A Review of 'Bathos' by Creeping Death of Scandinavian Metal

How does "almost orthodox doom metallish Lovecraftian-Jungian Kalevala avant-garde music" sound? Aarni is the answer to your question. This mysterious avant-garde doom metal band from Finland is just about to release their debut album "Bathos" on Firedoom Music, a new sublabel to Firebox Records which concentrates more in underground releases. The man behind Aarni's music is Markus Marjomaa (aka Master M. Warjomaa). It is unsure if he is the only member or if there are other Aarni-members. But on to the important stuff, the music.

Avant-garde is the perfect word for describing "Bathos". The band tries not to use traditional song-structures so often and instead create something new and very unique. It may be hard to grasp the songs at first but once you are dragged into Aarni's magical and mystical soundscapes you won't be able to leave. From the moment I heard the cool basslines in "Squaring The Circle" I knew I was in for something different. The bass plays a vital part in Aarni and it can clearly be heard throughout the whole album. The vocals parts are sometimes spoken, sometimes growled or sung very monotonously. The guitar-work is pretty cool and there are some groovy riffs and nice solos. Acoustic guitars are also used quite often. However, it doesn't stop with that. Aarni uses a lot of different instruments and while listening to "Mental Fugue" for example, it's not even metal for most of the track. Good? Yeah. Weird? Definitely.

"Bathos" is a very diverse album, every song sounds so different from each other. I love it when you discover something new every time you hear an album and this is exactly such an album. The tracks are mostly slow to mid-tempo and much work and thought have been put into these compositions. The production is crystal clear and succeeds in creating a tranquil and doomy athmosphere. Yes, this is doom, but not your typical My Dying Bride clone. Far from it. Nowadays I'm not even surprised anymore when new Finnish doom bands pop up from nowhere and make killer albums.

Aarni's lyrical themes consist of Finnish folklore & paganism, the occult, Cthulhu mythos as described by H.P. Lovecraft and much more according to the official Aarni site. The songs are sung mostly in English, Finnish and Classical Latin but also in French, Swedish and many more. I don't know if this makes any difference to the already weird compositions presented on the album. I couldn't care less what language the lyrics are written in but it doesn't matter really.

Aarni is definitely a band worth checking out if you want to hear something unique and odd with it's roots in doom metal. I don't think it's a band that everyone will like and that's not their purpose either. There's plenty of My Dying Bride alike bands but there is only one Aarni. It will be very interesting to see what weird songs they will bring us in the future.