Verge/Blood Red Fog
Because It's Wrong Split

Two Finnish black metal bands and 10 tracks of creativity, bizarreness, and harsh winter winds, brought to you by Russian label Helvete.ru. This one had me at that deceptively simple, yet wholly appropriate, album title, Because it’s Wrong. It’s just so right.

Verge opens this conference of the damned with an eclectic style of black metal that on one hand comes off as some kind of lost 70s acid-splashed jam and on the other as a dissonant foray into the darker reaches of the mind. Opener “Spiritual Promiscuity” is the one that really grabs by the 70s short hairs, like depressive black metal given new life with jammy and jazzy material from that decadent decade, complete with sizzling organ and some fabulous fuzz-tone guitar soloing. It is almost as if Santana showed up in the wrong rehearsal room and just went with it, even going so far as to tolerate the Kermit the Frog vocal parts. It doesn’t necessarily get more expansive from there, as atonal moroseness sets in, though gnarly two-beat nutter “Blood Fist of Soul’s Death II” veers and swerves along a path of its own choosing. The burp-introduced title track brings more somber organ and croak vocals, while Tenhi cover “Hiensynty” opens up the pores and lets it flow with stomps, melodies, clean vocals, and deep pockets of grittiness. There is a lot going on with the Verge side of the split and leads me to believe that 2008’s Hatemagic may be a mandatory purchase.

A tough act to follow, but the awesomely named Blood Red Fog doesn’t exactly normalize relations by bringing up the rear with four dense tracks of dark melody and melancholic ugliness, three of which clock in around the 10-minute mark. A better title for “Rites of Madness” does not exist. From weeping guitar strings to airy chords and bass clangs, onward through chugging riffs, and brilliant weirdness, the tune has it all and is without a doubt one of several highlights of the split. The weird keep traveling on with a cornucopia of dreadfulness and torment that runs from the beginning of “Flesh Altar” through the closing of “End Time Mechanism,” running the gamut from polka-beat jaunts to creeping dissonance to blasts, not to mention some pretty darn good melodic segments, all of which result in finely crafted, epic songwriting. The title of six-minute closer “Bleak Waters” says more about what’s in store than I could describe with more critical blathering.

A nice change of pace and an engrossing journey into the mouth of madness, Because it’s Wrong is more than worth your time and money. I’m intrigued, totally intrigued.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
March 1st, 2011

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