14 Jul 2017

Kimi Kärki: "Eye for an Eye"

Partially derivative, but much more so coloured through by his own style and aesthetic
Kimi Kärki should be known to most fans of doom metal as the lead guitarist of Reverend Bizarre and Lord Vicar. But he's a man of many talents, as his lengthy career would suggest; He's also involved in progressive rock outfit Orne, psychonauts Uhrijuhla and Berliner Schule-revivalists E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr. Furthermore, he's quite adept as a classic folk guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, as evident on both his solo debut, The Bone of My Bones, and now on his sophomore effort, Eye for an Eye.

The Finnish musician ventures furhter down the intricate network of roots of traditional folk, ending up with a recipe gleefully reminiscent of the likes of Nick Drake, early Leonard Cohen and Jackson C. Frank. His musings are by now not as melancholic or airy as earlier, but the vocalisations are as careful as ever - both in concept, planning and execution.

"Beyond Distance reveals a songwriter more willing to take chances with the go-to format of folk music,"

The ex-Reverend Bizarre axehandler has a way with deceptively simple arpeggiated string play. This was already obvious on The Bone of My Bones, but with songs like Augurs of Winter he further cements that notion. Songwriting as seen on Beyond Distance reveals a songwriter more willing to take chances with the go-to format of folk music, and thusly approaches a more ambitious result than earlier, without departing too much from what makes that recipe special. On that track in particular the powerful vocal delivery clashes with the sombre guitar strings, to do something entirely different than what we're all used to.

One hallmark of Kärki's style is the way he lets an electric guitar ring ever so faintly in a lingering background, which lends to his music a feeling of fragile pools of sound disturbed by the tiniest disruption, and this element he has not yet abandoned. Together with the dry timbre of his singing, the result is wholeheartedly nostalgic, down to earth and grounded in the simple, stark reality of his lyrical universe. Eye for an Eye is a very honest album, the perfect amalgam between old and new, borrowing from others and elements of the songwriter himself.


Released in 2017 by Svart Records


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