Some of the best, most engaging European extreme metal of the early ’90s was made by artists who didn’t quite know what they were making. These young reprobates were meddling with the primal forces of nature, to quote a red-faced Ned Beatty in Network, and they stumbled into something ineffable and transcendent. Think Mortuary Drape on All the Witches Dance, Master’s Hammer on Ritual, Varathron on His Majesty at the Swamp, or even Demilich on Nespithe. Metal subgenres were still permeable, imperfectly defined things, and bands with an adequate sense of musical adventurousness could still carve strange new avenues for themselves. It’s that spirit that Veriluola capture on Cascades of Crimson Cruor, their slippery debut LP. By deliberately sidestepping the question of genre categorization, the Finnish/American duo made an album that can stand alongside those classics.
Cascades of Crimson Cruor calls back to the oldest of old-school black and death metal, but its compositional boldness ensures it never sounds dated. Songs twist and turn their way through caverns of rumbling, Finnish-style death metal, sepulchral black metal, and sword-raising epic heavy metal with thrilling unpredictability. It truly feels like anything might happen at any time, and on blistering songs like the incredibly titled “The Blood Grotto” and the 10-minute “Impish Insurrection,” guitarist/bassist Santeri and guitarist/vocalist Malus indulge in their every whim. An arcane, evil atmosphere – crucial to the album’s effectiveness – pervades every nook and cranny, no matter where the band goes musically. Cascades of Crimson Cruor is one of the most impressive and promising debuts of the year so far, and you can stream it in its entirety now, but first, a word from Santeri:
“From the archaic depths, VERILUOLA‘s Cascades of Crimson Cruor emerges with dreadful force. We have spent the last year concocting this album, and with the addition of our new member Malus, we bring you a horrible anthology of ancient conflict and violence. Medieval in nature, Cascades of Crimson Cruor delves into themes of occultism, corruption and apocalypse in a vicious style of old-school black and death metal.”
Nameless Grave Records will release Cascades of Crimson Cruor on Blood Red LP, CD, and digitally this Friday, May 12. Find preorders at the label webstore HERE and Bandcamp HERE.