The gig scheduled for 21 August was supposed to be a proper acoustic show which, in times like these, is particularly valuable. But since the weather was not suitable for an outdoor gig it ended up being just an online live stream. A coffin in the middle of a room that was part of an art exhibition was there as a symbol of the current situation with art and culture – because of the pandemic, music events have been cancelled and going back to normal still seems unlikely to happen any time soon.
I am quite sure that “Taneli Jarva” sounds familiar to many of our readers. Jarva used to play bass in Impaled Nazarene in the early ’90s and was the frontman of Sentenced until 1996. Nevertheless, he has been in many other bands that may be little less known to most but by no means less valuable Chaosbreed and The Black League just to name a few. Poison Whisky is still active and the debut album of Friends of Hell will be published soon.
The acoustic duo was established in 2018 by the partnership between Jarva and Sami Hassinen, former Blake guitarist and current guitarist and main songwriter in the gothic rock band Sleep of Monsters. The duo explores the above mentioned “dark place” through a bunch of covers by various remarkable songwriters such as Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, and Mark Lanegan along with such acts as Dead Moon and Rolling Stones. The duo has written some songs together, as well, following the same bluesy and dark mood: Jarva’s unique voiceprint works as a balm for the soul, and the overall atmosphere is solemn and almost sacred even through a screen.
Since I had a lucky chance to be present at couple of gigs of the band last year, I can properly imagine how it was like: There’s some sort of a suspension of disbelief, and the two guys really guide the audience in a maze of sensations and shades. Arrangements are classy and very bare bones at the same time giving an elegant balance as a result. Live shows really need a proper comeback but gigs like this work well as a breath of fresh air. On a side note, I am happy to share with the Chaoszine readers that “Venus Is High“, an original song the duo performed in the live show, will soon be released as a single so you better stay tuned…