Vorna is a folk/black metal band hailing from Finland who released their incredible debut album Ajastaika back in 2013. We’re big fans of the band here at Soundscape, so we decided to dig a little deeper to find out more about their music tastes and influences with a special playlist feature in which all six of the band members got involved with. Get reading below, and whilst you’re doing that, you can listen to the playlist in its entirety over on our last.fm page. Trust us when we say you don’t want to miss this one!
A Song That Influenced Them
Vesa (vocals): Iron Maiden – Afraid To Shoot Strangers. Everyone is familiar with Fear Of The Dark so I chose another track from the same album, even though I first heard it on the Visions of the Beast DVD (that music video with Bayley on vocals). There are lots of better songs in the world, but this one in particular is one of the reasons I picked up the guitar.
Saku (synths): There are many, but the one that has most influenced me recently must be Samael’s Reign of Light. Mostly because of the lyrics, the composition style hasn’t really struck me.
Niilo (bass): System of a Down – Toxicity. One of my first touches on heavier music. Actually their whole discography got me into metal but this song in particular. I don’t really know what it is but I must have listened to this song hundreds of times.
Mikael (drums): Emperor – The Loss & Curse of Reverence. This song was one of the first black metal songs I ever heard and almost instantly I got addicted to the genre. Listening to this made me want to broaden my Black Horizons (heh heh) and ultimately lead me to discover the whole black metal scene.
Henri (guitar): There are countless songs to choose from, but I’d have to go with Megadeth’s A Tout Le Monde since it was the first song I taught myself when I picked up bass as my first instrument when I was 14 or 15.
Arttu (guitar): Satyricon – Mother North. Classic. This is an agelessly cold, aggressive and beautiful song. Obviously has influenced me, especially at the beginning of my musical career. Also one of the first extreme metal songs I learned to play with guitar.
A Song They Wished They Could Have Written
Vesa: Thyrfing – Ångestens Högborg. I tried not to think too hard for this as I’ve never really felt that way for anything, but I wouldn’t change a single thing on this song; it’s as perfect as it can get.
Saku: This is a great question, I’ve never actually thought of any songs from this perspective before. I guess I’ll go with Access to Arasaka’s Alcyone, because I don’t want to choose a metal song but instead a track from a genre that I wish I could compose. And what’s a better choice than this IDM favourite of mine.
Niilo: Metallica – To Live Is To Die. This song doesn’t have very complex riffs and it’s also got a lot of repetition, but if you can make an instrumental that’s almost 10 minutes long and still be interesting the whole time then you’ve done something right.
Mikael: I would probably have to say Ghost Love Score from one of my all time favourite bands, Nightwish. From a technical perspective, it’s an amazingly complex song with all the orchestrations and the lot while still having a coherent structure and themes. This song still gives me goosebumps after all these years.
Henri: Agalloch – Fire Above, Ice Below. This song has one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever encountered in music. It just grasps you and doesn’t let go. I would be hyped if I ever came up with a song like this.
Arttu: Agalloch – Ghosts Of The Midwinter Falls. A Song full of spiritual atmosphere and memorable guitar riffs. I indeed wish I could have written this.
Their favourite Vorna Song
Vesa: My favourite song is changing all the time, but at the moment I think it’s Muisto. Firstly because we have played it less than other songs on Ajastaika and secondly because it’s a really powerful and fun song to play in live environment.
Saku: From Ajastaika, probably Ukkonen even though we’ve played it and used it as the sound check song for years. I like the way how “compact” it is, and the middle parts have some nice keyboard arrangements that both sound good and are fun to play. I like the new album’s songs better though.
Niilo: My favourite Vorna song would have to be Hiiden taival. It’s just so epic with those big orchestration parts and some that are calmer. I also like the story of the song and how Vesa made the lyrics of it.
