Review 1358 : Vermilia – Ruska – English

Vermilia ends the silence.

Created in 2017 in Finland by Vermilia (vocals/all instruments), the project accompanied live by other hooded musicians already offered us a first album in 2018, followed by an EP in 2020. Ruska, her second album, comes out in 2022.

The album smoothly begins with Alkusointu, an introductive track which immediately puts us back in this dark and mysterious Pagan universe. The voice joins the ritual before Marras takes over by revealing cold and heady melodies which easily bewitch us. Saturation explodes at once, accompanied by screamed backing vocals which heightens this massive and soaring sound’s intensity, which will continue on Hautavajo, a more raw track which also plays on this contrast between soothing clean vocals and aggressive screams. On the rhythmic side, piercing Black Metal roots are perfectly exploited in this throbbing mix which slowly drives us to Kuun tytär and its dissonant but airy riffs. Again, screams bring the music a more oppressive dimension, which also draws from Folk/Pagan influences to offer catchy tones which get stuck in our mind before Sanoittaja revives the roots of Black Metal to create some pretty Old School riffs, still leaving room for those enchanting choruses. The abrupt finale leaves us with Tuonen Joki, a more mysterious composition which offers a soft and cheerful introduction before the rhythmic comes to catch us again in its heady darkness, which will become more and more majestic until the end. Ruska, the eponymous track, unveils quite martial tonalities accompanied by an oppressive bass before saturation resurfaces to walk with this haunting sound until Kaipaus comes to close the album with a final ritualistic and heady Pagan part.

Vermilia’s cold but catchy universe is very rich, and Ruska will absolutely not make me lie. Between raw Pagan, Old School Black Metal roots and aerial sounds, the musician bewitches us to make us participate in her intense ritual.


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