Friday 12 July 2019

Lähdön Aika - Alku

Labels: Self-Released/Bunkkeri Records/Ramekuukkeli-Levyt
Format: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 17 May 2019


1. Huomisen Toivo
2. Matkalla
3. Kuka Sina Olet
4. Rauha
5. Pelko
6. Ainoa Tie

Goddamn! The last couple of weeks have been pretty frustrating as I've not been able to get into a proper writing flow. Changes will be made soon to allow me to focus on it more regularly, I promise. This review is one I've had in the works for a couple of weeks and features Finnish hardcore/doom/sludge/crust/all-the-genres band Lähdön Aika.The last review I wrote featuring this band was about their 2014 split with Frogskin, so it's been a little while. They self-released their latest record on CD and digitally, while Bunkkeri Records and Ramekuukkeli-Levyt released it on vinyl. Thanks go to Tuukka for sending me a CD copy.

It’s suddenly become hot as hell here and while I should be outside with a cold beer, I’m barricading myself inside as I finally have the chance to sit and listen to this beast. Lähdön Aika really hits the spot and the opening song on “Alku”, Huomisen Toivo rages with a mix of atmospheric crust, hardcore and supreme Scandinavian doom. The native lyrics and the barked vocals are set against spacey and bass-laden instrumentation that is off-kilter but also a lot of fun. Acoustic guitar opens Matkalla with a subtle poignancy before the tower of riffs kick in. The verses are stripped down with the vocals sounding more like a battle cry. That’s okay though as they work perfectly in a song that thrives on repeating passages and droning textures. 

These are most definitely tracks for music fans that don’t just get their satisfaction from instant gratification and Kuka Sina Olet is the second longest at just over eight-minutes. It’s hypnotising with a tempo that seems to get faster, though this may be an illusion to these ears. Either way, it’s heavy, claustrophobic and extremely rhythmic, though I wouldn’t suggest rocking any young child to sleep while listening to this! It’s in the instrumental passages that Lähdön Aika truly comes to life and Rauha is a great example of this. Again, it’s subtly stripped down yet it retains the band’s signature heaviness and poise. The recording/production/mastering also helps in that department as it allows the music to sound clear, while not losing it’s extreme impact. 

Pelko appears without so much as a breath and the layered doom that Lähdön Aika is so good at really sounds as if it’s been perfected here. They’ve really hit their stride on this one and while it’s not super abrasive or slow, it doesn’t matter one jot. Musically this is spot on. Album closer Ainoa Tie is positively short compared to those that came before it and it’s (relative) urgency is the perfect way to close out “Alku”. The metallic guitar work and prominent drumming is right up there, as it has been throughout while the vocals sound like a call-to-arms but not in a cliche way. This is a great record. The way that the extremity of it is tempered by the melodic layers and the consistent tempos make it a really enjoyable and engaging listen. Get at it!

Stream and buy "Alku" on all formats below:-

Vinyl copies can also be purchased via the labels below:-

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