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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

5 Ratings

Their finest album to date


There's something about the beginning of a great album, you can just tell it's going to be amazing. That's how I felt when I first listened to Huuro Kolkko. It's tempting to think of this as a return to form for Alamaailman Vasarat, as it brings back many of the more spastic elements from their debut. But really, it's just like any of their other albums: a combination of everything they've learned thus far, with their unmistakable sound, but taken in a new direction.

As of this review, the album has only been in my hot little hands for a few weeks, so I can't fully assess it, beyond saying with complete confidence that it is their best album so far. It's also unique in that, while every other AV album is solid all the way through, and doesn't really have a standout track, Huuro Kolkko definitely does have such a track, and that is Tujuhuju. That song is probably the most fun song *ever*. It is the ultimate AV song, combining all of their greatest tricks into one unstoppable slab of amazing.

About Alamaailman Vasarat

The avant-garde Finnish band Alamaailman Vasarat, which translates to "the Hammers of the Underworld" in English, create music influenced by Klezmer and other forms of European folk music and play it with the ferocity of a punk or metal act. Abandoning major keys for the most part and guitars all together, the group performs on such instruments as a pump organ, saxophone, and distorted cello. Although the basic rhythms the band uses are conventional polka and bossa nova, by speeding them up and adding primal drumming, their intense music has been known to even inspire stage diving.

Alamaailman Vasarat was formed in 1997 as a side project by two members of the avant-garde progressive rock band Höyry-kone: Teemu Hänninen (drums) and Jarno Sarkula (flute, soprano sax, bass). Adding Höyry-kone member Marko Manninen on cello, pump organist Miikka Huttunen, and trombonist Erno Haukkala, the group worked on writing and arranging material in 1998. Later that year, they produced a soundtrack to a short film. In 1999, they began live shows which were surprisingly well-attended and dramatic affairs. Their debut album, Vasaraasia (2000), sold quite well on the European world music market. ~ Geoff Orens


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