|Review: Kiuas - Reformation|
Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 2006
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: January 5, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Rated 3.3/5 (66%) (10 Votes)
Following up superlative debut The Spirit Of Ukko was always going to be a mammoth task for Kiuas. After hearing TSOU, even I had my doubts that these guys could match the sheer power and energy of that album. Here we are though, with album number two from these guys, and upon first play all doubts went out the window. See what Kiuas do is what so many bands strive for these days, and that is to be able to have an entirely identifiable sound of their own, and that alone shows these guys deserve more recognition in the metal scene.
Drawing comparisons with debut TSOU there are some ever so slight changes in the sound. For one these guys have fine-tuned their sound, making everything sound very streamlined which is not a bad thing. However some of that wild energy that made their debut so exciting is lost in the process. The guitar tone is vastly superior on Reformation, and Mikko Salovaara's guitar work is simply stunning here, cementing himself as one of the more inventive players on the circuit today; Alexi Laiho to the back of the classroom. The band as a whole is very talented. Atte Tanskanen's keyboards are perfect as ever, not too high in the mix and never overpowering the sound - just enhancing it. Singer Ilja Jalkanen's awesome range and inimitable voice are as fantastic as ever, and the rhythm section of Teemu Tuominen and Markku Näreneva (bass and drums respectively) hold this raging beast together.
Assaulting the speakers, "Race With The Falcons" opens up the album in typical Kiuas fashion with a vicious melting pot of styles. Fasten your seatbelts because the album won't let up from this point onwards. You might recall me mentioning earlier that a little of their wild energy was lost from their debut? Well that's not to say these guys aren't fucking wild anymore. I guess the best way to describe the differences between Reformation and their debut is to say that whilst TSOU was a diamond, it suffered in places from a little too much going on,. With Reformation they've sorted that problem right out.
Standout tracks on offer here include "Through The Ice Age", Power Metal anthem "The New Chapter", the Children Of Bodom styling's of "Of Ancient Wounds", the smoking riffage of "Call Of The Horns" and my personal favorite track, "Black Winged Goddess", with its wild blast beats and crushing riffs. To be honest though there isn't really a bad track here and fans of TSOU will find hours of enjoyment. If you haven't heard these guys before, get their debut first and then buy Reformation - you won't be disappointed. Highly Recommended!
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