Mikael: I would probably have to say Ikuiseen Iltaan. Not the most exciting song to play as a drummer but I just love the atmosphere and the lyrics.It’s a really powerful song, from the crushing guitars to the vocals sounding like the last desperate cries of a dying man.
Henri: I’m gonna go with Kaivatun uni. There’s a reason we chose it as one of our “singles” from the album. It has harshness mixed with playful folk. In fact, the first time I heard the guitar pro tab of this song I felt the accordion part just came out of the blue and it seemed weird at the time. But I learned to love it along the way.
Arttu: Arrrgghh, too difficult question. Musically I probably can’t name my favourite track on Ajastaika but Hiiden taival has always been a nice song for me as a guitarist to perform live. So I guess that would be my pick.
A Song They Have Recently Been Listening To A Lot
Vesa: Midlake – Acts of Man. I just arranged it for piano so I kinda had to listen to it a lot! It’s an awesome piece of music, though.
Saku: Krusseldorf’s South of the Sky Temple, a very relaxing track from Simon Heath. This guy makes amazing music, both this chill downtempo stuff and some high quality dark ambient which he releases under his label Cryo Chamber. This particular track is one of my favourites from him, the percussions in the beginning are really clever and I like the relaxing vocal parts.
Niilo: Mokoma – Vastakkaiset voimat. These guys just released their new album and this song just stuck to my head on the first listen, especially the chorus. I could sing along with it already on the second listen.
Mikael: Recently I’ve been listening a lot of Battle Beast so I’m just going to pick one of the best songs from their new album which is the title track, Unholy Saviour.
Henri: Mors Principium Est – God Has Fallen. I’ve been listening to their new album a lot lately. It has ball crushing riffage mixed with beautiful melodies, a must listen. This album is one of my favorites from 2014, along with Ne Obliviscaris’ Citadel.
Arttu: Nightingale – 27 (Curse Or Coincidence). I discovered this meester Dan Swanös project not so long ago and for me they sound pretty fresh and elegant.
Their All-Time Favourite Song
Vesa: Dissection – The Somberlain. This was obviously a tough choice, but since The Somberlain is most likely the first melodic black metal song I’ve heard, it’ll always have a special place in my heart. Besides that intro riff still gives me the chills every time.
Saku: Answering this question is very difficult, because I have many favourite songs, and even genres, for all the different moods that I’m in. So instead I’ll just choose the one that I’ve listened to the most (in play count), which is Martin Stig Andersen’s Menu, from the game Limbo. I don’t listen to it that much anymore, but when I do, it always gets me into this neutral state of mind no matter how shitty I might be feeling. It’s the perfect track for calming yourself down.
Niilo: Moonsorrow – Pimeä. I’m pretty sure this one belongs to the favourites of many of my fellow band mates, but the song is just so freaking good. The riffs and the emotion in Ville’s voice. On their shows it’s impossible not to sing every word when they play this one.
Mikael: I tried not to think too much of the answer to this one, so I’m just going to choose my favourite track from my all-time favourite album from my all-time favourite band, Strapping Young Lad. The song is The New Black, the title track and the last song of their final album. If somebody asked me what Strapping Young Lad is, I would tell them to listen to this song and then start from their first album. Mindblowing stuff.
Henri: Wow, this is a tough one. Well – since Niilo already chose Moonsorrow’s Pimeä – I’ll pick a song I love as much: Jotunheim from the same Verisäkeet album. Moonsorrow has been my favorite band almost since the day I discovered them and Verisäkeet is one of their best albums, if not the best. Just the brilliant musicianship and the sheer emotion present in this album puts it above 99.874% of all the stuff I’ve heard.
Arttu: Windir – The Blacksmith and the Troll of Lundamyri. Well, this was the closest alternative I found from Spotify. So…what could I say? Magic! There are only a handful of songs that can take me this far away back to the ancient worlds. Works best when listened alone outdoor on a cold winter day.
Ajastaika is out now and you can read our review of it here. Stay tuned for news of album two!