Aside from playing Black Metal of the Finnish variety, VERGE also seem to have a weird obsession of taking band-photos in their birthday-suits. I'm not sure what kind of message they're trying to send out by posing nude together, but who are we to judge them?
All jokes aside, "To Rest..." was recorded in 2005, barely a year after the band formed, but wasn't released until 2008. Contrary to what I had expected, VERGE are not even close to their bestial countrymates BEHERIT, instead writing songs with a strong sense of melody hidden in the cacophony. The production is filthy, but not enough to come in the way of the music, hovering somewhere between the first two TAAKE-albums. Even though the EP (sans outro) barely breaks the 20-minute mark, there is enough material to showcase a band that don't fuck around with unnecessary distractions (the outro consists of 3 minutes of Dark Ambient though), and the four proper songs are better off because of it. The atmosphere is impeccable, and though you can hardly accuse them of breaking into new territory, the band still stands out after repeated listenings.
The curious case of VERGE proves that as long as your music holds a high standard, your image can be as ridiculous as you want. The balance between melody and grimness can be hard to maintain, but these guy do a commendable job. Despite never being able to un-see the limp meat of the members, I know I'll be making an effort to burrow deeper into their discography. And you should, too.
(Online November 9, 2009)