Album Review – VVORSE / Kurjien Elegia (2022)

This demented Finnish Neo-Crust and Hardcore quartet will smash your skull mercilessly to the sound of their sophomore album, diving deep into dystopian and existential levels.

Forged in 2014 in the bitterly cold fires of Jyväskylä, a city and municipality in Finland in the western part of the Finnish Lakeland, the venomous Neo-Crust/Hardcore four-piece outfit that goes by the stylish name of VVORSE will smash your cranial skull to the sound of their sophomore album, entitled Kurjien Elegia, or “evil elegy” from Finnish. Comprised of Jussi and Lauris on vocals and guitars, Jaakko on bass and Topi on drums, the quartet is on absolute fire throughout their newborn beast, blasting a high-octane fusion of metal and punk while diving into dystopian and existential levels. In other words, if you’re craving some dissonant, infernal music made in Scandinavia you must take a shot at Kurjien Elegia, with the additional fact that all songs are in Finnish and not in English making the whole experience of listening to the album even more unique.

A wicked intro explodes into a metallic Hardcore feast titled Kenen valta? (“whose power?”), where Jussi and Lauris bark manically accompanied by the vicious drums by Topi, not to mention their incendiary, Slayer-ish riffage as the icing on the cake. Then drinking from the same Punk Rock fountain as renowned acts the likes of The Exploited it’s time for the quartet to hammer our heads with Käännyn hiljaa pois (“I turn quietly”), showcasing piercing riffs and a headbanging rhythm while alternating with somber, sluggish passages to the evil bass by Jaakko, followed by Varjoaine (“contrast agent”), another frantic, demolishing creation by VVORSE where their demented screams walk hand in hand with their own Neo-Crust riffage, always supported by the thunderous kitchen by Jaakko and Topi. I have absolutely no idea why the title for Nevar tā blakus līdzi just (“you can’t feel it next door” from Latvian) is not in Finnish; anyway, musically speaking it’s another onrush of Hardcore sounds blasted by the quartet played with tons of rage, therefore keeping the album at a high level of acidity.

Get ready for a sonic attack blending the dementia of Punk Rock with Hardcore elements in the title-track Kurjien elegia, all of course spiced up by their wicked vocalizations in Finnish and with their guitars once again penetrating deep inside our minds, making an instant bridge with the demolishing Luovuta (“surrender”), where the quartet needs less than three minutes to decimate our senses, spearheaded by the razor-edged riffs by Jussi and Lauris. It can’t get any more Hardcore than this, whereas in Haluan kuolla rauhassa (“I want to die in peace”) the band carefully adds hints of Black Metal to their core sonority, resulting in what’s perhaps the darkest and heaviest of all songs with Jussi and Lauris roaring nonstop, while Jaakko keeps punching us in the face with his bass jabs. Finally, ending such infernal album of Hardcore we have 1990, which starts in a much more melodic way thanks to the guitars by Jussi and Lauris; however, it’s not as electrifying as the rest of the album despite its more atmospheric vibe.

Kurjien Elegia can be enjoyed in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but if I were you I would certainly purchase a copy of the album from the band’s own BandCamp page, from Record Shop X, from Apple Music, or from Amazon, to properly show all your support to those Finnish rockers. In addition, don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and so on. The band might be called VVORSE, but they’re in fact getting better as time goes by, with Kurjien Elegia representing a huge step forward in their sound and, therefore, leaving all doors wide open for another round of their demented music in a not-so-distant future.

Best moments of the album: Kenen valta?, Varjoaine and Luovuta.

Worst moments of the album: 1990.

Released in 2022 Off Records

Track listing
1. Kenen valta? 4:05
2. Käännyn hiljaa pois 6:32
3. Varjoaine 3:29
4. Nevar tā blakus līdzi just 4:00
5. Kurjien elegia 5:07
6. Luovuta 2:34
7. Haluan kuolla rauhassa 4:01
8. 1990 4:44

Band members
Jussi – guitar, vocals
Lauris – guitar, vocals
Jaakko – bass
Topi – drums

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