When night falls onto the sub-arctic landscapes of the Land of the Thousand Lakes, in the twilight of forest and swamps, the veils between our reality and the otherworld grow thin. It is at those times that stories such as 'the fairy tale that never was' leak into the lyrics and music of TENHI. On their sixth album, "Valkama", which translates as 'harbour' or 'shelter' among other meanings, the Finns originally began telling of a journey that was meant as a fairy tale in a burning, war-torn village and the crossing over dark waters to an island of the dead. The island is called Verisurma ('the place for those who have suffered blood-death') in Finnish folklore, where those dwell that died in war or were killed with a blade, and who shed blood on its shore forever. Yet, during the ten years that TENHI were working on the album, our reality started to bleed into the otherworld with its own terrors and wars. Year after year, the musicians felt their story becoming more and more real until the point was reached that the band decided to change course. Although echoes of the original work are still audible in the final music and visible in the artwork, the album now feels more harmonious and comforting, even brighter. TENHI could hardly have picked a more suitable band-name. This old Finnish word means a person that is an 'elder' or 'shaman'. And while the shamans of the ancient nomadic Finns are the guardians against but also the mediators between their communities and the spirit world, TENHI are their musical equivalent as a liminal force between dark folk, folk rock, and even reaching out into the normally electrified world of metal. The latter invites comparison with WARDRUNA and HEILUNG, although in a spiritual meaning and certainly not by way of a stylistic comparison. TENHI were conceived by guitarist and vocalist Tyko Saarikko in 1996. Ilmari Issakainen joined the band a few years later. Together they form the creative core of the group. After self-releasing the demo "Kertomuksia" (1997) and the MCD "Hallavedet" (1998), the Finns immediately hit a nerve with their debut full-length "Kauan" in 1999. TENHI started into the new millennium with another MCD entitled "Airut:ciwi" (2000), which was followed by a string of albums from "Väre" (2002) via "Maaäet" (2006) and "Airut:aamujen" (2006) to "Saivo" (2011). With each new album, the Finns continued to grow a dedicated following that is coming from different musical directions. From the start, TENHI have combined acoustic instrumentation and a traditional vibe with structures based on contemporary rock music. While their previous full-length "Saivo" tilted more towards an ambient-style and panoramic soundtrack feeling, "Valkama" returns to a more song-oriented approach – even though the tracks retain an epic and meandering format. "Valkama" comes with the trademark Finnish longing and melancholia, but despite its audible darkness, TENHI offer a musical outlet from the horrors of the modern world. In the twilight world of the North, "Valkama" is the silver-lining on the horizon promising shelter and peace.
- Prophecy Productions