Aarni are one of the most unusual bands I have heard in a while. Imagine a mix of
Solstice, Amorphis, early My Dying Bride and a load of avantgarde
madness. That's what Aarni sound like. The tracks here are very varied, from the
pastoral opening track 'Myrrys' to the very up-beat and folky 'Lampaan Vaateissa'
to the very 'Tales of the Thousand Lakes'-esque 'The Weird of Vipunen' to
the total funeral doom of 'Transcend Humanity' and the excellent, almost frightening
quasi-instrumental 'Reaching Azathoth' which really captures the atmsphere of being
in a dark tunnel face to face with a weird monster. There is a lot of vocal variety
too - from normal death grunts, to spoken parts, to strange almost robotic moans.
The bonus tracks from Demo 2001 are less interesting, apart from the totally off-the-wall
cover of 'Dead Skin Mask'. Overall there is no shortage of ideas and originality
here, and a lot of good riffs. However, on a couple of occasions the pastoral, folky
elements are too happy and upbeat for my liking, and I fear that future additions
of more avantgarde tendencies might put this band beyodn my tastes. Still, definitely
a good release and a promising band. The band have now been signed with Firebox,
have released a Split CD with Umbra Nihil (containing a lot of the same tracks
as this promo) and will release a new album at some stage in the future.