21 Jan 2016

Viraga: "Death of a Second Kind"

Another prog effort form the Land of a Thousand Lakes
Though the term "gothic" has meant a great multitude of things over the years, in music it usually refers to that one hard-to-identify vibe of dark melancholy, at the same time both violent and gentle. Viraga, a one man project from the cold and wet country of Finland, recalls the gothic eras of bands like Katatonia and Opeth, retaining the progressive edge that the latter made integral to their sound.

The two tracks, "Walk the Path" and "Death of a Second Kind", to some degree mirror the gloomy melancholy and dynamic songwriting of the two bands, though also echoing similar groups from the gothic metal movement. The EP shows impressive range with both submissively light-hearted and dominatingly heavy passages, often resorting to fragments of quiescent and sombre acoustic guitar play. Viraga doesn't as such pose an entirely new take on the genre, but instead strives to achieve a high standard using time-tested elements of various currents.

"Viraga's two tracks are quite lengthy... ...and what they lack in memorable riffing they certainly make up for in interesting structure."

The man behind Viraga has put some effort into programming the drum tracks, and it does pay off though drummachines are seldom a worthwhile alternative to an actual drummer. Rather it usually feels like a "we couldn't get a real life drummer" type of deal, and though some bands make it work it's usually the exception.
Viraga's two tracks are quite lengthy - almost 20 minutes when combined - and what they lack in memorable riffing they certainly make up for in interesting structure.

There's ample room to show off the benefits of long songwriting. On both tracks there are so many different fragments for the listener to discover, keeping things interesting throughout. The sort of lo-fi vibe that Viraga produces suits the tranquility of the gothic atmosphere very well, and even if the vocals are mostly uninteresting and the guitar tracks aren't as thought-provoking as one could have hoped, there is at least some joy to be had throughout the EPs playtime.


Released in 2011 independently

Viraga on MIKSERI

What did you think of Viraga's "Death of a Second Kind"?

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