Mustan Kuun Lapset – “Saatto” (Inverse Records)
Resurrected from the depths last year, legendary Finnish dark metal group Mustan Kuun Lapset have returned in fine style on this 5th album! Formed as early as 1993, MKL soldiered through various line ups, putting out singles and full length releases until finally running out of steam in 2007, but not before establishing a cult following. Named after the ‘Children of the Black Moon’, MKL is a rich blend of dark metal infusing black metal elements from the band’s early beginnings with strong folk melodies to create deep and passionate music, be it heavy or light! Still with the core of founders guitarist Pete Lehtinen and drummer Mikko Hautala, their veteran presence more than makes its mark in superb compositions like the bombastic pagan epic of ‘Peikonmieli’, dexterously mixing the different styles to create the exciting and emotional music that makes MKL so special. Employing a dual vocal approach of raw screamo and hoarse guttural, it all adds even more to the atmospheric effect on ‘Kuolemanvirta’, especially with those catchy folk melodies from lead guitarist Heikki Piipari, skillfully woven into the material. Equally, the band show the confidence of their years in the superb ‘Valkoinen satama – Tyven’, with its gentle acoustic guitars and ethereal female vocals in this full blown folk piece. “Saatto” is 9 tracks of musical bliss and I was more than moved by its heartfelt effect, proving that this hugely talented band cannot be ignored a second time round!