Today is Christmas day, and I cannot imagine listening to anything other than this perfect, beautiful album - Lumikuuro. I listened to it last year at Christmas and it enchanted me from beginning to end. It is the first and, in my opinion, most fluid album by the Russian doom/folk metal band Kauan. Kauan, in Finnish, means something like "a long period of time." The founding member of the band is Anton Belov, a very talented man who has worked in a few other projects (Inea, Strecosa, Helengard). Violinist Lyubov Mushnikova joined the band later on, with a few other session musicians to help orchestrate this god-tier music.
Lumikuuro, which means "Flurry," masterfully blends neofolk, classical, doom metal, and maybe even black metal. The perfectly placed distances between the darker, more doom metal parts and the softer, jazzier/classical sections make the album like a journey to be traversed and enjoyed. The variety of instruments and musical ideas are seemingly endless as well, and perhaps that is what catches me every time I listen. There is a melancholy beauty to be found at every corner of Lumikuuro, a radiant gleam of bittersweet light. I think "Koivun Ela" will always be my favorite track, but I'm growing more and more fond of the acoustic version of "Syleily Sumu."