Tenhi - Valkama (2023)


After all the new releases and surprise returns from many of our favorite bands, Tenhi was the one we least expected. Marking their first release in nearly 12 years, after the excellent “Saivo”, the band returns with “Valkama”. Featuring 12 tracks and 70 minutes of solemn and enigmatic music, it is like the band never left as the melancholy and mysterious beauty of this release oozes through your speakers. Needing no introduction, if you are into Dark Folk/Neo-folk music, and never heard of Tenhi, you are missing out.

The release kicks off with the gentle and immersive “Saattue”, the band always crafts dark and powerful atmospheres with very minimal instrumentation and this track is a clear example of this. Fully enveloping the listener in the band’s world, “Valkama”, “Kesävihanta”, and “Rannankukka”, are tracks that mix lush acoustic guitars with hypnotic Finnish-only vocal arrangements and very subtle atmospheric arrangements.

Our favorite track in this release has to be the crafty “Hele”, and its very powerful melancholic energy. The vocal arrangements are top notch and the subtle transitions keep the track engaging and dynamic. With very different mods and arrangements, tracks like “Ulapoi”, “Elokuun linnut”, and “Sydämes on tiel” perfectly encapsulate the band’s engaging and very multi-faceted style, sometimes into traditional Folk territories and some other times into dreamy minimalistic lands.

As a whole, “Valkama” is a great addition to the band’s storied career and a killer way to return into the scene on a high note. Each of the 12 tracks in this release are magical in their own way and worth exploring with great attention. If you followed the band over the years, you are correct to expect a high quality release with tons of atmosphere and a hefty dose of darkness and melancholy. As one of the best albums of the genre in 2023, we can only hope the band continues to be active and maybe give some rare live shows in the near future.

Band: Xandria Album: The Wonders Still Awaiting

Label: Prophecy Productions

Release: June 9th, 2023

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Genre: Neo-folk/Dark Folk

Country: Finland

Rating: 97/100

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