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TENHI

Prog Folk • Finland


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Tenhi biography
Tenhi (an old Finnish word meaning village elder) are a "folk-influenced progressive group" from Finland. It all began in the end if 1996 when Tyko Saarikko composed the firsts songs for a demo tape which was released in 1997. Ilkka Salminen joined Tyko when recording the demo tape called "Kertomuksia" The tape caught the attention of a German label and they got a record deal. Ilmari Issakainen joined the group before the recording of their mini CD, "Hallavedet", and since then the three-man core of the group was set. In 1999, before releasing their first full-lenght album, "Kauan", violinist Eleonora Lundell joined the band and later after that, when recording their mini CD called "Airut:Ciwi", flutist Veera Partanen joined the band. In 2000 they made their first live debut in the Karjaa Faces festivals and a new member was introduced. Flute player, Janina Lehto, replaced Partanen in the concert and also became a full time member. In the recording of their second full-lenght album, "Väre", violinist Inka Eerola joined the group. Sadly the album faced some problems and it was released in 2002. In 2006 their third album, "Mäaaet", saw the light of day along with the follow-up of their Airut saga, "Airut:Aamujen".

Tenhi is a neofolk group with a very somber and cold sound. They have certain post-rock leanings due to their dark atmosphere they create. If you're a fan of dark, mellancholic music, post-rock and folk music with a Nordic sound then Tenhi is for you.

- Ruben Dario (Chamberry) -



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Approved by the Prog Folk Team.



Discography:
Kertomuksia, EP (1997)
Promo Tape, EP (1997)
Hallavedet, studio album (1998)
Kauan, studio album (1999)
Airut:Ciwi, studio album (2000)
Väre, studio album (2002)
Mäaaet, studio album (2006)
Airut:Aamujen, studio album (2006)

Tenhi official website

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TENHI Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy TENHI Music


Folk Aesthetics 1996-2006Folk Aesthetics 1996-2006
Prophecy 2010
Audio CD$24.18
$27.50 (used)
SaivoSaivo
Prophecy Productions 2011
Audio CD$7.20
$5.40 (used)
MaaaetMaaaet
Prophecy 2010
Audio CD$14.07
$20.41 (used)
VäreVäre
Prophecy 2010
Audio CD$15.96
$22.30 (used)
KauanKauan
Prophecy 2010
Audio CD$13.44
$20.41 (used)
Airut:AamujenAirut:Aamujen
Prophecy 2010
Audio CD$14.29
$20.41 (used)
The Collected WorksThe Collected Works
Soulfood Import (Soulfood)
Vinyl$310.59
Tenhi / Väre / Germany / Prophecy Productions / 2002 [Vinyl]Tenhi / Väre / Germany / Prophecy Productions / 2002 [Vinyl]
Prophecy Productions
Vinyl$225.00 (used)
HallavedetHallavedet
Import · Single
Audio CD$8.00 (used)
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More places to buy TENHI music online Buy TENHI & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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TENHI shows & tickets


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TENHI discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TENHI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 15 ratings
Kauan
2000
3.50 | 13 ratings
Väre
2003
4.09 | 21 ratings
Maaäet
2006
4.00 | 8 ratings
Airut Aamujen
2006
4.06 | 12 ratings
Saivo
2011

TENHI Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TENHI Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TENHI Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 4 ratings
Folk Aesthetic 1996-2006
2007

TENHI Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

TENHI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Airut Aamujen by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.00 | 8 ratings

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Airut Aamujen
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars According to the band's website, this album originally came about due to them wanting to pursue musical themes that they had started with the song "Kielo" from their 'Airut:Ciwi' album which was originally released in 2001. The resulting album was released on their own label in 2004 under the name of Harmaa. However, now that they have signed to Auerbach the album has been resurrected and has been released under the name of Tenhi as they do feel that it fits in within their Airut saga. For those, like me, who only came across them with the release eight months ago of 'Maaäet' then this is yet another joy. Here the only instrumentation comes from Ilmari Issakainen who provides drums, piano and bass, while there are two singers in Tyko Saarikko and Janina Lehto and a backing singer in Tuuka Tolvanen.

