Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Vanha - Within the Mists of Sorrow

By Karen A. Mann. Though they've only been together since the summer of 2016, Swedish doom duo Vanha (which is actually Finnish for "old") offer an impressive debut with Within the Mists of Sorrow. Moving at a dirge-like pace, the album envelops the listener with multi-layered sounds, including mournful piano, blackened guitars
By Karen A. Mann


Though they've only been together since the summer of 2016, Swedish doom duo Vanha (which is actually Finnish for "old") offer an impressive debut with Within the Mists of Sorrow. Moving at a dirge-like pace, the album envelops the listener with multi-layered sounds, including mournful piano, blackened guitars, atmospheric sounds and violin. Singing in English, vocalist Jan Johansson, alternates between a clean, forlorn voice (at times whispering to great effect) and an angry growl. The result is funereal and almost oppressively gloomy, but with flashes of clear, melodic beauty shining through.

The album’s opener, “Old Heart Fails,” sets the bleak stage with a sorrowful piano melody that gives way to blackened guitars, crashing cymbals, tolling bells and plenty of lyrics about darkness and loss. From there, be prepared for a slow, dark and depressive journey through six more songs -- with titles like “Into the Cold Light” and “Desolation” -- that evoke longing, sorrow, and a deep sense of impending doom. The occasional violin riff offers the lone bit of musical warmth. The album ends quietly with the piano-and-violin-driven instrumental, “The Curse.”

Overall, Within the Mists of Sorrow evokes a feeling of being left completely alone in a harsh, but astoundingly beautiful landscape, with no resources and no hope of rescue. It’s a noteworthy achievement from such a young band.

Tagged with 2017, atmospheric doom metal, Black Lion Records, death metal, free download, Karen A. Mann, Vanha
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