Picture of Tenhi


Tenhi - Kauan ©1999 Prophecy Productions
1. Näkin Laulu
2. Huomen
3. Revontulet
4. Hallavedit
5. Etäisyyksien Taa
6. Lauluni Sinulle
7. Taival
8. Souto

Tenhi specializes in somber folk rock and stark, minimalist art music, with an arresting sense of the darkly pastoral. The compositions are structurally simplistic, but rich in bleak atmosphere, haunting melody lines and expert instrumentation. Rock bass and percussion forms the backbone of the music for the greater part of the album, a driving percussive core riding beneath repetitious, melancholic acoustic guitar lines, delicate woodwind textures, and finely constructed keyboard ambience. The music has a drifting quality, content to linger on a few spare ideas, somewhat resonant in its spaciousness. The vocals are very slight and unobtrusive, sung in Finnish (translations are provided in the liner notes, which should stave off complaints from Anglophiles) and concerned primarily with the primacy of nature and old Finnish folklore.

Tempos are generally kept slow, with ample space between snare hits; themes are repetitious and uniformly somber, though occasionally quite springy and jovial. Towards the latter part of the album, the focus shifts from folk rock to more Romantic fare, centered on sparse piano work, moody guitar, and droning aural textures (an instrument sounding a lot like a didgeridoo makes a brief appearance). The latter half of the album is far more haunting than the first, imbued with a deeper sense of atmosphere and dark serenity - meditative and vast. The whole album seems bathed in twilight, powerfully evoking an image of deep coniferous forests, bathed in dark grays and blues, enshrouded in an impenetrable fog. So effective is the album at generating a mood, one can almost smell damp vegetation and feel an icy chill when listening to it. Quite nice.

Review by James Slone

Review date: 04/2001

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