The best concept albums come from true stories, and “Sorni Nai” only further convinces me that statement is true. Kauan is a post-doom metal band that have put out fantastic albums before like “Muistumia” and “Pruit”, but neither of those even come close to the majesty that is the 52-minute single track album that is “Sorni Nai” (the album though is broken up into 7 tracks since a 52 minute track sounds intimidating to some, but that’s besides the point). In terms of how dynamic this album is, it is beyond words. “Sorni Nai” is all over the place with using instruments that I can’t even begin to think of, a haunting piano, guitars, drums, and bass mixed with three sets of vocals with three distinct styles: (1) a man singing calmly with a very soothing voice, (2) a woman who also has a sooth voice that is often paired with the first guy to create a peaceful feeling, and (3) intense growls that cut in, instantly creating this heavy feel and brutal overtone. And all those vocals come together perfectly for the tragic theme of “Sorni Nai“ which tells the tale of how in 1959 a group of nine Soviets traversed into the Ural Mountains of Europe in order to reach the peak of Mt. Ortorten. In the harsh cold of -30 degrees Celsius their bodies were found without their skis, shoes, and shirts to be found anywhere in site. Two of the unfortunate hikers had fractured skulls, another two had giant chest fractures, and even one had her tongue missing. Months later after a lengthy investigation, the Soviet investigators simply called the case “a compelling natural force” and closed the case never to be heard of again. Each track tells a little bit of the unknown story that can tell of the hikers arduous trek in the storms, the possible moments of death that tragically occurred, and “Sorni Nai” even manages to capture the beauty of the harsh environment which makes the entire album very atmospheric and very beautiful at the same time. And when the doom metal kicks in, it mixes wondrously with the atmospheric effects bringing in a little added effect while also bringing a real heavy feel that is to me more than welcome at times. All of these things comes together more than flawlessly in “Sorni Nai” and I truly believe that it further solidifies Kauan’s status as the band who blends metal with atmospheric effects far more than any other band out there. This is album is without a doubt in my mind one of this year’s best. Everything about “Sorni Nai” is perfect and if you ever think to consider yourself a real metal fan then you must check out “Sorni Nai” because it is a tragic and beautiful journey that has to be taken and will not be soon forgotten, I guarantee it.