Hiidenhauta - Eikä Aurinko Valaise
Symphonic Black Metal
3 songs (18:15)
Release year: 2013
Reviewed by Aleksie
Finland’s Hiidenhauta didn’t wait long after their debut demo to display their next evolutionary step. Less than six months after the release of Surma Saapuu Suota Myöten (Death Arrives Along The Swamp), out came Eikä Aurinko Valaise (And the Sun Does Not Illuminate). Recalling the folk-spiced black metal of the first demo, I speculated that it would’ve been interesting to hear the group explore the acoustic folksy avenues deeper, way deeper.

Well, that has not happened on this second demo. If anything, the clearly folk-like elements are nearly gone. Instead, this 3-song package is laced with a decidedly stronger symphonic influence with hordes of keyboards taking a stronger role in the background. While I’m sure many would like to hear the orchestral bits that flow around played with actual string instruments, I see an easy explanation for the synth-route in resources. As such, the synthesized element works well.

Beyond the symphonic characteristics, the overall tone of this disc is sharper. The sharp guitar riffs have more rip and tear in them. This is only strengthened by the commendable production job that keeps all the traditional instruments balanced and clear. The band still trusts in a dual vocal attack that works very well here. The male vocals are still fairly simply raging, but they have more power and clarity here in terms of pronunciation. The female vocals, that were a strong point already on the first demo, have kept their angelic quality and bring nice contrast to the harshness.
The song material crosses several dynamic boundaries. Vaipuva (The Succumbing) starts off with some cloying horror movie pianos and strings but gives way soon enough to a flurry of double bass drums and tremolo-picked riffage. The soothing interlude mixes in nicely with the ensuing blast beats. Synty (The Birth) is a more straight-forward BM-blaster, spicing the rapid fire mayhem with a few more proggy riffs. Luopunut (The One Who Gave Up), brings those proggy vibes in just a bit more as the song shifts between eerie clean guitar picking and down-n-dirty six-string-bashing.

Hiidenhauta is in an interesting point with their black metal after these two demos. Both were very ambitious in their directions, the first more earthy and heathen-styled in its epic ways and the second more otherworldly, grandiose in a symphonic way. Of course I should mention that considering the retrospective nature of this review, the band has already taken their next step in real time. They just released their debut full-length last month, so I gotta have a look at that one real soon as well.
Killing Songs :
Aleksie quoted no quote
Other albums by Hiidenhauta that we have reviewed:
Hiidenhauta - 1695 reviewed by Alex and quoted 72 / 100
Hiidenhauta - Surma Saapuu Suota Myöten reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
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