Verge was founded in 2004 in Finland, and released their debut demo already in 2005. The band recorded this EP in the end of '05 as well, but its release was delayed all the way until 2008, when it was released as a tape and a CD. Verge has released two full-lenghts and a split since this EP, but I decided to get acquainted with their music proceeding from the oldest works to the newest ones to get a better grip of their development and concept.
"To Rest..." presents a rather modern take on Black Metal, but does so without drifting too far from the genre's main ideas and purpose. The songs rely on their mostly fast pace and simplistic rhythms and guitar melodies to create an introvert and aggressive atmosphere. The musicianship is on a rather good level, as it must be since the band relies on a rather clean soundscape, and each played note is given its own time and space in creating the atmosphere. There is little room for error, as the songs include no unnecessary or meaningless elements or sounds - the drums and their simplistic and thought-out delivery being a good example of this.
The soundscape is clean, as said above, but still by no means thin or powerless. The instruments generate darkness, which is given its meaning by the vocalist's dry and tormented shrieks. His voice gives the music its face, but it isn't enough to really lift the songs into greatness, nor does it amplify the most aggressive nor the contempful parts. You can hear how much more power the songs could've had and how some violent bits could've been amplified, but for some reason the band decided to aim for an approach more loyal to the original compositions. The compositions vary nicely, but don't have parts that would make a strong enough impact, or elements that would rise up from the songs and plain force the listener into submission. Also, one has to wonder why the band decided to use such a noisy and feedback-reliant ambient-outro, as it doesn't seem to go hand in hand with the 22 minutes of music that's served before its entry.
The lyrics explore the themes of humanity's vanity, destruction of all matter, ignorance and exploring the self and the nature of existence. They are written in free-form and have a similarly introvert approach as the music itself, but give off such a misanthropic, honest and aggressive vibe that they leave quite an impression when enjoyed while listening to their respective songs. I'd recommend you to keep the lyric sheet at hand while listening to this EP, as the writings truly amplify the songs' hostile aura and make the listening experience a lot more intense. The visual side is really pleasing as well, even if it's not too holistic aside of the grey-ish colourscape.
It's as if the EP doesn't zealously try to force you to feel anything special, but the more you explore it and the more you sink into its world, the more overwhelming it becomes. The record demands a lot from its listener before it reveals its true nature, but I'd stay that when you've arrived at the destination, you're glad you embarked on the journey. The sole main problem just is that band doesn't seem to have wanted to truly bring forth their compositions' strongest points, or were plain unable to do so. I'm rather curious to hear how the band's newest album "Sex & Violence" sounds, as I'm sure the band has gone forward in their expression since this EP.