Label: Svart Records Release: August 26, 2016
As a CONCERT I could enjoy this solo album already, here some more details: A sinister beginning with a real looooow bass, and wow, Mr. Laakso has this incredible sonorous voice… All those who are familiar with his main band Kuolemanlaakso might be surprised about this headbanger friendly Rock / Hardrock groove of the opener Children Of The Night. Indeed a Gothic Rock channeling Sisters of Mercy, Wolfsheim or Paradise Lost, featuring a lighter atmosphere – superficially – and sometimes even crossing over to Pop characterizes this album, just listen to e.g. Where The River Runs Red. Superficially, because when you read those dark lyrics or listen to the sinister Roll The Dice with the Devil, the Doomy My Last Words or this evil mega-dark No Absolution, it might rather remind you of Kuolemanlaakso.
Apropos – several band members appear here, Tiera (drums), Usva (bass), Mikko Kotamäki (back vocals), plus the guests Tomi Henttunen (guitar), Jani Peuhu (Iconcrash, back vocals) and V. Santura, who did not only contribute guitars but also recorded and mixed the album. Guest Helena Haaparanta sticks out in particular, not only because of the video track The World’s Untolerable Pain or the mighty She Guides me in my Dream with a touch of Folklore and this dark and catchy chorus. There is this ballad Deeper into the Unknown she co-wrote and dominates with her great voice – gooseflesh guaranteed. All 3 songs are among the highlights of this album.
Which is total nonsense – as if there were any low points on this release?? Except for the fact it is over after 45min… I really hope there are more volumes of those Gothic Tapes coming up in the future…