I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve referenced darkness and being drawn into an abyss when talking about harrowing, deadly music. It becomes an easy tool to use because it conveys the brutality and hopelessness so much of this music is soaked in, and it likely comes off as an element of negativity. I don’t always mean it that way; sometimes it’s the reason I embrace the music so fully.
Sariina Tani has a similar viewpoint when it comes to reveling in darkness and emptiness, as she doesn’t necessarily see these as bad things. To her, much of the beauty and majesty contained within the void often go unnoticed, but she’s channeling all of that into Vesperith, a project delivering its self-titled debut record. The music on this album is not entirely swallowed by the darkness as her compositions have plenty of light shined on them, which makes for textures battling with each other. Sometimes the songs exist in the fog, allowing reflective waves to crash down, feeling more like they’re trying to soothe than harm. But when she delves headfirst into black metal harshness, her approach provides that ability to connect with things so many people see as negative. There’s power in that, and this album helps makes that connection more tangible.
“The Magi” begins floating through the atmosphere as Tani’s voice floats powerfully, while noise shifts and builds. The sounds pierce and well up while the singing swells, sweeping through ominous terrain before it burns away. “Fractal Flesh” simmers in an industrial haze that hangs over for a while before wooshes rip into the picture, and then the track explodes about three minutes in. Wrenching shrieks rain down, adding monstrous ferocity to what started in the shadows of beauty. The track continues to splatter, washing out with the flesh slightly stinging. “Refractions” reverberates in a sinister fog, while shrieks bask in alien lights. Chimes ring out as the pace disorients, while the vocals remain in echo as the song trickles away.
“Valohämärä” has grinding gears and keys dripping like wax, while wordless calls burst in your chest. The music swells while Tani’s cries ring out, cutting through thick mists while keys emerge and deliver a chill. The drums then break apart and deliver chaos as the world is torn apart and delivered back to serenity. “Quintessence” is the longest track, running 10:31 and starting with sounds swimming and the drums igniting. The singing rings out into the void, bringing measured madness before the drums again tear a hole into any sense of calm. Growls arrives and destroy, disrupting everything, leading the way to a thrashy assault, storming heavily and smashing wills until a soulful finish pummels the senses. “Solar Flood” closes the record, layering noise and heartfelt singing as the volume rises and shakes in your ears. Vocals enrapture as all of the elements combine into one, while the playing heads off into a moonlit sky, leaving you a vulnerable mess.
This first Vesperith record is an awesome, compelling display, one that can ravage you one minute, sink into your bloodstream and bring awareness the next. It’s a healthy reminder that basking in darker powers and the vast ocean of chaos doesn’t have to be something that wears you down and instead can become a part of your DNA. Tani fully realizes this concept, and it’s part of what makes her music so savagely connective.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/vesperith/
To buy the album, go here: https://svartrecords.com/?s=vesperith
For more on the label, go here: https://svartrecords.com/