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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
Import
Prophecy 2010
Audio CD$20.11
$16.29 (used)
SaivoSaivo
Prophecy Productions 2011
Audio CD$38.69
$9.47 (used)
MaaaetMaaaet
Import
Prophecy 2010
Audio CD$13.06
$12.07 (used)
VäreVäre
Import
Prophecy 2010
Audio CD$13.67
$15.53 (used)
KauanKauan
Import
Prophecy 2010
Audio CD$13.72
$6.36 (used)
MaaetMaaet
Import · Limited Edition
Prophecy 2017
Vinyl$20.61
$22.65 (used)
Airut:AamujenAirut:Aamujen
Import
Prophecy 2010
Audio CD$13.40
$13.61 (used)
Tenhi: Vare [Vinyl]Tenhi: Vare [Vinyl]
Prophecy Productions
Vinyl$120.00 (used)
Folk Aesthetics 1996-2006 by Tenhi (2010-11-09)Folk Aesthetics 1996-2006 by Tenhi (2010-11-09)
Prophecy
Audio CD$45.28
Maaaet by TenhiMaaaet by Tenhi
Prophecy
Audio CD$54.46
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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)

3.64 | 22 ratings
Kauan
2000
3.81 | 20 ratings
Väre
2003
4.07 | 30 ratings
Maaäet
2006
3.58 | 15 ratings
Airut Aamujen
2006
3.50 | 19 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 | 7 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
 Saivo by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.50 | 19 ratings

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Saivo
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I tend to consider Maaäet to be the high water mark of Tenhi's dark folk output, and Saivo doesn't do anything to overturn that impression - it's quality dark folk material of the standard we've come to expect of them, but it's at their usual (but consistently decent) level rather than going above and beyond like Maaäet did.

That isn't to say that the release is entirely interchangeable with what came before, mind. There's a certain epic sweep and a sense of the cinematic here - like this is the album Tenhi really, really hope some Hollywood producer notices so that they can get some soundtrack work going. It isn't enough to push the album into mercenary sellout territory, but it is enough to give it a distinct flavour of its own which at least reassures the listener that Tenhi's musical development has not altogether ceased.

 Airut Aamujen by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.58 | 15 ratings

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Airut Aamujen
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Whereas the "full band" recordings of TENHI feature strummed acoustic and electric guitars, enveloping keyboards, and occasional ethnic instrumentation, "Airut:Aamujen" is essentially piano based, with occasional synths and acoustic guitar, all played by Ilmari Issakainen. It could thus be interpreted as a solo effort offshoot, but for two observations: backing vocals are performed by band members, and, most pertinently, it plays like TENHI, in mood, atmosphere, and, ultimately, effect.

As the prominent instrument, piano is not as effusive as the synthesizers on other releases, but the touch of Issakainen is as somber as ever, drawing comparisons to DAVID SYLVIAN's "Secrets of the Beehive" albeit with more dissonance than even Sylvian could muster.

Your personal favourites, if I can employ this superficial expression, may vary, but I find the first few tracks resonate the most, tackling the most formidable goal of inducing the appropriate response, whatever it may be for you. The remainder are decent if less striking, and occasionally too moribund for even this project. An exception is "Oikea Sointi", which is a starkly tinkling ballad on ice, one that I would love to hear with the more typical TENHI arrangement, though it would be hard to improve upon the impact of this rendition.

Perhaps more than other TENHI albums, "Airut: Aamujen" beckons the listener into quite another realm, both dire and comforting. When it succeeds, it does so by reaching a guarded space within us that seems too personal to share, offering solace and a path to solemn disembodied communion.

 Folk Aesthetic 1996-2006 by TENHI album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
4.04 | 7 ratings

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Folk Aesthetic 1996-2006
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In terms of sheer value, Tenhi's Folk Aesthetic compilation offers a real treasury for fans of the band, featuring three CDs of material, each offering a different approach to unearthing the band's vault.

CD1 presents a set of mini-releases from early in the band's career. First up is Kertomuksia, Tenhi's first demo, which mostly consists of material which would be rerecorded for their first two albums, aside from "Tenhi" itself, but it remains an interesting starting point for the band which reveals their command of atmosphere from an early stage in their development. It's followed up by the more self-assured Hallavedet, which raises the question "How long must a single run before it becomes an EP?" It boasts only two tracks but has a nearly 16 minute running time. Compared to their debut demo, this shows a bit more polish, as well as incorporating a greater use of vocals. CD1 is rounded off with Airut;Ciwi. Centred around the epic Kielo, this mini-release from Tenhi finds them getting closer to their creative peak but still not yet attaining it.

The second disc's collection of alternate versions, demos, and unreleased songs holds up remarkably well for such an odds-and-sods collection, a credit to the consistent quality of Tenhi's work as well as the distinctiveness of their titular folk aesthetic. The collection is rounded off with Kaski, an entire unreleased album, whose laid-back, almost folk- ambient style and vocal experiments makes me very glad it was saved from the cutting room floor because it can sit with pride next to the rest of Tenhi's discography.

If you're a Tenhi superfan, this would clearly be an essential release for you; looking at things with a bit more perspective, though, this isn't a five-star collection simply because the material here isn't consistently of five-star quality - but then again, it doesn't really dip below four stars either. As far as vault-raiding collections go, that's doing pretty well.

