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Taatsi - Amidst The Trees
25 July 2014

01. Malign Ghost Of The Woods
02. A Moonlight Journey Through The Midwinter Forest
03. Gateways Of The North
04. Beneath The Hills They Sing
05. Circle Of The Firmament
06. Funeral March Of Hintriikki Peltoniemi
07. Hunts In The Night's Mind

Atmospheric black metal has never seemed to be devoid of a diversity of sound, with even some of the most popular bands having a fair degree of distinction amongst themselves, and it can be interesting to see how each band formats their songwriting approach. Particularly, does the black metal take precedence, or do the atmospheric elements? In the case of Taatsi, it's fortunately a little of both.

The formula for Amidst The Trees, the debut from these Finnish newcomers, is fairly simple: raw, mid-paced black metal with an epic lyrical theme (about trees, I think), and a heavy keyboard presence that serves as the primary mood enhancer for the album. The keyboard effects weave around the black metal in a way that helps to build it up to its climax, such as on "A Moonlight Journey Through The Midwinter Forest," or "Circle Of The Firmament." This technique sometimes comes across as bearing a slight resemblance to the compositional style of classical music, and indeed, some moments throughout Amidst The Trees conjure subtle thoughts of A Forest Of Stars.

The production of Taatsi's debut album, however, may be its defining feature. It displays a pleasant balance between being roughly cut, bearing a resemblance to the murky winter mist of black metal's early days, but also refined and well audible in regards to the more atmospheric parts of the music. Amidst The Trees thus feels something like an old school BM album with a bit of a modern update, mixing the subgenre's classic sound with some more recent innovations, especially on the instrumental "Funeral March Of Hintriikki Peltoniemi."

Finland has never seen a scarcity of good black metal bands, neither in the past nor in the current eras, and Taatsi continue to prove this standard true with their debut album. While perhaps not overly original, it's definitely well-written, with a good atmosphere that is present and important in the composition without overpowering the black metal either. If you've been looking for a black metal band that keeps things old school, yet also relevant in sound, Taatsi may very well be worth your listen.

Check out a track over here, and stay tuned for the full release.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8

Band profile: Taatsi
Album: Amidst The Trees


Written on 16.07.2014 by
Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.
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M C Vice - 16.07.2014 at 06:28  
The review makes me think of Obsidian Gate or Woods Of Desolation.
Apothecary - 17.07.2014 at 05:11  
Written by M C Vice on 16.07.2014 at 06:28

The review makes me think of Obsidian Gate or Woods Of Desolation.

I would say more of the former, but they're still far from being a clone of them.
Erik M. - 21.07.2014 at 22:49  
Sounds interesting, as I'm always interested in atmospheric black metal. Will check this out when the full album is on Bandcamp.

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