27 Oct 2011
Viraga - Walk the Path / Death of a Second Kind [Tracks] (2011, Self-released
Though the term "gothic" originated in regard to the East Germanic tribe "the goths", the term has later been used to describe a multitude of things, like the gothic art and architecture of medieval times and most recently, regarding music, gothic rock and gothic metal. The whole gothic outlook has been used with a few different genres through the years, some more succesfully than others. The veritably ancient genre doom metal is one of the styles that has since seen its combination with the gothic mindset, and to great avail. Bands like Katatonia (even if they started out as death/doom metal, even death/doom sometimes has the same shudderingly melancholic atmosphere as gothic bands like Bauhaus and the Sisters of Mercy) and Type O Negative of the late Peter Steele have had great success in the world of metal and rock music.
The Finnish one-man project "Viraga" could probably - from the tracks "Walk the Path" and "Death of a Second Kind" - best be described as an eldritch mixture of the progressive tones of Opeth and the gloomy gothic sounds of Katatonia. These two tracks that have both yet to be put out on a record sport a semi-fresh take on metal in the sense that Viraga utilizes time-tested elements of various genres and puts them together to form these fine pieces of progressive gothic doom metal.
Like both Opeth and Katatonia Viraga can proudly boast uncountable different parts that range from submissive and dominatingly heavy to sombre and quiescent acoustic fragments. Though obviously those of a drummachine, the drums are masterfully programmed with a boat load of variation and well thought-through fill-ins and hooks. What "Walk the Path" and "Death of a Second Kind" lack in riffing they certainly make up for ten-fold in interesting structure of these two lengthy tracks. And honestly, when has gothic doom metal ever been about catchy riffs?
The two tracks - in which's direction I hope Viraga will continue - are perfect examples of the advantage that lies in long tracks. In both cases there are so many different fragments for you to discover that you will keep listening to them for more for a long time, and with every listen they get better and more eerily interesting.
Viraga produced an overall wholesome experience of fairly standard quality with a low-fi vibe that suits the tranquillity of the gothic atmosphere perfectly. Aside from some moderately uninteresting vocals, these two tracks together have gathered 6/10 guitars.
Viraga - Walk the Path and Death of a Second Kind are available for free download HERE
Visit Viraga on Soundcloud