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

Finnish doomsters Kuolemanlaakso take a gothic rock vacation with new album

Kuolemanlaakso album cover

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

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.