Review Summary: Take heed of the light, for the shadow is around the corner.
Some genres convey emotion better than others, but they’re targeted for a specific niche. Kauan’s 2013 masterstroke, Pirut
dabbles in minimalistic tones that focus on compositional greatness rather than fleeting musical contrast. Hailing from Russia Kauan promises an outweighing of ethereal soundscapes conveying emotive lights and insensible darks bringing a natural contrast without forcing the two worlds together. The worlds of post rock and doom are combined in such a manner that Pirut
’s storyline flows from one track to the next in an almost seamless exhibition of moods. Pirut
is an eclectic combination of melancholic doom, post rock, electronica classical and folk, but it is far from forced or pretentious. Each section plays off another, without overwhelming the listener or creating a musical redundancy. For the band’s 2013 record, it hits the mark.
At the album’s core, Pirut
is almost cinematic. Moving from one track to the next continuing the record’s flow. With a run-time of thirty-nine minutes the album itself is quite accessible and over before you know it, but that doesn't detract from how engaging it actually is. Gone are the conventional album names, instead Kauan’s 2013 effort makes do with a simple numerical track title allowing the album to be chaptered into a simple story-line. This helps bring the whole record together, add life and further its overall replay values. There is a lot going on here; sweeping atmospherics, subtle contrasts and minimalistic passages. For those who aren’t fluent in the language of Finnish, there’s going to be a language barrier. Pirut
speaks of depression, grief, madness and despair before achieving better; ascending through those darker moments to come out the other side more matured and better for it.
Despite all these merit-able qualities, Kauan’s 2013 record does falter towards the middle. “IV” sees the atmosphere released where the emotive pressure should stay only to create a different mood. The track takes on an acoustic lead ballad before passing time with a somewhat overblown cinematic presence. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the track, but its placement plays against the album’s themes. Instrumentally, everything is played how it should be; from the minimalistic piano, to layered synth and string sections. The percussive setting doesn’t achieve anything too technical and acts as a rather sedate metronome for the rest of the band’s soundscape. Expectedly, the vocals take the limelight, but they’re not the leading force behind Kauan’s music. Crooning cleans in strong Finnish outline the madness and depression aided by some well-placed (and far from over-used) growls. As a whole the record flows well, even if it doesn’t completely close the story’s pages. The so-called ascension found towards the record shows some measure of happiness, but the minor chords and underlying synths still speak of a contrasting depression. For an album with a concept so deep and profound, the music really needs to pass the message to the listener.
shows a band hitting their musical stride, but it’s not like they’ve peaked with this release. Kauan is smart with their music. They know restraint, and where to take the atmospheric soundscapes up a notch. It’s far from contrived sounding natural from start to finish, engaging the listeners’ internal sense of bad with good. Sure, it’s a deep and complex concept, but it’s engaging for listeners across most genres. The mix of doom and post rock might be a turn off for some but the genres come together cohesively, allowing the album to speak for itself.