Vitsaus - Sielunmessu
Hammer Of Hate
Black Metal
5 songs (35'27")
Release year: 2010
Hammer Of Hate
Reviewed by Alex

As I am further and further falling into the binge of Finnish black metal lately, Vitsaus has been both the beneficiary and the loser of this parade including Horna, Sargeist and Satanic Warmaster. On one hand, with the first chords of Kuolleen Seurassa I knew immediately what to expect and settled in to get washed over with waves of dirty thrashing Finnish misanthropy. Yet, at the same time, the anticipation factor was gone within the same 30 seconds, Sielunmessu revealing all of its secrets before it actually got going.

This just happens to be the fate to which this Finnish duo will be doomed – to be entirely acceptable for the genre fans, while offering nothing unique. Seeing most recent Horna drummer Vainaja joining multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Inho, Vitsaus makes it its purpose to occupy the corner of black metal both recognizable and well known. Saying ‘well lit’ or ‘well structured’ instead would have been a mistake as the band constantly lays a bunch of looping riffs and melodies using lo-fi, hissing production, with a number of frequencies missing from the mix. Something fitting onto blastbeats, something going over well with thrash, Vitsaus sound entirely authentic and rather quickly hook you into the state of exalted desperation.

From the most accessible and tuneful Kuolleen Seurassa (which so painfully reminds me of Horna’s Vihan Tie) to the anxious and hopeless Haudalla, the band manages to butt-end enough pieces of melodic and semi-melodic progression for me to admit, even if prematurely, that Sielunmessu will receive a passing grade despite plowing the ground previously explored. Sliding away from melody, and drilling closer to the inferno core, marathon Ylosnousemus grows a tad repetitive despite a jarring chaotic middle. Ihno’s raspy croak contributing, the song does become cartoonish in spots, as you would be switching from the visions of abyss to the ugly orcish army marching in some Tolkien-inspired movie. Somehow Vitsaus wares did better for me when they were more melodic, as those expressions allowed to draw better on their own interpretations of chaos, sacrifice and depravity. Tremolo wave resolution of Ylosnousemus and the twice-repeating weeping refrain of shivering Kasti do well to lift these long-running tracks away from the monotony.

The closer Rekviemi being the last thing from slow and doomy, Vitsaus comes to the finish line just as raging and black-blood-dripping-blasphemous as they started. Even their booklet fits the part. Black and white, printed on rugged thick slightly embossed paper just lifted from the recycling pulp, it is a good foundation to hold the lyrics of which I don’t understand a thing, and you won’t be able to decipher them in the mix either even if you speak Finnish fluently. Taking its origin way back with Darkthrone Transilvanian Hunger and dipping those roots deeply into Finnish filth, Vitsaus definitely belong in the echelon of those bands who, should Horna falter, be able to fill the void immediately. You probably have read enough here by now to know whether Sielunmessu will be making an addition to your collection. Even if it does not become a constant go-to article, it still holds enough songs and craft performed with conviction to deserve praise.

Killing Songs :
Kuolleen Seurassa, Haudalla
Alex quoted 75 / 100
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