For a while now I've been exploring Scandanavian Rock (the top countries for Metal bands per capita ratio are 1-Finland 2-Sweden 3-Iceland 4-Noway)
A short while ago I managed to get hold of an LP I’d been wanting for ages – only available on vinyl and limited availability from a record label out of Finland.
The music link I’ve included below isn’t for the LP recently purchased above, but of the same Russian/Ukrainian band Kauan’s greatest work ‘Sorni Nai’
The 52-minute single-song opus chronicles the expedition of nine doomed hikers who mysteriously died—killed by an “unknown compelling force” according to Soviet Army investigators—after disappearing in a blizzard in the Ural Mountains in what came to be known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident. This incident happened on the night of February 2, 1959 on the east shoulder of Kholat Syakhl Mountain (meaning Mountain of the Dead). Specifically, it was in a pass known as Dyatlov Pass, being named after the groups leader, Igor Dyatlov. The Dyatlov Pass incident occurred during the rule of the Soviets over Russia and although there were no eyewitnesses or survivors to what actually happened the Soviet army did investigate the incident and locate the bodies of the 9 hikers. Soviet investigators at the time determined only that a “compelling unknown force” had caused their deaths. For 3 years after the incident, 1959-62, the Soviets forbid access to the area to skiers and hikers. When Soviet investigators went looking for the hikers who failed to return on schedule they first found the hikers tent that was apparently cut open in the back with a knife. The hikers appeared to have fled through the hole without their shoes, some wearing only socks and others barefoot in the heavy snow. The investigators found all 9 bodies at the edge of the snow covered forest. The corpses showed no signs of struggle, however, two of them had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one of the hikers was missing her tongue. According to investigators 4 of the victims’ clothing had substantial levels of radiation detected on them.
What is great about this work is that the story is conveyed without having to understand/translate the lyrics. It reaches the heights of cinematic musical storytelling for the band, taking the listener through the innocent, idyllic outset of the hikers’ journey to the crushing, catastrophic end through varying tonal moods and vocal impact.
Give Sorni Nai a listen!