KAUAN - Aava Tuulen Maa

Kauan - Aava Tuulen Maa

5 songs
49:07 minutes
***** ***
Firebox

Bandpage

For a band signed on a Finnish label and writing Finnish lyrics, it’s rather a surprise that Kauan come from the Russian city Chelyabinsk in the Uralian plains. Founded in 2005, they have been releasing a record once every year, and that since 2007. In the beginning there were still elements of avant-garde black metal and doom metal, but this has changed on their third album Aava Tuulen Maa. Consisting only of two members, Anton Belov seems to be in charge as he does most of the chores (vocals, guitars, keyboards and programming), while Lyubov Mushnikova has certainly a longer name but only plays the violin. Kauan were assisted during the recording sessions by eight guest musicians playing such diverse instruments like saxophone, violin, cello, duda and guttural chants, among others.

The five songs make it to nearly fifty minutes, and the opener Ommeltu Polku should only be considered an intro, although its five minute length makes it a rather nice instrumental introduction for what is to follow. The regular tracks are all between ten and thirteen minutes long, and consequently take their time to build up tension. Kauan’s metal days lie in the past, as becomes instantly obvious on Valveuni, where Belov took advantage of the vintage synthesizers he found in the studio to create a submarine sonar sound not unlike Pink Floyd on their seminal epic Echoes. Somehow Kauan’s development reminds of Tiamat, another band that gave up their metal roots to explore a more psychedelic sound. The Russians differ by incorporating a certain post rock flair, by allowing long instrumental sections to creep into the songwriting.

Kauan are always at their best when they dive head deep into early Seventies soundscapes, and although their heavier parts are also quite listenable, they are certainly less magical. The expansive tracks are suffused with an beauty but also make it easy to let yourself float away, leaving you after the fifty minutes with the impression of having witnessed some really uplifting art, even though you might find yourself unable to remember specific parts. But that shouldn’t mar the overall splendid impression that this Uralian duo is giving on Aava Tuulen Maa.

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