Monday, June 30, 2008

October Falls/Varghkoghargasmal - Split (J)

This release confused me; I am a HUGE October Falls fan (note the review of Sarastus 2 months ago), but Varghkoghargasmal (quite a name they have there) has failed to impress me in the past. V's previous releases have pretty much cursed my ears with out of tune guitars and off-beat drums. But I'll get to them later.

October Falls's song "Polku" is yet another folky journey through the deepest of Finland's forests. A bit stronger than Sarastus, this piece is a harkening back to the olden days of Marras and Tuoni, with long, drawn out, dirge-like acoustic folk songs. Of course, this is more of the same, which may pose a great boredom for those who wish to hear something different, but I, as stated earlier, am a fan of whatever Mikko Lehto does, and if it means more of the same, I welcome it with open arms. Of course, there is an addition to the overall equation of October Falls's songs, for now Mikko adds in whispered vocals to add a little extra something to the mystical sound. A great effort from the October Falls front, in my opinion, and I cannot wait to hear how "The Womb of Primordial Nature" turns out.

Back to Varghkoghargasmal, this addition to his discography is interesting, if not an improvement on the older songs. As if he learned the ropes of music theory and timing, Varghkoghargasmal has risen from the grave and written a half-decent song. "Frame of Stones" features not only in-tune guitars, but also on-time drums, which is astounding considering how god-awful his previous efforts were. In addition to the guitar and drums, a xylophone has been added to the mix, which sounds a little ridiculous and almost silly at first listen, but it grows on you. What IS silly about this song is that Varghkoghargasmal still thinks he makes pagan metal, even though this is more folky than anything, and throws in a bluesy guitar solo just to confuse everyone.

Overall this is a solid release. October Falls fans will rejoice over the rebirth of the old sound and people will finally hear a halfway decent song from Varghkoghargasmal.

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