KIUAS - "BORN UNDER THE NORTHERN LIGHTS" (INDEPENDENT)
Occasionally, genuine joy is bestowed on the shoulders of reviewers. In between the stuff they get sent and the stuff they buy themselves there will suddenly shine forth a little musical gem. Let's cut to the chase: Kiuas' "Born Under the Northern Lights" is one of those little musical gems.
Kiuas consist of five musically talented students who have played together (and in other bands) for about five years. Their mix of primarily power-and melodic metal, with a blast beat or two and some shred guitar solos thrown in, works particularly well. There are dozens of bands like Kiuas (come to think of it, dozens in Germany alone!) that somehow don't manage to stand out in any way. Their singers usually sing with a thick ethnic (German, whatever) accent, their drummers are ununspired woodshoppers, and whenever the singer sings the music suddenly become very plain and simple. Not so with Kiuas. Though Russian-born, I couldn't discern as much as a hint of an accent (whether Finnish or Russian). Their drummer can do more than go through the basic motions of wood chopping, too. Guitarist Mikko Salovaara handlers acoustic and electric necks with similar virtuosity, Atte Tanskanen supplies the right background keyboard carpet, and, most importantly, the songs are plain well written. For an independent band, too, they sound damn good as well.
At the end of which I just hope there's a full length album in the pipeline somewhere.
Written April 2003
Go to the Official Kiuas site
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