Kimi Kärki: The Bone of My Bones

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Kimi Kärki: The Bone of My Bones
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Kimi Kärki: The Bone of My Bones
Folk Rock
Svart Records
December 5th, 2013
Release length: 35:38
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Kimi Kärki is a Finnish cultural historian who is known for his compositions for bands like Uhrijuhla, E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, as well as Reverend Bizarre among others. After years of sobering performances in high caliber groups, Kimi has officially journeyed into the solo realm with his self-titled project. The Bone of My Bones is the debut recording, crafting an emotional Experimental Folk Rock sound through seven brand new songs. But, is this something fans of his work will warmly embrace, or is this acoustic recording far from anything intriguing?

For the most part, there’s little experimentation going on with the recording. Instead, you get beautiful, often emotional performances of the same quality as a Johnny Cash album, just a little less rebellious. The Bone of My Bones has a very intimate atmosphere, capturing the spirit of an early fifties acoustic group’s vinyl album perfectly for a modern age. The soft clean singing coupled with female vocals throughout adds to the often natural atmospheres, such as during “I Am Aries.” The short song immediately lets you know what this album is about, and the technical, mid-tempo guitar chords cast a beautiful atmosphere against some really dismal lyrics in a way that could easily make for a solid Viking Metal song if it weren’t an unplugged Rock song.

“My Name is Free” is a truly beautiful piece that stands out a little more thanks to the background organs that appear in key spots. While acting more as a bridge, it does hit during the chorus to give it a little extra passion, and even replace that of a real violin around the three minute mark for a slightly raw sounding solo. The additional soft female vocals offer a nice contrast to the soothing deeper clean male leads, allowing the song to carry a sixties Rock vibe until the effects at the end take you into a Space Rock atmosphere that “The Lord Who Never Sleeps” benefits from. The opening notes actually have more of an icy depressive tone that gives the upbeat bard verses more of a grand memorial.

The only issue with this album is the final song, “Taxiarch.” The performance is pretty rich, but that’s where the faults seem to lie. Compared to the six previous tracks, it sounds incredibly busy and technical. The additional electric guitars in the background take the depression angle into Depressive Black Metal territory, not to mention offer some really annoying higher pitched feedback that isn’t just loud, but also seems to mask or give a static-like rumble that comes off as if a lawn mower in the distance that gets louder as the once intimate audio volume increases. While it has traits some songs like the more enthusiastic “Red Rooster,” this pushes the Experimental Folk Rock aspect a bit too far, and it just doesn’t work at all.

Other than the final track, The Bone of My Bones is a solid piece of early Folk Rock for a modern age. The emotional performances and lyrics here speak to devastation, depression, and even the beauty of nature and memorials. It’s an astounding mixture that will even take the preconceived notions about hippy stereotypes and dismisses them by bringing the style back to its emotional roots, though an agenda like that was probably more an accident than a goal of Kimi Kärki. Either way, The Bone of My Bones is an impressive debut album from one of the most influential names in Metal today, and is a must for fans of his work, or just genuine and moving music.

01. I Am Aries – 2:54
02. Red Rooster – 3:01
03. Young Goodman Brown – 5:52
04. My Name is Free – 5:29
05. The Lord Who Never Sleeps – 3:49
06. Archipelago – 5:39
07. Taxiarch – 8:54
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Kimi Kärki

Digital review copy of this release provided by Svart Records.