Review: Warorath – Verikirous

Band: Warorath
Album: Verikirous
Country: Finland
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Independent/Self released

Introduction:

Warorath opened 2024 with their debut album, Verikirous (“Blood Curse” in Finnish). I’m excited to talk about this record because the band comes from my home city of Jyväskylä in Finland. These guys are also young, with the drummer being only 19 to my knowledge, so I must give credit to the young guys keeping black metal alive.

Verikorous:

Tracklist:

  1. Vihani varjoissa
  2. Sielunvihollinen
  3. Vääristymä
  4. Maailmojen Tuhoaja
  5. Kosmos
  6. Verikirous
  7. Inho

Warorath plays a typical Finnish style of minimalist black metal, with clear influence from bands like Horna and Behexen. The guitar riffs are triad-based, sometimes varying with power chords and single note melodies and harmonies. Rhythm section is punky, and the melodies have a slight folk tone to them, following mostly Aeolian or harmonic minor scale. In other words, very typical Finnish black metal. Which is not an insult, seeing as this formula of songwriting has proven rather fool proof. The fact that bands like Havukruunu and now Warorath are still doing it more than twenty years after the hay day of the style is proof of that.

Warorath executes the riffs with ferocity and energy without forgetting the fun of it. There’s a comforting feeling of Finnish melancholy present throughout. Basically every song is filled with catchy melodies and head-banging beats. With only seven songs, the album overall is short but sweet.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the lyrics to these songs, but from what I’m able to make out, they mainly tackle themes of misanthropy, pessimism towards the world and a rejection of Christianity. They are in line with and add to the general negativity of the album. Although I can’t dissect the lyrics in depth, as a Finn I appreciate the fact that they are in Finnish.

For such a new band, I’m impressed by the range of abilities that they portray on this album. The opening track Vihani Varjossa (“In The Shadow Of My Hatred”) kicks off with no brakes, showing a more aggressive side of the band, while proving to the metal listeners that they are the real deal. The transitions on this song and everywhere else on the album are smooth and well earned. The title track as well as Maailmojen Tuhoaja (“Destroyer Of Worlds”) showcase their dynamism with longer runtimes, multiple sections and different riff ideas. The band is able to use the rhythm section to give the songs nice momentum and break the monotony. The title track transitions away from the more melancholic, consonant riffs to colder, traditional black metal dissonance mid-song and then right back without sounding jarring at all. On Kosmos you have nice dual guitar harmonies that make for a rather beautiful moment. The closer Inho (“Loathing”) on the other hand might just be the densest song on the album, with thick dual guitar riffs and blast beats. The album ends with a nice clean guitar passage, proving the melodic sensibility hidden under the black metal murkiness. This side could perhaps be developed even further in the future, building more atmosphere and colourful instrumentals into the songs.

Conclusion:

With no weak songs on it, Verikirous is a strong albeit a little derivative debut and so far, one of the best black metal albums I’ve heard this year. I look forwards to what Warorath does next and how they can grow and develop their own style while staying true to their Finnish roots.

BMZ Rating: 8/10

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Support them here: https://warorath.bandcamp.com/album/verikirous


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