It’s been a long time since TENHI released a full-length of all new material and as expected, the band do no disappoint. The band further defines and expands upon their unique style of neo progressive Finnish folk music with an ever improving command of dynamics and creativity.
Saivo starts off very serenely and gradually works it way to full volume like the break of dawn over a vast landscape. Second track, “Pojan Kiiski,” makes its subtle entrance with TENHI’s trademark acoustic guitars, trickling water like-piano, soothing vocals, and soulful cello and viola. As the album progresses, it’s clear that the band have worked hard in writing the string arrangements and made them an integral part of Saivo (i.e. ("Sateen Soutu"). And while there are other instruments, such as flute and contrabass, that add textures and character to the songs, the acoustic guitars remain the foundation for TENHI’s sound, as evidenced on songs such as “Pienet Purot” and “Surunoatta.”
The feelings of melancholy, reverie, and solitude form this compelling atmosphere that is undeniable. It often seems as if TENHI are actually manipulating the listener rather than their instruments. It’s not a stretch to say that it’s easy to picture oneself in the middle of Finland’s breathtaking landscapes.
The centerpiece of Saivo has got to be the nine minute plus, “Haaksi.” The song has such strong phrasing and the emotional stringed instrument parts really help to add this natural ebb and flow as well as a type of unique, raw energy. Closing track, “Savoie,” is a beautiful and soothing farewell. TENHI convey this strong feeling of resolution, which makes it perfect as the last song.
The four years of work that the band put into making Saivo certainly shows. The solid songwriting and pure soulfulness are much for TENHI to be proud of. Bravo. (Prophecy Productions)