Tenhi – Saivo (2011)

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After five years of ‘silence’, Tenhi band finally returns with another mystical exploration into the dark realms of neo-folk music with “Saivo”. Keeping their very dark yet lush sound intact, the band delivers 12 tracks of majestic compositions that push the boundaries of Tenhi’s sound into less traveled areas of musical exploration.

Four years in the making, “Saivo” marks the band’s best release to date. This is due to the complexity of the songs presented and the amazing atmosphere created in this release. The dark and minimalistic passages are always present while the enigmatic vocals push the somber atmosphere into darker places. If you never heard of Tenhi before, it is very hard to find a way to explain how something this somber can be as beautiful as it is, so we strongly recommend you check out some of the band’s earlier material.

The album starts with “Saivon Kimallus”, a very powerful and dark tune that nicely sets the mood for what is next to come. Not much is revealed in the opening track, but it leaves the very high for “Pojan Kiiski” to capitalize on. This track immediately delivers superb (and dark) vocals paired on top of simple percussions and excellent acoustic guitars. The band’s signature sound is very identifiable in this track and when the cello’s come in, it is just sublime.

Keeping up with the band’s tradition of somber and minimalist songs, “Uloin” is one of the best songs in this release due to its very depressive strings and perfectly timed flutes and vocals. Lasting 8 minutes, this track is an excellent example of how Tenhi excels in slowly building up momentum and always delivering excellent climaxing moments in their songs. After the exploratory “Pienet Purot” and “Sateen Soutu” tracks, the next highlight comes with the name of “Haaksi”. In this track the atmosphere is initially created by the guitars and vocal harmonies while it suddenly explodes into a faster paced and cello accompanied majestic segment. It is truly majestic how Tenhi can play with the mood of a track and instantly make it brighter before turning back into a dark corner.  

The minimalist “Surunuotta” and “Vuoksi” as quintessential Tenhi songs, in the sense that they create their trademark hypnotic sound. The choir arrangements on “Sees” are bone-chilling and will take you by surprise since there is nothing like this previously in the album, but they nicely change the pace of things and bring a nice surprise to our ears. Closing the album we have “Siniset Runot”, a track that reminded us a bit of Empyrium’s dark and romantic sound, but with the Tenhi traditional vocals and an even darker shroud of mystery behind the song.

All these years without a Tenhi release have been worth the wait since “Saivo” is beyond amazing. This album features all the traditional elements of the band with an increased level of musical maturity. Each track is majestically composed and every detail claims for attention. We had to listen to this release over 20 times before we could even make up our minds on how to express the beauty hidden in each of the 12 tracks in this release. If you are a fan of Tenhi and/or dark neo-folk music, you will immediately fall in love with this amazing album.

Band: Tenhi Album: Saivo
Label: Prophecy Productions

Release: November 25th, 2011

Oficial Site myspace
Genre: Dark Neo-Folk Metal

Country: Finland

Rating: 96/100
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