like “Tyhjyys” which at times with its riffs reminds me of early Katatonia.
Although the sound is not clear, I feel that it suits the music perfectly and is similar to that of Norwegian band Jotunspor (including King and Kvitrafn of Gorgoroth fame) with their take on the old Norse cults and Gods on Gleipnirs Smeder. This is a very promising start from a band in their infancy and whether this band will remain a two piece project or grow into something more powerful remains to be seen. There are certainly plenty of signs for the extreme metal fan to enjoy here and you should do what I did and take a punt at Kaamos Warriors.
Ikuisen Talven Sarastus is out now