Kauan
Kaiho


4.5
superb

Review

by Kyle Ward EMERITUS
September 24th, 2017 | 84 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Days long gone to life

Rather than tear away from their acclaimed mystery Sorni Nai toward another grandiose tale, Kauan have instead taken on a more introspective task. Kaiho is a familiar feeling; one that has, in one way or another, affected all of us. The placid strings remain restrained by the maturity of the songwriting rather than being let loose to set a lofty atmosphere, and the pace of the record is more akin to a slow-burner rather than a climactic overture. It is, after all, a record wholly focused on the power of nostalgia and the jarring transition from carefree yesterdays to an ever-darker and more burdensome tomorrow – a mammoth topic that could only be reduced to fragility by a band as talented as these Russian artists.

Now residing in Ukraine, Anton Belov has penned yet another masterwork of post-rock that defies genre tendencies to build toward constant crescendo. Instead, his band opts for the more challenging face of post-rock that makes the listener think about just what it is the band is trying to say. Letting the listener decide for themselves what the album means is something Kauan have always had a penchant for, but things seem decidedly amplified on Kaiho. Perhaps it is the simplicity of it all; the way “Kasvot” reduces to simple acoustic guitar strumming or the graceful, near-A Capella tendencies of “Sateen Huuhtoma”, but Kauan achieve so much with the bare minimum of instrumental flair. Rather, Kaiho is a tour-de-force of pure songwriting brilliance, remaining a hopeful endeavor even at its most lurid moments.

On the surface, the record has an upbeat attitude about such a heavy topic. The vibrance of the album’s early tracks paint a colorful picture that instantly conjures flashbacks to the happiness of childhood, but melancholic underpinnings constantly linger behind many of Kaiho’s evocative melodies. Belov’s restrained vocal performance is intentionally so, allowing the strings, keys, and simple guitars to carry the record’s bare-bones, close atmosphere. There is near-constant motion within the album, as movements rise and fall away to form a final product that never lies in stagnation, allowing for an easy-on-the-ears listen that instead challenges you emotionally – a trick Kauan have always performed but one that is by far the most effective here.

Kaiho is a different album to each individual listener. It is meant to evoke the same feelings within its audience – nostalgia, sorrow, and a strong sense of hope – but given that each person has lived a different life, the record means something slightly different to everyone. It could be crushingly sad to one, yet pull out fond, joyous memories for another. The lesson itself is clear, though: life is an onerous journey, and rather than dwelling on the better days that have long since passed Kaiho so poignantly reminds us all that the most important thing is to take each day as it comes.



Recent reviews by this author
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Kauan Sorni NaiDrudkh A Furrow Cut Short
user ratings (122)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Emeritus
September 24th 2017


17276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listen/buy here:



https://kauan.bandcamp.com/



Here we have yet another Kauan review where I find myself talking more about the way the album makes you feel rather than what it sounds like, but I kind of think that's the whole point to this band.



I said this about Sorni Nai but here we are again: This is their best record.

hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2017


913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

is it worth checking this album out if i thought Sorni Nai was just ok?



great review btw

Crysis
Emeritus
September 24th 2017


17276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think the concept is different enough to warrant a listen. Musically this also differs, it is far less dramatic and has zero metal in it. It sounds much more subdued, I don't think it would be a stretch at all to say this has a fair bit of neoclassical in it.

kingdedethefifth
September 24th 2017


3935 Comments


Woah, first review i've seen from you in over a year. Also fantastic review, this sounds like something I might like.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2017


10809 Comments


Excellent writing, interested in hearing this.

Digging: Rabor - ?????????

Squilway
September 24th 2017


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Got the CD in the day it released on preorder. Fantastic album, it connects with you on a subconscious and emotional level, and I highly recommend. I'd also suggest using a good setup, as the dynamic range on this is great. The album also seems to have synths that almost serve as changing white noise in the background, anyone else catch those?

Squilway
September 24th 2017


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also great review my dude.

Crysis
Emeritus
September 24th 2017


17276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys, been a while since I've written anything but this record is so good I had to write something about it. I'll be purchasing the double LP soon.



It didn't really fit into the flow of the review but it's worth mentioning that the production is excellent.

cryptologous
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2017


1785 Comments


These guys are the strongest embodiment of positive progression I've seen in a band in a while. Fuck I'm hyped for this. Fantastic review.

Hypochondria
September 24th 2017


106 Comments


Pirut is amazing and Sorni Nai was a close contenter for AOTY for me when it came out. Can't wait to listen to this

grindcorecore
September 24th 2017


608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

kauan have snatched my wig again, absolutely gorgeous album

Hawks
September 25th 2017


51140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can't wait to jam this.

Digging: Cytotoxin - Gammageddon

CaptainDooRight
September 25th 2017


2207 Comments


just got this today

Essence
September 25th 2017


5817 Comments


tremendously excellent, can only imagine converge/panopticon beating it for aoty

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
September 25th 2017


5413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kauan the metal band is dead, long live Kauan the pedlars of gorgeous, gorgeous post-rock

Elynna
September 25th 2017


26 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Amazing review for an amazing album, my AOTY for the time being

Digging: Enslaved - E

Jom
Staff Reviewer
September 25th 2017


2987 Comments


Looking forward to this! Just gotta carve out some time to immerse myself in it. Great to see you!

DungeonBoy
September 25th 2017


3085 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey dude, excellent review to an excellent album. These guys have consistently released fantastic records since Kuu.. and this is no exception. This is easily as great if not better than Pirut and Sorni Nai, but it still needs several listens to fully digest. I'm glad they didn't make Sorni Nai pt II. That album was so ambitious in scope, and it's nice to just hear a collection of individual tracks that all blend together so well.

Digging: Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper

Essence
September 25th 2017


5817 Comments


idk if i'd call them individual songs - they certainly feel themed in tone

Pho3nix
September 25th 2017


351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

'Sorni Nai' was average to me, but I'll def have to check this out



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