by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy
IANAI is a mysterious multi-instrumentalist project from Jaani Peuhu (Swallow The Sun), which includes collaborations from members of HIM, Massive Attack, Sisters of Mercy and The Rasmus. Through Jaani’s vision and the impressive array of guests, it is no surprise this debut album ‘Sunir’ embodies many sounds and influences, taking you on a beautiful, transcendent journey. ‘Sunir’ will take listeners through the instrumentation of Scandinavia, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America and beyond.
The opening song, ‘Savoj Icoil’ is the perfect scene setter, acting as a guiding force through exotic notes and sounds and is pleasing and optimistic, leaving you eager and compelled to plunge further into the unknown yet inviting soundscapes that lay ahead…
The ethereal ‘Elitha’ is boundless, and your worries will float away with this sonically endearing song. ‘Manda Navaja’ has a slightly edgier, more ominous sound with a spiritual tribal vibe that is alluring from start to finish.
The title track ‘Sunir’ unexpectedly and strangely is the shortest track and serves as an ambient interlude. Still, given that this is an unconventional album, this seems like a fitting addition to breaking the norm.
‘Khaalo’ is a vibrant and uplifting offering which is appropriate, seeing as it’s about having the courage to face our fears, prejudices, and limitations.
The vast and impressive ‘Akrar Adi’re’ features some epic and intense orchestral sections and charming vocals and is grand and triumphant, feeling like it is an unfolding show or journey taking you far and wide. While the enchanting closer ‘Samovela’ is the longest song and is a calming thought-provoking affair going out on a blissful enlightening note as intended.
The music on ‘Sunir’ flows free, brimming with a sense of purpose and freedom, and reminds us that there is always positivity around us. IANAI has created an extremely powerful album and is one of the most intriguing musical projects of the year. It is music without boundary or convention but still has its roots in metal. The unearthly journey it takes you on is a long one, so you will need to set aside time to be fully engaged to truly appreciate its wonder, but it is a worthy and enriching experience that should be ventured on.
‘Sunir’ is released on the 10th June 2022 via Svart Records.