FINNUGOR 'Darkness Needs Us' (New Aeon Media) (2004)
Here is one release that will make many people reconsider their position over how Symphonic Black Metal must sound.
Finnugor (which actually means Finnish-Hungarian) is the project of Gabriel Wolf (a quite well-known Hungarian musician who also plays for Infra Black and The Flow), and Tomi Kalliola (a musician from Finland who also participates in Azaghal and Hin Onde) who both share the same passion about this very artistic form of extreme music.
Normally, when people are introduced to a new Symphonic Black Metal band, the first thing that comes to their mind is that they would probably have to deal with another Cradle Of Filth clone - a logical reaction especially since there are so many around these days. Well, thatís not the case with this band: I was pleasantly surprised by the originality of the compositions and the unique atmosphere that the above-mentioned musicians and their unique guests managed to create, the result of which is called "Darkness Needs Us".
The best way to describe Finnugorís music is by saying that they combine the Epic Black Metal melodies of Ancient Rites, with the dark atmospheric parts of the last two Burzum albums, both dressed up with the aggressiveness of Mayhem. Since I mentioned Mayhem, I am happy to say that one of the most important musicians in Black Metal music, Attila Csihar (the one responsible for the vocals in Mayhemís "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas") donated his voice for the opening track of the album "Darkness Needs Us".
The list of guest musicians also includes, among others, RMS Hreidmarr (Anorexia Nervosa), Christopher B.Wildman (Asgaroth) and Morfeus (Limbonic Art).
All these very talented musicians managed to create what I would call a Black Metal soundtrack. Their ally in this very difficult task was the unique production that was achieved by Gabriel Wolf, and the amazing vocal performances, the likes of which I have never heard before. Extra praise is due to Konstantin "Bonez" Viktorov for the quite inspiring CD cover design, and also to Szendrei Tibor for the dragon paintings on both the front and back cover.
"Darkness Needs Us" is like a soundtrack of an Epic movie Ė you cannot start watching a movie half way through the story, and that means that the album should be treated as a unity. There are moments, though, that I can single out from the album, and these are "Drakness Needs Us"(featuring Attila Csihar), "Lord of the Darkest Freedom", "Wings of Kryy"and "Forest of Bane".
I have read many reviews on the Internet about Finnugor, half of which refer to a phenomenal band, and others that have presented their music as "Cradle Of Filth revisited by Donald Duck".
I believe that "Darkness Needs Us" will prove the former right, and the latter wrong. Get your hands on this CD, and find out the reason why Cradle Of Filthís throne is shaking.
Review by John Stefanis