mercoledì 27 dicembre 2017

Rienaus - "Saatanalle" (Kvlt, 2017)

Band: Rienaus
Title: Saatanalle
Genre: Black Metal
Year: 26th May 2017
Time: 37 min
Rating: 81/100

In your opinion, what is the genre played by a band called Rienaus (Finnish for "blasphemy") and whose new album, presented with a cover artwork where you can see a cold and winterly landscape, is titled "Saatanalle" ("To Satan", simply)? Mmmh...but BLACK METAL, without any fuckin' doubts! In fact, Rienaus are a band so well respected in the underground Finnish black metal scene to be appeared into "The Devil's Cradle", the book, written by the journalist Tero Ikäheimonen and released recently by Svart Records, dedicated, indeed, to the black metal of the Finnish lands, that I'm reading in these days. So, Rienaus, born in 2008 initially as a one-man band of Mavrofos that is helped now by some session musicians for the studio releases but also for the live rituals (in which they are a quintet with the multi-instrumentalist Mavrofos as vocalist), have summoned, with the auspices of their compatriot label and store Kvlt, their second album: "Saatanalle".

It shows a total pure black metal, from the music to the incredibly cold and primitive production (that gives a good relevance to the guitars in spite of the drums), and all this is expressed through 7 songs, included the keyboard-laden instrumental track called "Välisoitto", written by Jarmo Järvi and performed by the guest Aki Saastamoinen (both played briefly in the melodic death metal band Sigyn). The black metal played by Rienaus is raw and crude: the screams of Mavrofos, supported here and there by few growls (provided by J.H., I imagine), are screeching and suffering in their painful devotion to Satan while the guitars spews forth a series of melodies with crepuscular and melancholic tones using also, with a good atmospheric purpose, a lead guitar that, anyway, does play never real solos. Instead, the drumwork of Faen is well balanced between fast and the slower tempos so to range from dark doom passages to a literally tempestuous blasting mania as in the titletrack. In brief, the sound is surely "raw and crude" as in the classic Finnish black metal tradition but not lack of hidden details and a good songwriting with suggestive climaxes.
Said about the main features of Rienaus, there is need to say now something about my standout tracks of "Saatanalle". The first one of them is, surely, "Polku", where there is the impressive participation of the guest Possessed Demoness (of Anguished fame) with her ultra-tortured screams able to give to this song a real sensation of Satanic devotional torment. Then, there is "Kuolleen jumalan silmien alla", an excellent example of the skill possessed by the band to create amazing climaxes also due, in this case, to the desolating melodies of the lead guitar with a fading finale. After the atmospheric intermezzo of "Välisoitto", here you are the same titletrack, fantastic with its stormy and majestic attacks. And the last standout track of mine is "Kehoonsa kahlittu", that contains some memorable riffs with a more severe tone. Also the closing song "Pimeä hehku", a real tour de force with its 7 minutes and 40 seconds of lenght, could be put in this list but, for me, it isn't always effective, also it its tempestuous start (in a similar vein to the titletrack) and its slow finale with the bass on the main spot are truly excellent.

Raw, crude, freezing, melancholic and fuckin' Satanic: this is the black metal of Rienaus, that's Finnish to the bone, so it's very fit for every fan of bands like Behexen and Satanic Warmaster. And these are Rienaus, a band that wants "bring madness and danger back to black metal as I am sick of today's scene full of pussies who try to make black metal civilized and safe art form for everybody", as written by Mavrofos in a post on the FB page of Rienaus to explain the meaning of his lyrics, sung completely in mother tongue, devoted always and only to "worshiping Satan in most self-destructive ways". But you want to be satanized by Rienaus?

1 - Hänen armostaan
2 - Polku
3 - Kuolleen jumalan silmien alla
4 - Välisoitto
5 - Saatanalle
6 - Kehoonsa kahlittu
7 - Pimeä hehku


Mavrofos - vocals/guitars/bass
J.H. - vocals (backing)
Faen - drums


Possessed Demoness - vocals ("Polku")
Aki Saastamoinen - keyboards ("Välisoitto")


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