Alamaailman Vasarat - Huuro Kolkko

The Hammers of Hell (their name translated into English) return for their fifth great album! Their unique, heavy sound, which combines folk forms and RIO complexity and extended instrumenation remain in place and the band consists of Jarno Sarkula-saxes, clarinets, Erno Haukkala-trombone, tuba & piccolo trombone, Miikka Huttunen-pump organ, grand piano & melodica, Tuukka Helminen-cello, Marko Manninen-cello and Teemu Hanninen-drums and percussion. This is a concept album and we'll let the band explain the concept, but anyway, this is another excellent listen from a very dependable ensemble who can always be counted on!

"Early 2008 Alamaailman Vasarat was contacted by a long-time Finnish fan Richard Kolkko. He had recently inherited a strange package of old photos, broken insect collection boxes, notes and a rugged journal from a distant relative Huuro Kolkko. A Finnish explorer from the early 1900's, Huuro Kolkko was never recognized by his fellow scientists but nevertheless rambled many continents on his own without any official funding or promise of fame among public let alone his peers. During his travels, he made extensive studies of local cultures, drew maps of areas never visited by man and collected specimens of insects, flora and wild life. Mentioned in the journals are also some vague rumors of lost islands or even a small continent Huuro Kolkko supposedly found during his various travels. While it is somewhat unclear whether this actually happened or not, it surely makes a good story and this is what brought the unknown explorer and Alamaailman Vasarat together. Richard Kolkko, a big fan of Alamaailman Vasarat, knew that we also had our own imaginary continent called Vasaraasia (Hammer Asia, also a title of our debut album from 2000). Richard contacted Alamaailman Vasarat and showed some journals and notes of Huuro Kolkko. Needless to say, the band was immediately drawn to the subject. _Late spring 2008, hugely inspired by Huuro Kolkko’s travels and heritage, Alamaailman Vasarat decided to make a concept album based on his journeys. During pre-production period summer and early autumn 2008, the band leader and woodwind player Stakula composed most of the music, made early arrangements and planned the concept album from start to finish, all based on Huuro Kolkko’s journals and notes. Late October 2008 the band flew to Italy and drove up the hills of Tuscany to a remote villa called Il Basso. The band was immensely inspired by the beautiful Tuscany autumn and calm countryside isolation which made it possible to really concentrate on the difficult creation process at hand. During an intensive week of arranging and composing the band recorded most of the songs for the album. The rest of the tracking was done in several studios and halls in Helsinki and finally mixed and mastered in late March 2009. Like many times before, Alamaailman Vasarat explored various music styles, orchestrations and recording techniques during the whole artistic process. Some songs were recorded fully alive with the whole band in one hall while some tracks required careful arranging and testing of various orchestrations in the tracking stage before the final form was revealed. Once again the instrument palette was expanded from the previous albums. The latest addition is a roaring beast called Tubax, a contrabass saxophone with an unbelievable range, tone and versatility. Built by German instrument builder Benedikt Eppelsheim specifically for Stakula, Tubax has made a lasting impression on people who’ve heard and seen it alive. On this album, both her aggressive energy and gentleness are immortalized for the first time in the band’s history. In addition to Tubax, the cellist Marko Manninen debuted as a Theremin artist with a self-made, oddly fish-shaped instrument which wails hauntingly in the opening track. The unbelievably raw and distinctive sound of Alamaailman Vasarat is by no means accomplished by the band alone. Under the direction of the producer Stakula, a long-time collaborator Mikko Poikolainen, super talented man behind the band's live sound as well as the last album Maahan, took the whole soup in his magical hands and shook it till it was mixed to a final masterpiece it now is."

You can hear their music here

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  • LabelLaskeuma
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