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Vermilia - Keskeneräisiä Tarinoita [EP] (2020) - Review

Band: Vermilia
Album title: Keskeneräisiä Tarinoita [EP]
Release date: 20 May 2020
Label: Self-Released
Genre: Pagan Metal, Atmospheric Metal, Black Metal, Folk

01. Hauras, Kuollut, Kaunis
02. Taivas Hiljaa Huutaa
03. Keskeneräisiä Tarinoita
04. Pimeä Polku

Two years after her stunning debut album Kätkyt, the Finnish artist Vermilia graces us with a new, another extraordinary release, the four track EP named Keskeneräisiä Tarinoita, in English meaning "unfinished stories", with a running time of good 22 minutes. In between Vermilia released the single, a strongly recommended cover version of Finnish anthem song called “Täällä Pohjantähden Alla” which gained quite a success on all digital platforms. Now on this new EP this female artist doesn't simply follow the steps of her debut, but she goes further and broadens her music with even a larger segment of musical additions.

Vermilia makes music inspired by Nordic nature, myths and old gods, and listening to it is just like floating above treetops of some primordial forest in the cold Finnish land. But as well Vermilia knows how to put us down to earth here and there, and yet with a lot of mysticism in there it is just like joining a group of witches dancing around the campfire. Vermilia knows how to blend together melodic black metal, folk music, atmospheric, symphonic, epic metal, some ritualistic elements and yet using some old school metal grips to create some kind of unique pagan metal that will in the first place please fans of Myrkur, Moonsorrow, Primordial, Ulver, Suldusk and of course Bathory.

If Myrkur some years ago triggered a proper wave of female black/pagan/folk metal bands, and Vermilia is one of them, we can't really compare the two, since Vermilia takes her compositions from a different angle. These new songs have more drive, rawness, different type of structure and coherence, less complexity, yet it feels more mature, feminine, still darker and sometimes more wicked than anything she did before. Songs have that certain pathos and nicely build up the tension, as well the EP as an integrity feels this way. Even though that the four compositions are very different between each other, they connect perfectly, and lyrics that are entirely in her mother tongue (just like on her debut album) add some strange mystical charm to the entire sonic experience.

The EP opens up with a soothing acoustic piece "Hauras, Kuollut, Kaunis", a song with a haunting dark yet melancholic atmosphere, well inserted folk and classical instruments, shivering tumultous percussions and nice orchestrations toped with almost ethereal, bewitching and absolutely brooding Vermilia's clean voice. The second one "Taivas Hiljaa Huutaa" is the song which has a lot in common with her debut album. Nicely driving melodies, captivating gloomy atmosphere, some danceable vibes and a blend of soaring vocals that range from magnificient cleans to extreme harsh screams. The most spectacular song must be the title track "Keskeneräisiä Tarinoita". Incredible atmosphere, dark orchestrations and symphonic elements so very well replenish those evocative melodies, doomy rhythms and absolutely haunting yet captivating vocals that force a listener to close his eyes just to be taken into another dimension. The last one "Pimeä Polku" is a different story, it's an explosion of raw energy, fierceness, it comes closest to some kind of an old school raw black/heavy metal, and if the other three songs were primarly based on catchy melodic patterns now those (still present though) are pushed into the background.

Vermilia with this EP proved that she's not just a passing bird in this scene, and she absolutely deserves full attention from every fan of such music, and if the themes about nature and old myths attract you than this is a must. Vermilia's music is pretty multilayered, it's dynamic, and thus there are still some elements that unveil to the devoted listener by every consequent listen. The production is good, it's strong, raw and it has depth. Keskeneräisiä Tarinoita is one hell of a well done EP, it captivates and takes your mind on a trip above the darklands. There are rumours that Vermilia is now ready for her first live shows and that she's already working on her sophomore full-length, and I simply can't wait to hear it.

Review written by: Tomaz
Rating: 8,5/10