Tenhi - _Saivo_
(Prophecy Productions, 2011)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
It's hard to believe these Finnish masters of dark folk hadn't released a new full-length album since 2006, but it soon becomes apparent when listening to _Saivo_ that they have lost none of their stunning ability. Even though main members and composers Tyko Saarikko and Ilmari Issakainen have lost the contribution of Ilkka Salminen, who had been with the band since its inception, there is a sense of tranquil continuity mingled with evolution throughout _Saivo_.

Layered acoustics, soft piano, occasional subdued percussion and sombre but soothing Finnish male vocals serve as Tenhi's building blocks for the duration of _Saivo_'s 70 minutes. Tenhi show their expertise at creating dark folk songs that can range from delightful and entertaining to at times downright tragic. The album unfolds at a leisurely pace, but the songwriting does not necessarily tend to stagnate; there are new elements to be discovered at every turn, allowing for rewarding multiple listens. The foundations upon which the music is built remain much the same as before, so you need to enjoy the peculiar vocal style and the mood spectrum Tenhi operate in if you are to stand a chance of getting into the album.

The only aspect where I find _Saivo_ somewhat lacking concerns the absence of a real dramatic highlight akin to its main predecessors -- "Paluu Joelle" gets close to that emotional intensity, but for such a long album I really hoped for more of that. While that might have taken _Saivo_ to a different level, it still contains some of Tenhi's best work to date and remains a fine, delicate album; a pleasure to immerse yourself in at the end of the day.

(article published 4/3/2012)


ALBUMS
10/29/2006 P Azevedo 7.5 Tenhi - Airut:aamujen
2/20/2006 P Azevedo 9.5 Tenhi - Maaäet
5/13/2003 P Azevedo 8 Tenhi - Vare
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