 Väre by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.81 | 20 ratings

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Väre
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Progressive influences gain more of a hold on Tenhi's particular brand of dark folk music, as this sophomore album finds them creeping closer to the sound of career masterpiece Maaäet. The song "Tenhi" updates a piece from their first demo tape and, in this setting, reveals just how far their craft has come since then. Mouth harp and didgeridoo may seem like incongruous instruments to work into this melancholy context, but in the hands of Tyko Saarikko they end up fitting into the wider picture and expanding its boundaries. Not quite a five-star classic, but still an extremely good release - say four and a half stars.
 Kauan by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.64 | 22 ratings

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Kauan
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.
 Maaäet by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.07 | 30 ratings

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Maaäet
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Tenhi play a dark, progressive style of folk music which draws much influence from Ulver's Kveldssanger and, secondarily, from the spooky textures (but thankfully not the sometimes-dodgy politics) of neofolk acts like Death In June or Sol Invictus. Maaäet is an absolutely gorgeous example of the form, with crystal-perfect production bringing out the best in their rich, gothic folk concoction. With a deep, cavernous sound and equally deep and sonorous vocals, the band create a real sense of space, like there is a whole lightless universe contained within the depths of their music. If you want to make a strong case for "dark folk" as its own distinct subgenre, Maaäet bolsters that argument nicely.
 Saivo by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.50 | 19 ratings

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Saivo
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars After a relatively productive period in the early part of the 2000s, these dour Finns have released only one album in 10 years, that being "Saivo" in 2011. While the profoundly morose "sound" remains intact, the atmosphere seems to have been sucked out through a hole in the ozone layer, and with it Tenhi's few remaining critical connections to this world, the only one any of us can experience right now.

In retrospect, The seeds had been sown on "Maaaet", as the vocals were already usurping the cold comforts rather than melding to them, making that release their least satisfying to that point. Here, on songs like "Haaksi", "Pienet Purot" and "Paluu Joelle", they resume the apparent goal of attaining musical rigor mortis, and by and large succeed. There are even attempts at becoming the 4732nd band to try their hand at the monastic chants.

The album's best moments occur early, with the two openers both chiseling an icy soundscape of hypnotic melancholy. Nothing else really comes close, as the synchronicity in even the most minor shifts on Tenhi's first 2 albums seems to have been lost, which could explain the dearth of recent productions. For all I know, shedding those worldly associations might be necessary in order to pass to the next spiritual plane, but, if that's the case, I'm not sure I'm interested.

 Maaäet by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.07 | 30 ratings

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Maaäet
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars In the limited blogosphere catering to ambient downbeat neo folk, this third offering by TENHI tends to be regarded as their pinnacle. Certainly they have honed their mastery over melancholia and found a sweet, or, er, at least less bitter spot when combining juxtaposing morose vocals with sparkling instrumental themes. This reaches its apex on the album's best tracks: "Viimeiseen", the even better "Vahainen Violettissa" with its preternaturally bowed strings, "Sarastuskaviia", and "Tuulenkaato". Unfortunately, the same vocals, never technically a strong suit but previously exploited to near perfection, now insist upon themselves, and have reached new nadirs of atonality, resulting in a perception that the singer is not merely suffering but expiring. And I don't mean the melodrama of death in the operatic sense, but that far less harmonic croak of authentic demise, which really should be reserved for family members and close friends. When not offset by intensely harmonic passages, they fall flat, so to speak. "Maa Sytty", "Salain", and "Uuuvu Oravan Luu" all cross over that line, but I appreciate that some might revel in this style, just as some enjoy death metal growls.

Not quite up to the high standards of prior releases, "Maaaet" plays sufficiently to the band's strengths to garner high recommendations if you are partial to well earned despondency, Nordic style.

 Väre by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.81 | 20 ratings

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Väre
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars In the three years between "Kauan" and "Vare", TENHI managed to flesh out their arrangements with the likes of flutes, didgeridoo, mouth harp and several bowed instruments, all of which compound the visceral melancholy of their Lapland soundscapes. While they represented a disembodied voice alone in their land bound tradition, on "Vare" they seem to have plugged into the celestial network of formerly solitary spirits.

Thankfully the vocals remain unadorned and unobtrusive, somewhere between the whispered chants of their debut and the more accomplished rantings of WOVENHAND. In fact, the remarkable riff of "Jaljen", so riveting that it took me a while to realize that there were vocals at all, and the uneasy alt country meets Aboriginal flow of "Sutoi", hone in on the moods and timbres of that American band.

"Katve" is more up tempo with its swirling flutes and rapid strumming affording a Moorish sentiment, more suggestive of bands like ASIA MINOR or PROMETHEAN, and not out of place at all here. Elsewhere keyboards and strings help thicken the atmosphere of mini epics like "Vilja" and "Yola. Later on rhythm plays a pivotal role in both the vocals and the arrangements of "Varis Aloinen", which works well here as an exercise in contrasts but might render the listener nonplussed if replicated too often on one release, which it thankfully is not, at least not yet.

"Vare" is another winning release from these masters of morose nature and nurture, recommended to a wide range of prog folk and neo folk fans, and those who take joy in music that is intrinsically eclectic.

 Kauan by TENHI album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.64 | 22 ratings

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Kauan
Tenhi Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

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.

Thanks to chamberry for the artist addition.

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