Taatsi – Amidst the Trees

TaatsiAn embrace of the morning cold, told through throat-choked whispers. A dying off of fog at dawn, evoked via emotive orchestration. A balance between epic composition and the haunting black metal production techniques of the Second Wave. For all this and more I give you Finland’s Taatsi, and their debut full-length Amidst the Trees. For the sake of the Finnish woodlands and folklore, the duo of ‘A’ and ‘M’ adeptly twist tremolo riffs in and around soaring keyboards that, while melodic, avoid LARPer crowd appeal (ie, more In the Nightside Eclipse than Lord of the Rings – not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you). The guitars themselves aren’t buried in the mix, and with their presence and low-end frequency, actually aid the synths in their creation of another, better world. The drum programming – a staple of this style of atmospheric black metal – impresses with its sophistication; clearly, ‘A’ took his time with the construction of beats and fills, and it shows.
Though Taatsi’s grandiose style thematically ties all seven tracks of Amidst the Trees together, the band subtly dips a toe in other heavy genres as well; for example, on ‘Funeral March Of Hintriikki Peltoniemi’, Taatsi spew forth an all-too-brief doom instrumental that would not be out of place on an old Candlemass album. Album closer ‘Hunts In the Night’s Mind’ displays a variety of tempos and movements, hinting at both the sounds of their more aggressive-style black metal countrymen, and the anvil-smashing traditional metal gods of old.
Feverish and ill, I stare through my window, watching branches and leaves undulating with the wind. Gray skies carry along with them what promises to be unusually cool temperatures for this Summer day, and I sense that the powerful sorrow of Taatsi is the perfect harbinger of – and accompaniment to – this singular moment. The music of Amidst the Trees – as intended – succeeds as solemn backdrop for one’s contemplation of the natural.
Forever Plagued Records

~ by cliftonium on July 23, 2014.

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