Review: “Shadows of Northern Chaos” by Kaamos Warriors

Dark Metallers Kaamos Warriors started life as a duo in the beginning of 2018 in Kempele, Northern Finland. The band, known for combining the melancholy of the North and coldness of winter in their music were joined by bassist Jyri Moilanen for their sophomore album “Shadows of Northern Chaos” with vocalist and guitarist Mikko Ojala of Dark The Suns fame and guitarist Jani Moilanen of R2JBros handling all the other instruments. Mixing and mastering was done by Teemu Liekkala (Lucidity, No Sign Of Life), a no brainer having previously worked on “Sleepwalking In A Nightmare” by Dark The Suns in back in 2010. So how does the follow up to “Ikuisen Talven Sarastus” sound?

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Black Metal onslaught of the album is that the tracks are shorter than most you might find in the genre. Kaamos means “The Polar Night” and so The Polar Night Warriors are the literal “Wolves In Storm” during the opening cut. It’s a blisteringly paced piece of atmospheric work with Symphonic roofs and an wonderful rise and fall that fades out at the two and a half minute mark. “Chaos Walks the Earth” builds a darker atmospheric with some Black Metal growls and a riff bridge that says “the beast is coming” holding together the blast beats and more traditional guitar work. It’s again just two and a half minutes, getting to the point with little fat on its frame. Single “Chaos & Mayhem” which got the full music video treatment is just over two minutes so you get the point. A nicely paced Melodic Dark Metal riff and some gravelly low vocals from Mikko Ojala as he calls forth the bringer of Chaos to the World in a demonic summoning ritual that has never sounded so headbangable. “Ruined by Plague” takes a more traditional Metal approach with some solid rhythmic pounding on the kit and dark riffs that you might expect from a Metalcore band bridging between the Black Metal elements. It’s a fine infusion and the solo is a face melter.

Taking things back to their core sound for title track “Shadow Of Northern Chaos” and adding some beautifully mournful piano work into the mix is a very nice touch to accompany the melodic bridge. It’s a moment of reflection that appears between the chaotic riffs and thunderous drums and as the cycle repeats Mikko Ojala sounds like a Nordic God raining down fire and brimstone between periods of beautiful melodic calm. “Where Shadows Grow” is a dark chugger of a track with the sense of night falling around a cold forest. Short bursts of demonic vocals appear between elongated instrumental passages that showcase the best of the bands talent. There is no verse chorus structure just a dark unclean calling. “Ruins Of Hope” has a film score quality to it with Mikko Ojala sounding like former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera in the “Arise” era and surrounded by the kind of riffage that he wishes he’d had at time. The tale depicts the end of the World as we known it with black clouds engulfing the Earth and the dawning of the apocalypse. A solo into some guitar duelling is a wonderful way to bring the track to a close and you can well imagine someone like Trivium Guitarist Matt Heafy taking inspiration from it. “Moon & Stars” has a synth element which doesn’t add as much as it could, especially when the guitar work is of such high quality. Switching to some orchestral work for the next bridge is well done and the vocals could be incidental when they appear with 90 seconds to go but add a depth and gravity to the sound. This is a master piece of Dark Metal and deserves some serious listening [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Wolves In Storm
  2. Chaos Walks the Earth
  3. Chaos & Mayhem
  4. Ruined by Plague
  5. Shadows Of Northern Chaos
  6. Where Shadows Grow
  7. Ruins Of Hope
  8. Moon & Stars

“Shadows of Northern Chaos” by Kaamos Warriors is out via Inverse Records on 1st November

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