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Vorna – Aamunkoi Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 February 2023, 6:38 AM

From their EPK, “The music of VORNA from Tampere is as melancholic as sublimely gloomy. No wonder that the group has already toured or played shows with INSOMNIUM, WINTERSUN, KALMAH, THYRFING and WHISPERED. The sextet from Finland, active since 2008, enters with a majestic metal sound that also features symphonic and folk accents.” The new album has nine songs. “Hiljaisuus ei kestä” is the first. Clean guitars, a melancholic edge, and meaty bass notes open the song. It’s sung in their native language as well. When harsh vocals come in, the song takes a darker turn. The song is dreadfully grey. “Harva päättää hyvästeistään” is another offering with despondent tones, as the grey settles in like a thick fog, and intended to hand around for a while. The mix of clean and harsh vocals keeps the listener guessing. “Valo” is a tad jovial, with clean guitars and vocals. It has a familiar swing as well, almost Folky in its delivery. Once again, the bass line is strong, and the vocals are very emotive.

“Aika pakenee” is heavier out of the gates, but still pushes a good deal of melody. The background is loaded with guitar layers and keyboards, and the band knows how to keep the sound thick, like a tasty stew. The lead guitars drip with the sound of defeat, or regret. “Kallioilla” is a smoother and quieter offering, with clean vocals and piano leading the intro. Symphonic elements provide support. This song is delicately beautiful. “Muualle” is another piano led song with really charming notes. Brewing in the background is a storm. The skies open up and rain comes pouring down. It’s another depressive sound, but it is so catchy.

“Raja” features some harmonized vocals which are quite charming. The band knows how to create beauty from the void, and they have a way with melody and atmosphere as well. “Meri” is a little heavier and more dramatic, and those rhythm guitars strike you like a bolt of lightning would. The song has a majestic and regal tone, and the ending is gorgeous. “Aamunkoi” closes the album. The entrance is both powerful and captivating. Let those melodies shine through you and awaken you from the mediocrity in your life. The harsh vocals are commanding, and the sound is very emotive. It builds to a crescendo at the end, and leaves you scarred, with a permanent reminder of the strange, atmospheric phenomenon of the title.

This album struck me hard in a few ways. First, their use of melody. There aren’t many super high peaks but when they do come in, they shine like a beacon. Second, the expert blending of a few genres, including Extreme Metal, Doom, Atmospheric, Folk, and even some Melodic Death. Perhaps what is most impressive is the sound they get in the final mix. It’s like a smoothly blended soup where they flavors all come together in an exciting and satisfying taste. Last, the riptide current of melancholy which flows strong through the music. It makes my heart ache.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Hiljaisuus ei kestä
2. Harva päättää hyvästeistään
3. Valo
4. Aika pakenee
5. Kallioilla
6. Muualle
7. Raja
8. Meri
9. Aamunkoi
Niilo Könönen – Bass
Arttu Järvisalo – Guitars
Henri Lammintausta – Guitars
Vesa Salovaara – Vocals
Mikael Vanninen – Drums
Saku Myyryläinen – Keyboards
Record Label: Lifeforce Records


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