Album Title: 
Kuoleman Siipien Havina
Release Date: 
Friday, November 10, 2023
Review Type: 

Country (for what it’s worth): Finland

Members: Janne Tuikkala (all instruments & song-writing) & Janne Partanen (vocals & lyrics)

Mix & mastering: Janne Tuikkala (at j.sound home-studio)

Artwork: Awinita Alm (link below)

Type: digital-only

Duration: 37:53

Genre: atmospheric & epic Melodic Black Metal


Introduction: Janne Tuikkala had several ideas that did not exactly fit to the other bands and projects he is / was involved with. He did write down some of his thoughts and asked Janne Partanen after this guy’s opinion about that material. Soon both experienced musicians decided to join forces. This led to the conception of this debut album, called Kuoleman Siipien Havina, which means something like ‘the rustle of the wings of death’. The band’s name, Verilehto, by the way, means ‘bloodbath’. It gets released via one of Finland’s most active and open-minded (Extreme) Metal labels, Inverse Records (and FYI: this label and Janne Partanen have worked together before, through the release of material from bands like Marraskuun Lapset or Hautajaisyö).

Content: after a rather short acoustic introduction (Johdanto), Verilehto bring a melodic form of modern Black Metal with a powerful, often grooving energy. That ‘groove’ has to do with the string melodies and their particular sound especially. Tracks like Lohduton Kylmä Polku approach this specific description easily. Other pieces are more epic and victorious, with hints of Heathen / Pagan / Viking like (Black) Metal in both execution and atmosphere. Take the title song, for instance, which is mid-tempo-oriented in pace, yet which exhales an attitude of heroic, combative pride, modestly spiced with ingredients of nostalgic (little old-styled) semi-bathorian grandeur (cf. some of the semi-acoustic fragments). Other pieces contain elements of Blackened Punk too, caused by both the vocal contribution as well as some specific structures. And one cannot ignore the Nordic-styled song-writing and sound either.

The songs are quite varying, both from each-other as within each single hymn. This goes for the performance at the one hand, as well as the tempo. Kuoleman Siipien Havina never explodes in a blasting eruption, nor does it the contrary, i.e. decelerating into utterly doomed proportions. The focus lies on everything from somewhat slow-paced over mid-tempo via up-tempo to dynamic and swift. Yet as said: no brain-crushing extremities in speed.

The main vocals are quite brute, somewhat ordinarily explicit in timbre. It’s a harsh screaming tonality that surely disturbs, mercilessly caressing a punkish aggression. Besides, there are several gurgling, rabid grunts too, having a barbaric effect.

The instrumental execution is solid and tight. There are no unexpected surprises; there might be a certain predictability somehow. But that’s not a bad thing (at least not in this band’s case), for the song-writing has been carried out very decently, and the performance is suitably formalized.

Conclusion: Kuoleman Siipien Havina turns out to be a reliable, substantial album. It does not reinvent hot water or so, yet because of its decorous result, one might appreciate this effort. I might have one point of criticism, and that’s the production. The Nordic-sounding guitar lines do have a very nice ring, I think, yet the better part is too clean. There’s nothing wrong with a purified sound, yet this specific type of timeless Black Metal deserves that touch of impurity and rancidity in order to defile the intolerant character.

The band, by the way, is currently working on the sophomore Verilehto album…