Kuolemanlaakso – M. Laakso: Vol. 1: The Gothic Tapes album review

Finnish doomsters Kuolemanlaakso take a gothic rock vacation with new album

Kuolemanlaakso album cover

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As the title suggests, this isn’t a straightforward Kuolemanlaakso album but a solo LP from founding member Markus Laakso, very different from the doom merchants’ normal output.

Swallow The Sun’s Mikko Kotamäki appears on a few tracks as guest growler, but it’s Laakso whose gothic baritone is complemented by occasional warbles from Crimfall’s Helena Haaparanta. On songs such as the full-on Roll The Dice With The Devil and the Temple Of Love-esque Where The River Runs Red, the band’s Finnish miserablism is replaced by flamboyant keyboards and Sisters-style choruses. It’s all more 69 Eyes than Type O with whispers of One Second-era Paradise Lost, Tiamat’s Judas Christ and a smidgen of Cradle Of Filth. A great listen where even the darkest tracks are uplifting.