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For a band that's already notched up half a decade in existence, Vorna don't have a large discography and all three of their recordings are demo releases (which could mean they're on CD-R or tape and are being distributed mainly among friends and fans in their immediate community). I note on their MA page that they've not been signed up to a label yet. On the evidence of this debut recording "Menetetty", which is quite a good piece of music, I wonder why they still remain unsigned and can only guess that the members prefer or find it necessary to stay that way for the time being.
Vorna's music is a mix of acoustic folk and buzzy chainsaw black metal with a heavy emphasis on traditional song structures and hooky melodies and riffs. Lyrics and singing play a huge role in the songs so most of the time the music and BM elements such as particular atmospheres and moods will take a backseat to the action. The folk music aspect gives Vorna's style a distinctive rustic flavour; instruments such as flute on a couple of middle tracks and church organ on the last track "Snowcovered Land" influence the mood on the songs enormously. The black metal aspect seems to change as the mini-album progresses: the music sounds lighter on earlier tracks but by the time we reach "Snowcovered Land', the style is very bass-heavy, deep and very rounded, though the organ may have something to do with that.
All the songs are very good though the music can sound cliched in parts where synthesiser dominates. I'd prefer that the band use live musicians for the woodwind and organ parts if possible to get a much more raw sound. Synthesised orchestration just comes across as so smooth and cheesy! That niggle aside (and I understand that to get the sound they want, Vorna just have to do with whatever's available and affordable), the highlight here is the outro song the aforementioned "Snowcovered Land" which demonstrates the musicians' songwriting capabilities and their ability to write and play catchy melodies and riffs for a guitars-drums set-up and organ as well.
The more I hear this recording, the more strange it is that Vorna remain unknown. At the very least, a label should pick up this demo and combine it with another act's music for an album split; this would be an ideal way to introduce Vorna to a wider audience.
Vorna create some really decent songs on the album Menetetty. Gravelly vocals fit the intense parts of the song Forgotten Path. The lyrics are rather well thought out, based on folklore and nature, evoking images of elves or gods of some kind that have lost their way in the world. The intro is very laid back and acoustic sounding, the keyboards add an enveloping element throughout. The bass guitar fades in and out and is hard to make out well at times, but is still done with talent.
Pakanaveri has a misty autumn haze to it. This track kind of reminds me of some of the heavy prog rock bands out there such as High Tide. Drums are tempo'd to guide the songs and drive the rhythm. Words are in Finnish. Sounds of the forest are prominent with birds and the rustling of trees, taking the listener on a woodsy voyage. The riffs are distinct but can be slightly repetitve, not necessarly a bad thing as it gives a certain vibe to it. Other instrumnts are used rhythm guitar and what sounds like a Viola can be heard. Many layers of detail and passion went into this album, overall an intense, relaxing, mystical demo....
Snowcovered land sets a depressive tone, (thought provoking awe). I like this song the most.
I cant wait for the full length to come out real potential for growth and tending the true metal flame...