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Kalmo : Demoni (EP)

Harsh, insane and dark: the debut EP from Finnish solo project Kalmo is not easy listening.

Kalmo is yet another one man project from Finland, this one formed by Mika. The band's first song was created around 2008. This EP is dark Doom delving into the unseen world around us. You will either like this or hate it. What does Kalmo mean: "It is a relatively new word in Finnish derived from the old word kalma meaning death. Kalmo means cadaver. That is all that is left when it all ends before it turns into dust". The EP is sung in Finnish but the CD booklet has the lyrics in English as well.

'Demoni' starts with 'Piru' and this takes us into the insane world of Kalmo. It’s a fast start with big fuzzy guitars and leads coming at you from all angles, whilst the bass lays a heavy pounding rhythm. The drums have a great steady rhythm that keep the tempo pulsating throughout this short song. The vocals are a mix of growl and talking but with the steady flow from the drums giving an almost rap-like flow, as crazy as it sounds. 'Piru' is actually made up from the movie Faust, filmed in 1926. The story of Faust is selling your soul to the Devil.

'Elävä Vainaa' is slower and more dark sounding. It’s quite depressing stuff and takes a few listens to really try and soak everything. I read a great interview with Mika over at Blessed Altar. I would highly recommend it as it really explains his thought process into the making of such a horrific EP. Even listening to the start of 'Lupaus' with twisting guitar leads that fade in and out, this is pretty insane sounding, the bass plods effortlessly behind whilst Mika chants away in his native voice. I definitely would not be listening to this at night in a dark room. He is expressing himself totally in these songs and you have to take your hat off to him for this. Not everyone's cup of tea but this is about the total blackness of this world and we are getting consumed by it.

Freakish screams awaken us on 'Valo'. Thick warm heavy fuzz buries itself under our skin, slowly rotting away, festering until it gives birth to something unimaginable. The production and mix is of a good quality and captures the mood perfectly. There are no huge stand out leads or anything and I don’t think it really needs it. 'Mustaa' is another great example of the bleakness that lies ahead. This is a little more catchy and this EP definitely has me wanting to come back for a bit more. It’s a pretty old song that Mika finally got around to working on but it fits the EP without looking out of place.

As the EP draws to a close with 'Show Me Your Face', which was a song created for a contest, we are left to ponder what has just bled through our ears. Did I enjoy it? I guess I actually did, it’s hard to point what pulls you in. The chanting vocals definitely have a hypnotic feel to them and one I still hear in my head hours after listening to it. Don’t be put off by the description of his music. It’s actually really good and completely out of my comfort zone.

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Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Piru
2. Elävä Vainaa
3. Lupaus
4. Valo
5. Mustaa
6. Show Me Your Face

Duration : Approx. 31 minutes

Visit the Kalmo bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-06-24 by Riccardo Veronese
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