The Finnish black metal band Väki have defined themselves as “a musical act embodying the profound manifestations of death, impurity and chaos, dedicated to capture the darkests aspects of reality”, examining “aspects of our existence that revolve around suffering, depression, hate and melancholy”. In delving into those dark depths it became evident right from the band’s 2017 debut demo Kirous (reviewed here) that they were capable of taking you to many different places — there was bleak grandeur as well as crushing desolation and blinding ferocity in those compositions, as well as a high level of performance skill.
Redefining Darkness Records was so impressed with that initially self-released demo that they gave it a physical release. And now, in conjunction with Saturnal Records in Europe, the same label will be releasing Väki‘s debut album Kuolleen Maan Omaksi — a record that many of us who were captivated by Kirous have been waiting for eagerly. It will be released on July 17th, and today we’re excited to present for you “Vaisto” (The Instinct), the song that opens the album.
Väki have told us this about the track that we’re premiering today:
“Vaisto is a song we see as the most definitive piece in the writing process of Kuolleen maan omaksi (or “Succumbed by the Dead Soil”). It gives a glance to the dynamic that is present throughout the album – the union of unhurried menacing atmospheres and turbulent outbursts of fury. Lyrically, Vaisto is about being face to face with calamity, choosing it’s not your time yet, choosing to fight and triumph for your existence.”
That feeling of menace and dread within the song builds from the very beginning, constructed upon a heavy foundation of grim, heaving riffs, mountainous bass tones, thundering and methodically hammering drums, and absolutely hair-raising vocal intensity. Yet even in that dire and oppressive opening movement the music displays a kind of terrible magnificence, a dramatic power that’s gripping.
The band begin elevating the music to further heights of intensity by inserting bursts of blasting percussion and searing tremolo’d chords, which are both incendiary and wretched in their emotional impact. The scourging intensity briefly abates as the craggy bass creates a bridge, and what follows is breathtakingly frenzied and ferocious, an eruption of maniacal drumming, sky-high guitar chaos, and throat-destroying shrieks. It’s a frightening experience, yet somehow still conveys a feeling of tragic (and deranged) grandeur.
Wisely, the band decelerate, allowing the bleak heaviness of the music to return, undergirded by a powerfully head-moving rhythm. And make no mistake, this is sonically a very heavy song, and remains so even when Väki explode in a final harrowing display of full-throttle turbulence, which somehow sounds both beleaguered and undefeated, bent but not broken.
To repeat, this new album will be released on July 17th by Redefining Darkness in North America and by Saturnal Records in Europe. They recommend it for fans of Mgła, Funeral Mist, Misþyrming, and The Great Old Ones. Credit for the tremendous cover art goes to the tremendous Adam Burke. You can pre-order it now: