Sound: Time to finally review... KIUAS. A band hailing from the town of Espoo, Finland. Yes they are considered '' Power Metal '' but not like the Finnish power metal you are thinking of, and I mean bands like Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica which in my opinion get a bit typical and kill it just a little. But with Kiuas they seem to have a great big mix of all influences, and make it seem like one of the most epic Finnish bands to listen to if I am not mistaken, mixing the foundations of Power Metal along with some Death - like riffing, along with some folky acoustic melodies in between, growly but melodic - sounding vocals at mid range, lingering bass lines, and powerful galloping drumming with spaced out double bass when needed, so yeah! It definitely does not sound as typical as some generic PM bands out there. But in this album the guitar tone is just a little bit too fuzzy, but hey I am not one to complain. // 9
Lyrics: Nothing typical here either. Nope, nothing about elves and fairies conquering the lands and drinking ale together in triumph ( although I do love PM!:) ). Kiuas, when it comes to lyrics they mean the Ancient Finnish cultures, such as in this album, The Spirit Of Ukko. Ukko, being '' the God of Gods '' or '' The Mightiest One '' who was extremely respected and feared in the eyes of Ancient Finns ( And possibly other Scandinavians, although '' Thor '' was more the other Scandinavians ). But what with these pretty interesting sounding lyrics, Kiuas do it as a metaphor to everyday life, funnily enough. Such as '' Warrior Soul '', which is a favoured song among their whole fanbase: it might seem like a warrior story, but it's actually about dealing with all the dilemas in everyday life, and to remain strong in whatever situation, which does sound a bit typical for lyrics in a song, but '' Warrior Soul '' is a great metaphor for that! So manipulative lyrics for real - life issues is what Kiuas tend to do in all their other albums, making it a signature, and very talented way of songwriting:). // 10
Overall Impression: Here is a description of each song on the album:
01.The Spirit Of Ukko: the self titled album opener! Starting with tremolo picking riffs ( of epic scales! ), moving onto other riffs, makes it a great, big sounding intro! Then the vocals kick in which make it an even better quality of a song plus a massive sing along chorus:D! 10/10.
02.On Wings Of Death We Ride: this song has a similar sort of vibe to the first track, energy paced in other words! 9/10.
03.No More Sleep For Me: this track has a slower tempo to a mid - tempo. This is the sort of track in which you need to be more in the mood for. It has more or a hard - rock vibe. 8/10.
04.Warrior Soul: now this is the shit! The intro is a drum solo fill, which sounds awesome! Then goes into a riff - packed gallop through a land of morals ( messages of the song ), souding very heroic! The changes in key also make it sound more interesting. Solos in this song are so kick ass too, like the feel good thrashy type solos, with a nice melodic bridge. The end to the song is also a big bang, with another little solo, and a sudden stop. Now that was THE song! 10/10 ( 11 if I could).
05.Until We Reach The Shore: now this is a little break from all the technical abilities, making it a simpler song. But hey that still does not stop the interest! This song is more the feeling, and it has so much of it! 110% epic chorus is what I love about it, and the interlude possesses a really nice guitar melody conjured up. So yeah! Feel good:D. 10/10.
06.Across The Snows: another heroic masterpiece! Starting off with a folky melody which sounds really melodic, going into a full-blown ass kicking riff filled journey! Liten to it and you will know what I mean:D. Verse utilizes simple strummed power chords while still keeping the power. Solos again are an amazing performance, and the end you hear the use of a Finnish national instrument, the Kantele! A bit like a Harp it has a heavenly sound. 10/10.
07.Thorns Of A Black Rose: progressive indeed, it uses the Kiuas style mixed with some rocky type licks. Song has a lot of feeling too. 9/10.
08.And The North Star Cried: this is it! The album closer. This song is simply exquisit, even more Progressive than the last. Kiuas style, with rock licks, acoustic Spanish - sounding guitar arrangement ( love that bit, really touching! ) and using an orchestra as an intro, and in othe parts of the song along with punchy riffing, making parts of the sng quite dense. In terms of Epicness and feel this song represents it all! 10/10 ( 11 if a must ).
In all, this album is simply the sort of album to remember in a lifetime. It has the energy, epicness, feel, progressive style, all used at 100%. Kiuas are simply a band of pure quality, and anyone who reads this review, please take your time to check out this album! If I got it stolen I would buy it again, most definitely! // 10