Verikalpa – Tunturihauta Review

When we reviewed 2020’s “Tuoppitanssi” I defined Verikalpa as the band in charge of the soundtrack of Valhalla. I don’t give up an inch of what I said with this new release “Tunturihauta” as the band didn’t change an inch either. Their unique combination of Folk Metal with some Extreme Metal features is a killer and I have to say very interesting. The way Verikalpa combine both elements is really surreal and unearthly. That’s a combination I heard before but the way I see it Verikalpa are he band that really achieved the goal of reaching Valhalla’s soundtrack just the way any one pictured.

Ok, as I said before “Tunturihauta” isn’t that different from “Tuoppitanssi” if you know what I’m saying. I mean don’t mess with success seems to be the motto and my guess is that the band decided to follow this popular wisdom. Even more if considered that Verikalpa’s music is itself very different from what Metal is offering these days. Musicwise, the stappler of Verikalpa’s music is the combination of Metal guitars with the accordion sound in all songs. By the way, it’s the keyboards that make the accordion sound. To the fans that know European folk music this sound is very peculiar and strong. It’s my understanding that this unique sound is typical of most European folklore music from the South to the North. In addition to that, Verikalpa write about is about battles, journeys through cold mountains, plains and forests all the way to the warmth of bonfires and taverns – this time with a very cold and dark wintery twist as the press release tells. Now about the vocals. Ah, the vocals. Besides the accordion is the effort that makes all the difference in the music. It’s harsh, acid, and mostly, insane. Sometimes it’s possible to feel also some evil mockery. The most insteresting thing about Jani Ikonen’s vocals is that it seems to me that he assumes the position of a storyteller. So, instead of singing he is telling tales or stories. Therefore the ‘comments’ around the songs. For instance, the devilsh mockery as I said. As the accordion is the lead instrument, the Metal instruments guitars, basses and drums follow the lead giving the song the needed heavyness and power. “Raivokansa,” for instance sounds a little inspired on Iron Maiden’s “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” era where the guitars try to sound as bagpipes. The following track “Rautanen herra” has a more frentic and fast cadence leaving the fan a little breathless.

From where I’m standing “Tunturihauta” follows a natural path as its music sounds pretty organic. The feeling I have is that the band doesn’t need time to rehearse or write the songs, I mean, it feels like they gather and play.

Verikalpa “Tunturihauta” was released on January 21st via Scarlet Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Verikauhu
  2. Kalmoarmeija
  3. Riitti
  4. Raivokansa
  5. Rautanen herra
  6. Tunturihauta
  7. Jotunimmalja
  8. Taisto
  9. Hurmos
  10. Suohon suoto
  11. Talven varjot

Watch “Rautanen herra” official video here: