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Kiuas
The New Dark Age

Company: Spinefarm Records
Release: 2008
Genre: Heavy
Reviewer: Raising Iron

  • Appeals to metal devotees from several different genres



  • Wow, only three years removed from their debut, and Finland's Kiuas are on a tear, releasing their third heavy metal powerhouse, The New Dark Age, in late 2008, with the emphasis being on heavy. Actually, there are tons of different metal elements on display here, invoking reminiscences of bands such as Nevermore, Brainstorm, Blind Guardian, and Grave Digger. But, there's more to these guys than that, as you'll find death metal blast beats on display, keyboards finding their way into the mix from time to time, some grandiose arrangements around chorus time, slight nods to traditional folk melodies, and gruff vocals/chants mixed into the powerful baritone that is Ilja Jalkanen.

    Everything is wrapped up in a pugilistic, domineering, riff-based, face-melting attack that is sure to sate any metalhead's thirst for a neck breaking headbang. What's so damn enjoyable about these guys is, although their music may flirt with the brutality of death metal at times, they are firmly fixated on making heavy, yet accessible songs for the fan not so inclined to travel into worlds populated by Suffocation, Dismember, et al. Also, as stated earlier, there are a number of elements present to appeal to a diverse number of metal devotees from several different genres.

    "The Decaying Doctrine", a scathing opener, musically and lyrically speaking, sets the tone perfectly for the album with its heavy riff and lead chorus. The title track is another serious, heavy-handed punch, which is followed by "To Excel and Ascend", which opens with a Middle Eastern folk flair, moving into another bombastic, sing-along chorus, and ending with the a similar movement to its opening. The ballad, "After the Storm", is a beautifully sung duet with female vocalist Anna-Maija Jalkanen, punctuated with a strong harmony laid over an acoustic guitar progression that is as elegant and enticing as the vocals.

    If you're a fan of almost any sort of metal, then there's something you'll find appealing here, as Kiuas continue to stoke the coals in their sauna with this release. Really, there isn't a clunker or filler to be found here, each song an island-state unto itself, standing tall, proud, and stoic in the light of The New Dark Age!


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: KIUAS
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    The New Dark AgeKiuas
    2008
    Raising Iron2/20/2009


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: KIUAS

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