There is something vitriolic about listening to the self-titled album by VIIMEINEN. Musically it just gets in your face and stays there. Near the end of ‘Deformed Faces Gape at You from a Tangle of Limbs’ it sounds like a swarm of bees have got into a studio and are being recorded over the usual session. It is antagonising. Which is a fitting end to the first track. Everything about it is designed to get a rise out of you. And it works. Static squeals. Blasts of feedback. Something that could be fire but probably isn’t, and countless other wonderful motifs are combined to get under your skin and stay there.
‘Dissolved Metal Salts Cloak Your Lips with a Bitter Film’ follows suit but is far sketchier in places. Around the halfway mark a wonderous noise kicks in. It’s part grinding of machinery, part white noise, part loops, part distressed vocals, and who knows what else VIIMEINEN has decided to layer, to create a cacophonous feeling of dread. It works very well and is the standout moment on the album. The final third takes things down a bit and feels like a liquid with a search light being shone over it. As the tension builds, the sweeps become more frequent and the liquid more frenzied. At the end you feel like you’ve been through the wringer.
‘VIIMEINEN’ is released on the label Turlin. The label takes its name from an infamous area of Poole and Bournemouth. I grew up about a mile and a half away from there. Every town has a Turlin Moor. You know, the place you are told to avoid, but actually it’s not that bad there. Late night bus journeys could be fraught, but generally safe. It’s a place where the council has houses from families they don’t know what to do with. Throw in some rundown amenities and you’ve probably got a version of it not far from you. Turlin Moor is effectively a cul-de-sac, as there is only one road in and one road out, so when things got dicey there, you had to find an alternative escape route. There used to be a joke about the area that went like this:
Two giants were walking around the world. “Where are we?” said one. The second put its hand down “Paris” it replied. “How did you know that?” the first asked? “I felt the Eiffel Tower.” A little while later the first one asked “Where are we now?” The second put its hand down “London” it said. “How can you tell?” “I felt Big Ben,” then a little while later “Where are we now?.” The second put its hand down. “Turlin Moor.” “How do you know?” “They stole my watch” it replied. Now, this joke isn’t fair, or that funny, but it is technically a joke. The point I’m hopefully making is that Turlin is a fitting name for the label. The music is abrasive, challenging and keeps you on your toes. Yet there isn’t anything too dangerous about it. After you finish listening to one of their releases you feel slightly exhilarated and want to do it again. Which is the point of a good album, right? To want to play it again and again. If so, then ‘VIIMEINEN’ does exactly that.
What the album shows us is that VIIMEINEN really knows his, her, their, stuff. The compositional skill at work is staggering. It really is. To conceive something on this scale, and pull it off, should be commended. In a short period of time VIIMEINEN has really come into his, her, their, own and is releasing music of quality that rivals their peers who have been much longer in the game. It’s truly exciting and I’m very much looking forward to where VIIMEINEN goes from here. Which is anywhere VIIMEINEN damn well pleases!