It’s the ones that catch you by surprise. Finnish, one-woman project Vermilia lobs out a self-released EP that, unusually, hits the world’s ears on a Wednesday. Keskeneräisiä tarinoita, comprised of four songs, manages to incorporate an expanse of influence from ancient East Scandinavian folk through atmospheric black metal to Pagan doom.
Vermilia’s output to date has seen a number of single releases and one excellent album (2018) but this EP holds the award for being the most rounded. Her voice excels in delivering the tenderness of folk and evokes the echoes of artists such as Myrkur and Darkher. Yet, she can transition to a throated bark that fills out the more melodic sections of the record. The balance between the two worlds in pretty much perfect as they intertwine and split away from one another.
The artist has thought about this record and layered the guitars with the skill of a craftsman. They can revolve in melodic rhythm and then soar with classic black metal progression. The whole is nihilistic and drenched in suffering but the delicate voice of Vermilia always brings hope and bathes the rest of the record in a pale northern light.
Keskeneräisiä tarinoita is a record to be taken seriously from an artist who needs to be taken seriously. Given that it’s only just over 20 minutes long, it packs a great deal in and leaves you feeling like you want to go round again. Unexpected and extremely welcome listen.