Blackgaze can be considered a subgenre of black metal, massively contaminated with atmospheric and dreamy elements, which mostly derive from shoegaze, a branch of alternative rock born in the United Kingdom during the late ’80s, and all-in-all feels like a mixture of aggressive and ethereal sounds. The band EINVIGI – founded in Turku and active since 2014, after an EP and a single, respectively released in 2017 and in 2018 – came back with a full length release called “Sielulintu,” which was released on December 11th, 2020, via the Finnish label Inverse Records.
This album seems to be very much in line with the main features of the blackgaze genre, but a hint of progressive rock is immediately detected, as much as some typically folk rock elements. Starting from the title, which refers to the soul bird, a symbol of the ancient Finnish religion that has inspired many artists and poets in the past, and the use of the Finnish language for the lyrics, there are some peculiar traits that make this album one of a kind.
The excellent drumming on the opening song, “Soturin Uni,” along with its soft mood (especially in the first part), works as a sort of backbone in order to make the whole thing intense and colorful at the same time. “Alttarille” is slightly reminiscent of the softer side of OPETH, especially in its final part, even though it can be considered to be a rather peculiar blackgaze tune because of its combination of clean vocals and growls, plus the aggressive drumming and ethereal guitar sound. The following song, “Noitajoki,” truly feels like progressive rock from the ’70s with a strong pop-oriented vibe. The clean vocals tend to be a bit cheesy every now and then, but the rhythm section keeps the tune on the right track, as much as the backing vocals, which feel very nostalgic and old fashioned.
“Synty” has a lullaby-like general feeling and is massively influenced by ALCEST, who are one of the main bands in the contemporary blackgaze scene. Hypnotic vibes and folkish elements create a nice atmosphere, then harsh vocals make things a bit more interesting and lively. The fifth song on the album is the title track, “Sielulintu,” which shows a fairly dramatic vibe, especially in the first part, and a fairly good bass line that makes a big difference in an otherwise fairly boring tune. The last song is “Korven Yllä Tanssivat Taivaan Tulet” and, I have to say, it saves the situation so to speak – in spite of its duration of over 8 minutes, it sounds really fresh, with a hint of melancholy and different layers of complexity due to its several patterns and changes in the rhythmic structure, and the vocals fit perfectly as well. The acoustic fade-out is a touch of class. Images of Finnish nature and beautiful landscapes get the listener’s mind since the very start of the tune, so this closing track also works as a summary of the album itself.
In conclusion, I would say that “Sielulintu” by EINVIGI is a pretty good album with not very many weak spots. The ability of the band to create impressive soundscapes is excellent, as well as their compositional style and skills.
Written by Licia Mapelli
- Soturin uni
- Korven Yllä Tanssivat Taivaan Tulet
Joonas Koppanen – Bass, Vocals
Henri Sund – Drums
Petteri Granberg – Guitars, Vocals
Krister Virtanen – Guitars