Vanha’s debut album Within the Mist of Sorrow struck me hard, and has stayed with me ever since as a quality exemplar of how to provide a textured and highly atmospheric display of 90s death/doom influences. Delivered as a duo, Vanha is now one man, Melancholia is his latest effort.
As alluded to above, fans of classic bands such as Anathema, My Dying Bride, and Katatonia are well-advised to explore Vanha’s world.
As the title would suggest, the music contained within this album is full of emotive qualities, negatively charged with loss and despair, and delivered with a depth of atmosphere that’s immersive and compelling.
The music has been drawn out further and deeper on Melancholia. The album’s songs are generally longer than their equivalents from Within the Mist of Sorrow, and they spend more time exploring their misery-drenched environment with the skill of veteran frontiersmen.
Heavy, evocative rhythm guitars are combined with forlorn melodies and richly expressive keyboards. The latter in particular seem to be performed and arranged even better than previously, and deliver engaging highlights on many tracks.
The main vocals used are deep growls once more, and these are great to hear again. Other vocal styles appear too, however, and all are well-performed.
Slow, depressive, atmospheric; Melancholia is an album for dark nights and darker moods. I was looking forward to this release after enjoying the debut album so much, but Melancholia has exceeded my expectations.
Very highly recommended.