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Tenhi Kauan album cover
3.68 | 33 ratings | 5 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Näkin Laulu / The Chant Of Näkki (7:41)
2. Huomen / Morrow (6:46)
3. Revontulet / Northern Lights (3:43)
4. Hallavedet / The Glacial Waters (7:32)
5. Etäisyyksien Taa / Beyond Distances (5:52)
6. Lauluni Sinulle / Mavourneen's Song (5:42)
7. Taival / Straying (6:44)
8. Soutu / Drift (8:20)

Total time 52:20

Bonus tracks on 2004 reissue:
9. Kielo (drum/violin alt version) (12:26)
10. Niin Auer Hiljaa Vie (7:36)

Line-up / Musicians

- Tyko Saarikko / vocals, synth, guitar, effects
- Ilkka Salminen / guitar, vocals, drums
- Ilmari Issakainen / bass, guitar, grand piano, percussion, backing vocals

- Veera Partanen / flute (4,6)
- Eleonora Lundell / violin

Releases information

Artwork: band

CD Prophecy Productions ‎- PRO 017 (1999, Germany)
CD Prophecy Productions ‎- PRO 017 (2004, Germany) With 2 bonus tracks

LP Prophecy Productions ‎- PRO 017 LP (2017, Germany)

Thanks to chamberry for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TENHI Kauan ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TENHI Kauan reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars I have to say that I found Tenhi’s debut album to be rather boring, particularly when considered as a progressive folk work. Like Sigur Rós, this is a band that blurs the lines between neo-folk, post-rock and ambient music. Also like Sigur Rós, and somewhat in the vein of 3rd & the Mortal, the mood is generally pretty dark, with sporadic background vocal chanting that evokes the Nordic land from whence they come.

The lineup would eventually expand to include a cellist, flautist and a couple violinists, but on this debut there are only the three founding members and violinist Eleonora Lundell, who apparently officially joined the lineup around the time of this release but is pictured in the album’s artwork apart from the other members and facing away from the camera for some reason.

The copy I have is from the fourth issue of the album, a tastefully laid-out digipack with what appear to be poems representing the themes of the various tracks written in both Finnish and an old script form of English. I say these must be poems instead of lyrics because other than the unintelligible chanting from time to time there are no vocals on the album. This version also features two lengthy bonus tracks (“Kielo” and “Niin Auer Hiljaa Vie”) which are apparently not found on the other releases.

The music is quite dreary, dark and cold, consisting mostly of guitars, violin, a very sparse bass, and various percussive and synthetic sounds. Most of the tracks amount to guitar noodling around some riff repeated for several minutes with very minor variations and accented by the violin and percussion. Nothing earth-shaking or really all that original.

The one track that picks up a little bit of steam is “Mavourneen's Song” with a slightly ambitious strumming guitar and about the only vocals that seem to have a point, but unfortunately they also appear to be in Finnish. The English translation in the liner notes lead me to believe this is some sort of dysfunctional love song, but unless you’re a Goth type the message probably won’t appeal to you much.

Following this is “Straying” with some austere but rather beautiful piano and more Finnish vocals. I must say the vocalist (when you can make him out) sounds quite a bit like the Hungarian Péter Pejtsik of After Crying. The piano theme continues on “Drift”, but by the time the bonus tracks roll around the sound is back to bleak Nordic gloom and guitar strumming. “Niin Auer Hiljaa Vie” in particular is quite depressing.

Sometimes I pick up imports like this on a whim based on brief descriptions of the band I’ve read somewhere and a hunch. With this one I have to say I’m a bit underwhelmed, and wouldn’t really recommend this too much except to people who are into dark, snow-crusted and gloomy ambient music. If that sounds like you then you might get off on this album; otherwise, I think this is probably best left to fans of the band. Two stars, almost but not quite three.


Review by kenethlevine
4 stars Eclecticism can woo you with best of breed haunches where every cut offers its own distinct flavor, like the vildebeest, or it can tuck you in under its uniform quilt from which you are both unwilling and unable to emerge until its promise is consummated. Of course, even though each panel absorbs you a little more, before you can be released you are primed for another night of staring emptily at the stars from beneath it. Such is the effect of this mammoth debut release of Finnish neo folk group TENHI.

Simply arranged with strummed acoustic and electric guitars in generally slow tempos; drearily resigned vocals lurking beneath an already sombre surface; occasional morose violin effected in a Northeastern European style, and elegant synthesizer washes, the austere and stark beauty of "Kauan is a triumph of resiliency. It scratches several itches at once, in places that may have been ignored for years, nay, millenia. While nothing here could be said to be entirely distinctive on its own, its 52 minute bearskin nuzzle imparts what poseurs haven't dared to dream, let alone live. It might be facile to attribute this authenticity to the bleak wintry cycle of far northern climes, but if the snowshoe fits....

Influences like PINK FLOYD are in evidence in the more plodding sections, but the sound is closer in spirit to bands like PROMETHEAN from Norway, especially on the almost vivacious "Revontulet" and the symphonic low wattage power ballad "Hallavedet". I suspect the band is also versed in local traditional folk. Smigeons of doom and metal lurk but without the growls and decibels, leaving an essence that few have distilled, and I hear echoes of early medieval tinged Goth a la "Tears" by STRAWBS or "When I was on Horseback" by STEELEYE SPAN. The last couple of tracks are more brocaded and unstructured, which might appeal more to some here but come across as a few ideas that turned into pumpkins even though such transformation was not stipulated in the original bargain.

I have listened to the subsequent TENHI albums and this ranks as one of their best, as it's a unified work that is adventurous, accessible, and infused with the sage melancholy of the elders.

Review by Warthur
4 stars This debut album by Tenhi sets a solid precedent and blueprint for the style that reached its apotheosis on their third album. Taking up the torch of Ulver's haunting Kveldssanger, it presents a lush style of dark folk music that explores brooding, esoteric atmospheres that at points come close to the less martial industrial-influenced sections of neofolk. (In particular, where neofolk would tend to slip in industrial influences, Tyko Saarikko's synthesisers here are instead deployed with a much lighter touch.) But there's an epic sweep to proceedings which reveals in it the kernel of Tenhi's distinctive sound. Tenhi would eventually produce better, but this is already a very good start.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I have become a lover of the music made by scandinavian bands. I don't know what they put in the music, which is the secret ingredient that makes the flavour and smell so fabulous and inspiring to me. I am not only talking about prog music, I am talking about rock music in general terms. I think ... (read more)

Report this review (#379274) | Posted by migue091 | Thursday, January 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Personally, i feel that this album is one of the best neofolk albums ever made. Most other neofolk like Death In June and Ulver's Kveldssanger just didn't have the epic feel and atmosphere of Kauan. This album has a decent amount of variation as well, ranging from the jumpy violins of Revontulet t ... (read more)

Report this review (#174262) | Posted by yoshixpert | Tuesday, June 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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