I have to confess to burning this onto my ipod before I even listened to it, but I knew that I wouldn't be disappointed and that is most definitely the case. There is a great deal of power and emotion in this atmospheric album. This is music that captures the mind and brings the listener right into a dark world, a forest where at times the light comes through the trees which is shown with a lighter touch. Considering that this is basically a piano album I am amazed at just how they have managed to capture so many moods and feelings. I am very glad that this has been reissued by the label and hope that they also pick up on some of the other now deleted goodies from the band's past. www.prophecyproductions.de

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 Saivo by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.06 | 12 ratings

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Saivo
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars In the woods

It is so cold outside. I nearly fainted this morning stepping out of the front-door - feeling the frosty air gripping a hold of my lungs with an iron fisted grip. Everything is covered in powdered snow, and even the cheeky neighbourhood gang of cats stays inside - preferably curled up beside a warm fireplace hoping for dreams of mice until the first sighs of spring.

I put this album on, venture out on the road. My bike crackles and screeches - the frost has turned every joint in its aching metal body into arthritic pain and discomfort. Driving through the forest, it dawns on me just how special this album is, and why it's taken me this long to really get it - really take in what it's all about. I believe it was my good friend John, who initially wrote something about how much of the modern Scandinavian music is better appreciated, if the listener experiences the dark and cold winters - we here in the North are subjected to every year. There's a distinct feel to it, that pretty much escapes other bands from warmer climates. I think he's right in this assessment, and today was all about how music sometimes gets born out of nature itself - how the musicians must have been taken over by winter chills and the cold cold night.

This new album by Tenhi is my first experience with them. Conveying the true emotions and apt sonic images this release conjures up in me - takes me back to those cold hard winters we get up here in Scandinavia, but there's more to it. Imagine walking around in a dead forest. There are no leafs on the trees - they're stalk naked - black silhouettes in an infinite white setting. There's death in the air, and not in a natural kind of way - with a rotting carcass lying up against a tree with a couple of black crows picking at it, - no this is some kind of supernatural feeling of death itself. The whole of the forest is emanating death - centuries of solitude and sorrow - with only the company of the freezing winds occasionally stroking the bark on the trees. No birdsong to be found here - the screaming silence prevails.

I would imagine that this sounds like bs to a lot of people here, but once you've seen the landscapes up here and felt the cold - somehow everything falls into place. Especially with this type of music as a back draft. The easy way of describing Tenhi to the uninitiated, would be something like a Finnish progressive folk version of Type O Negative. That actually is a very accurate description, now that I think of it. The haunting vocals here are all uttered in the Finnish language. They sound like something out of a Tolkien novel - like the frosty snowcapped brethren of the Silvan Elves. The timber of these is comparable to a Finnish hybrid of Peter Steele and Leonard Cohen. The deep bellowing almost Gregorian chant from Steele, and the delivery in the recognizable Cohen manner, where every word has its individual taste, and you can nearly taste them yourself, even if the language is incomprehensible. It's like the spirit of the dead winter forest is talking to you directly through these dark ominous vocalisations - humming dangerous words of wisdom.

The music is nearly all acoustic. The guitars sound like sprinklings, shimmers of light - like a close cousin to the harp. They feel like natural streams in the landscape. Like small traces of life - something that didn't turn into transparent ice. Then you have the heart-aching weeps of the violins and cellos, that underline the natural woe of these pieces. They hurt like hell, but also inspire a multitude of beautiful musical passages. Often these get narrated by a flute or a raw piano that sounds crystal clear - like individual descending snow flakes hitting a note with a crackle of the ice beneath. Just like the stagnant and slowly moving winter season, this music also feels slow. It is pensive and highly atmospheric, and the rhythm work here is almost shadow like because of this. Hand held tambourines, or stuff that sounds like Indian percussion with attached dreamcatchers and rattle snake tales. Although there are times when the music grows big, frightening, powerful and we are treated to some hard hitting drum-work, not unlike that you'll find on a modern Porcupine Tree release. Still, everything about Saivo is slow and mournful. It's like watching a wounded animal ploughing through the icy landscape - alone in a world of whiteness and cold - shivering, afraid - yet still highly determined. Leaving behind a long drawn out trace of ruby red blood - battling the eternal fight against the long black slumber.

