UNOHDUS: Niin turhaan tähdet valaisivat meitä
Release year: 2023
Newcomer Unohdus is – apparently- a one-man project from Finland, who describe their style as a mixture of depressive black metal and atmospheric metal. Well, nails and heads right there, as that is just what this two-track release offers.
Considering the whole thing has a running time of a mere ten minutes, let’s follow the lead of Unohdus and not dawdle with irrelevancies. Let’s dig in.
The whole DSBM fad – depressive, suicidal black metal for those of you who are acronymically challenged – seems by and large to be a thing of the past. That’s one trend I never managed to get into, with a few exceptions. As such, luckily, Unohdus’ style of atmospheric depression leans far more towards the more nature romantically inclined acts as far as the sound goes. No wailing, tortured, moaning shrieks emulating razor cuts along wrists and what have you.
So, what’s on offer here are two tracks of melodic but still raw black metal with a sound best described as misty. The guitars are somewhat muddied, sounding like a thick, impenetrable fog at dusk from which distant shapes – in this musical metaphor, the melodies – only faintly pierce through as shadowy outlines. The vocals are a distant, vicious shriek which are even less decipherable than your average black metal vocals.
The first track, bearing the name of the release, is a slower one, emphasizing a languidly evolving guitar melody which sounds like autumnal rain. Halfway through the track, a violin is introduced to the track, which at first sounds a bit tacked-on, but quickly finds its place and succesfully adds even more melancholia to the track.
Second track Pohjatuuli picks up the pace considerably, showing a somewhat fiercer side of Unohdus, whilst still not forsaking the melodic sensibilities. It’s perhaps less nuanced than the first track, and somewhat more straightforward. Still, I think I prefer this one.
Of course, one cannot draw too many conclusions from two tracks and a mere ten minutes of music. But what the heck, let’s do that anyway. Based on Niin turhaan tähdet valaisivat meitä, originality isn’t Unohdus’ strong suit. There’s very little here you haven’t heard before if atmospheric, depressive black metal is your cup of tea. Everything from the sound to the makeup of the tracks is standard fare for the style. Well, everything except the violin. I guess that’s not something you’ll find on every release of this ilk.
But on the other hand, original or not, the two tracks work. They weave a nice, forlorn and melancholic atmosphere, balance rawness with melody and melancholia with aggression. There’s a nice progression of emotions in the tracks, and, well, overall, they just click. In a nutshell, I find myself thinking this release is far too short. I guess that sums up my feelings about this release.
So: not original, but well done. As far as first releases go, this sets a highly solid foundation to build upon.