Ilja Jalkanen: vocals
Mikko Salovaara: guitars
Markku Näreneva: drums
Markku Näreneva: drums
Teemu Tuominen: bass
Atte Tanskanen: keyboards
The second band that I will talk about in my "Underrated Metal Bands" series is the Finnish power metal band Kiuas. Formed in 2000 out of the city of Helsinki Finland, the band had the idea of mixing death, thrash, folk, and power metal while singing with clean vocals provided by Ilja Jalkanen. It's funny because the actual word "kiuas" actually means a stove used in a sauna in the Finnish language. Very interesting how that ties together with their pagan themes in their songs.
Kiuas' first demos as a band included "The Discipline of Steel" in 2002 and "Born Under the Northern Lights" in 2003. Unfortunately, the label they were signed to, Rage of Achilles out of the UK, had gone under which forced them to let go all of their bands as a result of financial issues. Kiuas was one of those bands as well. The label however did release the "Winter in June" EP in 2004 before Finland's own Spinefarm Records (known for signing big named Finnish bands such as Nightwish, Children of Bodom, Sonata Arctica, Ensiferum, Kalmah, and many more) signed Kiuas and still are signed to them to this day. There was a new light for Kiuas and with this new signing as a result, the band released their first full-length album "The Spirit of Ukko" in 2005. The album pays homage to the Finnish Zeus Ukko. It was well received and many saw what they were capable of now. This begins their crusade into the metal world with their pagan themes, meaningful melodies, and kick ass guitar solos are riffs provided by Mikko Salovaara, who in my opinion is one of the most underrated guitarists in metal today. I describe him as a mix of Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom) and Jani Liimatainen (ex-Sonata Arctica) but at the same time creating his own style as well.
The band has also released "Reformation" in 2006 and "The New Dark Age" in 2008, in which both are excellent releases and are great additions to the world of power metal. With this, Kiuas was gaining new grounds and hitting the Finnish charts for the first time. From what I heard, Kiuas is mildly popular in their home country of Finland, but outside of the country, very few people actually know about them which is quite a shame because they truly are a great modern metal band. They should more popular than what they are in my opinion.
A couple days ago, Kiuas released "Lustdriven", their fourth full-length album (expect a CD review of that album soon!). Of course, I will be checking it out. In the meantime, I encourage you or anyone with an open mind to check out this band. If you want very fast, gutsy, and epic power metal, then Kiuas should be on the top of your list! You will not regret it! Rock on! \m/
Kiuas' homepage: http://www.kiuas.net/
Kiuas' last.fm page: http://www.last.fm/music/Kiuas