Even if this music sounds like doomsday paintings in sonic bloom - the death of a forest - the colours are still here. There's warmth in the vocals and in the guitars. They call to you - like a howling wolf does to the moon. This is the life blood - what runs through the freezing veins of this black and wintery release, and if you'd like to experience first hand the icy magic of our beloved Scandinavian nature, and maybe come a bit closer to the old myths that are ingrained in everything here from the oldest of persons to the steel character of the frozen soil - you can get quite close just by listening to this very release. It is full of whispering dark sorcery and tales of woe.

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 Folk Aesthetic 1996-2006 by TENHI album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
4.04 | 4 ratings

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Folk Aesthetic 1996-2006
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars You don't expect very much from a compilation featuring rare and unrealeased material, if the band in question already isn't important to you, do you? I had heard just one studio album by this Finnish folk-rock group, and while I certanly enjoyed some tracks, I thought on the long run they always sound too much the same for wider appreciation. And why go through listening rarities when there are proper albums waiting to be heard? Well, I was wrong. This is amazing three hours of dark and atmospheric Prog Folk and I'm very glad I borrowed it (even if I first felt frustrated when I tried to read the track titles and other texts, all printed with tiny, old-fashioned hard-to-read fonts).

Rather than being a fan-oriented thing, a place to find throwaway material that didn't make it to the albums, this is an ambitious large-scale document of the band's ten-year history. I would have wished for some kind of discographic information to better see how this all relates to the existing output, but that's a minor fault. This is full of spellbinding progressive folk, often in a very slow tempo, and although TENHI's music isn't very progressive (in a symphonic sense), it seems that the long tracks - roughly ten minutes - are the finest. I'm not getting into details, but I guarantee that if you have heard something by this band and have enjoyed it, this is definitely worth listening.

PS. Tenhi is said to mean the village elder.

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 Kauan by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.31 | 15 ratings

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Kauan
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by migue091

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 I get a glimpse of some kind of passion and truth in this art from the northern people

Here we are with Tenhi, I don't care if they are a prog band or not, but let me tell you that they are winter and cold, autumn and melancholy. They are calm, quite and full of harmony. There are lots of gothic moments, even more in the voice passages, so ghostly is the approach. Delicate folky sounds of keyboards, acoustic guitars, winds and violins used with such a good taste. There's a layer of epic minimalism that makes this music very intimate and dreamy. Three big stars for their debut!

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 Maaäet by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.09 | 21 ratings

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Maaäet
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Vampire Music for Gothic Indulgence

Following the proverbial rabbit hole, I discovered Tenhi through similar artists and albums going from Opeth's Damnation and then Borknagar's Origin. This led me to the sub-genre of neofolk, a meld of elements from black metal, post-rock, and Northern European folk. Tenhi is one of the standard bearers of the style. Blending acoustic instrumentation, freezing cold atmospheres, croaking vocals blended with airy harmonies, and rhythmic structures ranging from free form ambient to complex time signatures, the band creates wintry soundscapes that seem deceptively simple. Certainly, if you have no interest in anything resembling Goth, you'll never get through the ice to appreciate the nuance here.

The vocals are in Finnish. The music is more new-agey than metal and in the connection with black metal is really only in mood and theme. This is atmospheric music, more suitable for meditation than analysis. That said, there is a nice variety of rhythm and color within this album. (Others have criticized earlier albums for being a little too homogenous.) Complex times come up surprisingly often, with a few quicker pieces mixed in with mid-tempo chants and slow dirges.

If you like Goth music, this is a treasure chest, maybe one of the best. Low minor vocal harmonies, behind the beat marches, chilly guitars underlying strings and woodwinds; this is a very organic music. The tonalities often are exotic. The vocals are dripping with sadness. Though in minor key, melody is strong here, giving the songs identity, and the album a sense of development. The playing is both emotive and skilled, though never flamboyant.

As an expansion of folk music, or simply as an expression of goth aesthetic, this is an excellent disc. Its target audience is a bit narrow, and I would definitely sample first. But if you like the general flavor of what you hear, by all means jump in. This is a very nice work.

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 Kauan by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.31 | 15 ratings

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Kauan
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by yoshixpert

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 to the calm ambient atmosphere of Taival. The thing that stands out most is that this album you'll never get tired of this album and you'll always be coming back for more. This is the perfect album for anyone who wants to start listening to neofolk.

