Finnish Dark Metal band Kuoleman Galleria has released their fourth full-length album, “Pedon Synty.” Formed in 2012, they’ve arisen from the Finnish metal scene with a penchant for dark music and darker imagery. “Pedon Synty (The Birth Of The Beast)” carries the listener towards the altar of inner chaos and starts a chain of events that leads you into the core of darkness and back.
- Jankkari – Vocals
- Matinlompolo – Guitars
- Väinölä – Guitars
- Riverend – Bass
- Anttonen – Drums
March 24, 2023 – Inverse Records
- Pedon Synty
- Kuoleman Morsian
- Pelin Henki
The record opens with howling winds and ominous spoken word, leading to a heavy riff and sludgy rhythm. The lead work on the guitars is pretty intriguing, going for a more melodic pattern, departing from the heavier stylings of the riff work. The drums are moderated and have excellent pacing, working with the bass to drive the speed of the song more for endurance than power. There are also a lot of ambient tones throughout the entire song, adding some gloomy textures to the already dark sound.
“Kolmas” also starts with sinister whispers and ethereal winds, though the song opens entirely differently. There are no clean vocals, and the voice is layered, adding depth to the darkness brought out by the timbre. There is a Sludge quality to some of the music to this point, not in the tuning or tone, more like the rhythm, but that is about to change.
The following few songs are heavier, faster, and more feverish. The guitar work, especially on “Sieluvaras,” is excellent. I love the phrasing they use for the lead work, and the drums going full-blast beats in some sections pleases me greatly. It’s also interesting to hear them bring the bass forward in the mix to reinforce the riff’s heaviness.
The rest of the album ebbs and flows within these ranges, going from melodic to heavy, delicate to brutal. They use a lot of tempo and tone shifts to create different shades of darkness in the music. It is not just black and shades of gray, there are reds and blues as well. Maybe that sounds elementary as an analysis, but so many bands refuse to use colors other than black that this is refreshing.
I appreciate that each song sounds very different from the others on this record, but they all sound like they belong together. Nothing sounds out of place or like they were just trying to “fill space” on the album. The whole thing sounds cohesive. Kuoleman Galleria favors longer songs, averaging a solid five minutes per track, with three being in the six-minute range.
With all the ambient intros and sound effects being used, the album has a lot of nuance and detail, making it a great piece to listen to over and over. The layered vocals and guitars create a broad soundscape with a lot of room to add extras to the composition, which they take full advantage of. Overall, they’ve crafted a really good record that should get them some serious attention, hopefully allowing them to hit the summer festival circuit.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 9
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 8
- Overall – 8.80