KARJALAN SISSIT - s/t - CD - 10 titres - Cold Spring

First album from this unipersonal swedish formation, Karjalan Sissit is the expression of the aspirations and the work of Markus Pesonen. Karjalan Sissit draws the roots of its name from the Winter War that opposed Finland to the Soviet Union in 1939/40 - Karjala in reference to the Karilian Isthmus (main theater of operations) an Sissit the special unit (Sissit Batallion) - and is presented as a tribute to Uuno Kettunen (a sissit), killed in action during this conflit and uncle of the artist.

First, the personal intention of the artist to pay a tribute to a member of his familly can only be praised however, it can also aver to be a perilous one when it concerns the respect and the transmission of the memory of one's kin. Karjalan Sissit more than avoids this pitfall by delivering a rich constructed, carefully assembled album, which benefits from Peter Petersson's production.
The artwork is intently simple and sober, agremented by a few period photos. The music, close to early Der Bluthrsch, alterns epic martial passages "Night Of The Abyss - "Eternal War", military marches "Suomi Marssi (a finnish version of "Westerwald"?) and anxious moments then of apparent calmness... The music seems to follow the events of this war where strong and opposed sentiments can mingle... the judicious use of of the accordion at certain times brings the indispensable touch of nostalgia/melancholia. This is effective during the last notes of "In Amaritudine" and the polka melody of "Säkkijärven Polkka" that ends in light and dancing manner a well accomplished album that is of good augure concerning the evolution of this project, be it musical or intelectual. On the same subject, a second album "Disipline and pain, but order" will also be released by Cold Spring in the near future. "A direct reflection of the bastard society we live in!" says Markus Pesonen. To be followed...

Nathalie F. April 2002

web: http://medlem.tripodnet.nu/karjalansissit/
e-mail: karjalansissit@hotmail.com