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 Maaäet by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.09 | 21 ratings

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Maaäet
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by sircosick

4 stars Tenhi's most accomplished work, Maaäet, is such a trip to escandinavian cold forests and mountains. The sound is somber, deep, dark, resonant, slow-paced yet sometimes hard (as loud as an acoustic band could play) and the vocal style is pretty slow and grunt, almost guttural, and mostly non-melodic. It's hard to spot the highlights on this, since every track seems to come from the same piece, as the sound isn't extremely varied. The sound approaches to post-rock a bit sometimes, though Tenhi is here as a prog folk band, and that's exactly why I didn't give the fifth star; according to my personal prog criteria, Maaäet is an excellent adition to the casual prog collection, although a masterpiece of contemporary music. Always reccomended, here, there and everywhere. Four stars.

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 Kauan by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.31 | 15 ratings

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Kauan
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

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.

peace

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 Väre by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.50 | 13 ratings

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Väre
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars Lately I've been searching for new PA bands to borrow from library and perchance to review. That's one way to find something interesting I most likely wouldn't find otherwise - but frankly, often I'm not very interested in those albums and remain uninspired for reviewing them. This case of a Finnish experimental folk group is not in that category. Sadly my review is only the second in total TENHI has received this far. I bet many friends of dark modern Prog Folk would enjoy them!

At first I thought it's like CMX (a Finnish prog-related band) with a new folkish direction: less guitars, bass and drums and instead plenty of flutes plus some violins etc. The low, slow vocals at least are very close to A.W. Yrjänä's, and also CMX (at their best) have wandered in similar soundscapes of deep melancholy. I'm afraid I can't give any non-Finnish references. I was very interested at first but it didn't hold on til the end of the album. It's deppression felt overwhelming, and I couldn't anymore tell one track from another. Much of it was plainly too fragile (or 'low-profile' or whatever) to be played with a slightest of activity around. At the second, more concentrated listening I decided to tape only four of the best tracks (most of the rest are just paler variations of the similar stuff). But if judged by those highlights, this music is really fascinating and atmospheric. Something to listen to in a dark mood. Something to GET into a BEAUTIFULLY dark mood. Flutes, acoustic guitar, strings and some mouth harp and didgeridoo (to give it a swamp-like feeling) weave a ghostly landscape where the sparse vocals are like an additional instrument. I'm not saying that the album as a whole is bad, but for me few selected tracks work better than to listen through it all. Worth giving it a try!

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 Maaäet by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.09 | 21 ratings

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Maaäet
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Take a walk into the dark and cold woods of Finland...

And that's exactly what Tenhi does in this album. This modern band plays a very depressing and beautiful type of folk with an atmosphere that only Scandinavians are capable of emulating. Delicate and beautifully mellow are two words I would use to describe Tenhi's Maaäet, an album with a story to tell with every note. From the first piano notes of Varpuspäivä you'll know that this won't be an album for celebrations nor triumph, so leave your hopes at the door and take your wistful mind with you because it's the only thing you'll need from now on.

The songs in Maaäet are more aimed at creating emotions on you rather that being lush and elegant so it ends up being more sincere and to the point. Having said that, Tenhi does have the necessary instrumentation to be elegant and lush like many other bands, but they decide to keep things simple and use them when the music demands it. Strings sound mournful, pianos sound delicate, flutes like an empty breeze and acoustic guitars played like if it was the last days on earth. The drums in here don't sound intrusive (a problem I have with drums in folk music) and they're only present when needed. The instrument that stands out on this album are the vocals. These are the vocals that one would think when listening to this neofolk music, deep, dark and melancholic. I know nothing of what they're are saying and there's no need to. Just listening to Ilmary sing and the emotions he portrays with his voice are all the things needed and it adds so much to the music that it wouldn't be as depressing or as dark without it.

This album is one of the most depressing recordings I've ever listened to. It's so gloomy, desolate, melancholic and pessimistic that it can bring you down for the whole day if you listen to this in the morning. Maaäet rarely raises it's voice, it prefers to keep things slow and calmed. This is recommended for fans of , well, depressing music, neofolk and even post-rock (the atmosphere Tenhi create are similar to that of post-rock bands in their most depressing moments, but with acoustic instrumentation). Great for late-night listening and not intended to be played very often, unless you're a gloomy person.

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Thanks to chamberry for the artist addition.

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